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Top 5! The Cars That Defined Corvette

by Keith Cornett on May 7, 2007

Automotive enthusiasts love to compare their favorite cars to cars made by the competition and Corvette owners are no exception. We’ll put our beloved American sports car against any comer. But its not just owners that engage in this practice. Comparisons to the competition often start at the factory and often with a car that only exists on paper. In our top 5 list, we take a look at the cars that have served to make the Corvette a world class sports car. #1 – Jaguar XK120
1953 Jaguar XK120In 1952 Harley Earl was designing the first American 2-seat sports car. Sitting in the design studio while the Corvette was being drawn was the Jaguar XK120. The XK120 had the characteristics that Harley was aiming for: huge long hood, minimal two seat passenger area and a short rear deck. This same philosophy would be the basis for the Corvette for more than 50 years. #2 – Shelby Cobra
1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake In 1963 Carroll Shelby’s Cobras were cleaning up at the track. The cobra was a pure racing machine and it dominated the racing circuit in the mid-60′s. Corvette’s Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov had a plan for the Cobra and it was called the Grand Sport. While the Grand Sport project only resulted in the production of just five cars, they easily returned Corvette to the winners circle. Technology and testing from the GS program filtered down to the production Corvettes. Chevrolet’s big block 427′s replaced fuel injection and by 1967, the L88-equipped Corvette was beating Cobra on Sundays and winning in the dealer showrooms on Monday. #3 – Dodge Viper RT/10
1992 Dodge Viper RT/10In 1991 Dodge introduced the Viper and the American horsepower war was back on. The Viper was the Corvette reincarnated. Long, lean and with a massive engine, the Viper was built for performance first. The Viper debuted with a V10 rated at 400 horsepower, 25 more than the 375 hp Corvette ZR-1.Other characteristics of the Viper included side exhaust and an AC delete option (no air conditioning). Vipers would dominate the performance arena until the arrival of the C5 Z06 Corvette in 2001. #4 – Toyota Supra
1989 Toyota SupraIn the late eighties, GM was in the beginnings of the C5 project with a projected launch date of 1993. The competition at the time was mostly Japanese and the lead competitor was the Toyota Supra. Toyota threw down the challenge first, calling their late 80′s Supra Turbo a “Corvette-Killer”. As the C5 Corvette was being drawn, it was the Supra that it was benchmarked against. By the time the C5 Corvette was actually produced in 1997, the Supra’s influence had waned until about only 40 Supras per month were being imported into the US. #5 – Porsche 911 (Carrera)
2005 Porsche 911 Carrera2005 brings us the C6 Corvette and the competition has shifted from Dodge and Toyota back to European manufacturers like Porsche and BMW. During development, the C6 Corvette was measured time and again versus the Porsche 911, literally. Chief Engineer Dave Hill would talk how the C6 Corvette was shortened to roughly the same dimensions of the 911. Interestingly, the Porsche Carrera, the sixth version of the 911 was also introduced in 2005. Targeting Porsche, a car known world-wide for quality and performance at a price normally double that of the regular production Corvette was a gutsy move by the Corvette engineering team and based on the performance of the C6 Corvette Z06, the gamble was a success.
Sources:
I highly recommend you read “All Corvettes Are Red” by James Schefter and “Corvette 50 Years” by Randy Leffingwell, both available at Amazon.com
The Corvette Story Related:
CorvetteBlogger.com is participating in the Problogger.net Top 5 group writing project. Technorati Tags:
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Two Corvettes Make Edmunds 2007 Most Wanted List

by Keith Cornett on May 4, 2007

Readers of Edmunds.com were surveyed on their choices for Most Wanted Vehicles for 2007 and Corvette made the list, twice. Coupes under $60,000: The Chevrolet Corvette:
Like a Saddam Hussein election, the Chevrolet Corvette won its category last year with 100 percent of the vote — there were no other entrants. A reorganizing of categories assured a more spirited contest for 2007, but the Chevrolet Corvette still ran away from the pack with a dominating 46 percent. Clearly, its combination of visceral high-speed thrills, all-American heritage and value pricing did not go unnoticed by consumers. The Porsche Cayman was a distant 2nd with 21 percent, while the all-new, redesigned BMW 3 Series coupe pulled in 18 percent. The sprightly Lotus Elise and luxurious Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class both elicited 5 percent. The BMW Z4 and M coupes came in with 4 percent. Convertibles under $60,000: The Chevrolet Corvette:
Value may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you consider the 400-hp Chevrolet Corvette, but that’s exactly what this classic roadster promises to bring to your garage. Chevy’s singular drop top offers iconic good looks and world-class performance, all for a surprisingly affordable price. It’s little wonder, then, that the Corvette was miles ahead of the competition in this race, with a staggering 50 percent of the vote. Porsche’s graceful Boxster was a mere silhouette on the horizon with a distant 2nd-place finish with 20 percent, and it was followed closely by the redesigned BMW 3 Series, now a hardtop convertible at 17 percent. The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class (9 percent) and Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class (5 percent) brought up the rear. Visit Edmunds.com to see the all the category winners.
Source:
Edmunds.com Related:
Corvette Wins Even The Most Dubious Awards Technorati Tags:
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April 2007 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on May 2, 2007

April 2007 was the best month for 2007 Corvette sales this calendar year. Customers in April took delivery of 3,227 Corvettes. For the calendar year, January though April, GM has sold 11,403 Corvettes. For comparison, April 2006 saw 3,516 Corvettes delivered and January-April 2006 had sales of 12,808. With the introduction of the 2008 Corvette, with its refreshed interior and the new higher output LS3, it will be interested to see if 2007 Corvettes sales remain steady or fall off even more from their 2006 sales figures.

Month Calendar Year-to-Date
Month 2007 2006 % Change Months 2007 2006 % Change
January 2,234 2,579 -16.8% Jan-Jan 2,234 2,579 -16.8%
February 2,784 3,058 -9.0% Jan-Feb 5,018 5,637 -11.0%
March 3,158 3,655 -16.7% Jan-Mar 8,176 9,292 -12.0%
April 3,227 3,516 -0.6% Jan-Apr 11,403 12,808 -11.0%

Source:
GM.com Related:
March 2007 Corvette Sales Technorati Tags:
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Patrick DempseyActor Patrick Dempsey, who plays Dr. Derek Sheperd on the hit TV show “Grey’s Anatomy”, was named the driver of the 2007 Corvette convertible Pace Car at the 91st Indianapolis 500. The worlds largest single-day spectator event is scheduled for Sunday, May 27th. While Dempsey is know for his acting work, he is no stranger to auto racing. Dempsey is a co-owner of IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500 team Vision Racing. He also drives in selected sports car races for Hyper Sport Racing and off-road events.

“Most people recognize Patrick Dempsey from his on-screen endeavors,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “But among the racing community, where Chevy plays a role globally, he is known as a dedicated car and racing enthusiast. Being accustomed to high performance cars and racetracks, he’s a great candidate to drive the Pace Car, and he’ll no doubt appreciate the Corvette’s power and handling abilities.”

Source:
National Corvette Museum Related:
Corvette Convertible to Pace Indianapolis 500 Technorati Tags:
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Spy Photos: Little Red (SS) Corvette

by Keith Cornett on May 1, 2007

Popular Mechanics has nailed the last two spy photos of the Corvette SS, the highly anticipated supervette that will make its debut next year. The Corvette SS, formally known as the Blue Devil, Z07 and the Sting Ray, is expected to push 650 hp from a supercharged V8 and should be priced in the neighborhood of $100,000.

SS Corvette Spy Photo SS Corvette Spy Photo SS Corvette Spy Photo
 
SS Corvette Spy Photo SS Corvette Spy Photo SS Corvette Spy Photo
With these new photos, it does appear that engineers are moving onto other aspects of the development. Popular Mechanics notes the uneven construction of the roof, suggesting that this mule may have a carbon fiber prototype in place. And then there’s the wheels. The black finish makes it hard to distinguish the design, but you can bet there’s something exciting happening there as well. The rear wheels do appear to be extra large and on the 3/4 rear shot, you can see the addition of mud flaps. Lastly, the rear spoiler has been redesigned and features an ultra small third brake light.
Source:
PopularMechanics.com Related:
PM’s Jim Dunne Bags Corvette SS Spy Shots Technorati Tags:
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OMFG! Is That A Convertible Corvette Z06?

by Keith Cornett on May 1, 2007

Tonight I was browsing Autoblog.com’s 2008 Corvette image gallery when I happened to notice the Corvette parked behind the black 2008 convertible. Yes, it appears to be a Monterey Red Convertible Z06 with a black soft top. There is actually a burgeoning market for chopping the tops off Z06′s and this is probably the end result of an FRC meeting a buzz saw. Click the image below to see a larger version.

Is this a convertible Corvette Z06
Used to be you could walk into the dealership and order your Corvette convertible with the engine of your choice, but those glory days of giving the customer what the want are long gone.
Source:
Autoblog.com Related:
Things We’d Like to See: An Automatic Z06 Corvette Technorati Tags:
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Kerbeck Corvette has launched a new series of Corvette podcasts called VetteCast. Their inaugural VetteCast featured an interview with Corvette Racing’s Ron Fellows. Ron talks about why he’s at Kerbeck (picking up a RF Z06 for a sponsor), his current and future racing plans and what it’s like to have a signature Corvette named after him.

Ron Fellows on Kerbeck's VetteCast Ron Fellows outside the Kerbeck Corvette Showroom Ron Fellows signing the engine cover of his signature Z06 Corvette
Kerbeck Corvette has two Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Championship Z06 for sale and while there, Ron signed the engine covers. The cars are #40 and #63, which is Ron’s car number for the 24 Hours of LeMans. To listen to podcast or subscribe through LiveTunes, visit Kerbeck.com/podcast. Kerbeck promises more podcasts with an emphasis on news, interviews, technical information and event updates.
Source:
Kerbeck.com Related:
Podcast: Z06 Corvette, Blue Devil/Stingray/SS and the C7 Corvette Technorati Tags:
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One thing you can always expect from the guys at Chevrolet is that they are going to get the maximum amount of horsepower out of a push-rod small block V8. And then a couple years later they’ll do it again. And a couple years later they’ll do it again. In fact, the Corvette has gained 130 horsepower from its base LT1 300 hp engine in 1996, just 12 short years earlier. This year’s version is called the LS3, a 6.2 liter push-rod V8 is rated at 430 hp. The new V8 with a six-speed paddle-shift automatic can go 0-60 in 4.3 seconds and its top speed is 190 mph.

2008 Corvette LS3 6.2 liter V8 2008 Corvette LS3 6.2 liter V8 2008 Corvette LS3 6.2 liter V8
The LS3 replaces the 6.0 liter LS2 rated at 400 hp that was the inaugural C6 engine. For production engines, three years is a very short lifespan. However, just because it is no longer installed in the Corvette doesn’t mean it may be destined for other GM performance vehicles including the new Camaro. I’ve read the posts on the forums that discuss how the upgrade in engine for Corvette allows the LS2 to become the Camaro’s base V8. The LS3 engine is truly a marvel. It features a larger bore at 4.06 inches compared to the LS2′s 4.0 inches as well as larger pistons, upgraded camshaft and high-flow intake manifold. Total displacement grows from 364 to 376 cubic inches. But the real secret to the LS3′ success comes borrowed from the Z06 Corvette’s LS7 engine. The LS7 offers several hand-me-downs for the LS3 including new high flow LS7/L92 cylinder heads with the large port/large valve design, and the high flow fuel injectors. Also optional on the 2008 Corvette is the Z06 styled two-mode performance exhaust system. Not quite identical to the Z06. The LS3 still has the 2 1/2 in exhaust compared to the three inches in the L7. The system features butterfly valves that close two of the four ports to reduce engine noise under normal driving conditions, but open up for maximum performance when called for. With the new dual mode performance exhaust, the power output for the LS3 rises to 436 hp and 428 lb.-ft. of torque.

Engine

6.2L V-8 LS3

Displacement (cu in / cc):

376 / 6162

Bore & stroke (in / mm):

4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92

Block material:

cast aluminum

Cylinder head material:

cast aluminum

Valvetrain:

overhead valve, 2 valves per cylinder

Fuel delivery:

SFI (sequential fuel injection)

Compression ratio:

10.7:1

Horsepower
(hp / kW @ rpm):

430 / 321 @ 5900* w/ std. exhaust
436 / 325 @ 5900* w/ opt. exhaust

Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm):

424 / 575 @ 4600* w/ std. exhaust
428 / 580 @ 4600* w/ opt. exhaust

Recommended fuel:

premium recommended but not required

Estimated fuel economy :

TBD

Still amazed? Production begins in late July with cars shipping in August/September. Although Chevrolet has not yet announced the pricing for the 2008 Corvette, it should remain similar to the 2007 model that retails for $44,995.
Source
GM Releases Official 2008 Corvette Information
LS3 Photos: All Things Corvette Related
GM Releases Official 2008 Corvette Information
Photo Gallery: The 2008 Chevrolet Corvette
2008 Corvette Engine and Interior Photos
2008 Corvette Wheel and Exhaust Photos
New Paint Chips Unveiled for 2008 Corvette Technorati Tags:
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The Ron Fellows Special Edition C6.RThere was some exciting news about Corvette Racing that came from the Bash at the Corvette Museum. Corvette Racing’s Ron Fellows will be fielding a third C6.R at his hometown event, The Grand Prix of Mosport. Joining Ron as co-driver will be none other than C5-R Veteran Andy Pilgrim. Fellows and Pilgrim will be co-driving the special edition White C6.R that was unveiled earlier this year at Sebring. The last time Fellows and Pilgrim shared driving duties together was in 2000. The Grand Prix of Mosport is scheduled for August 26 in Ontario. SPEED will provide the racing coverage. More on this as it develops.
Source:
DigitalCorvettes.com
AndyPilgrim.com Related:
Sebring: Artic White C6.R Corvette Salutes Fellows, ALMS Z06 Technorati Tags:
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Photo Gallery: The 2008 Chevrolet Corvette

by Keith Cornett on April 28, 2007

The 2008 Corvette. These images were released recently from GM. Click the image to view larger photo.

 
 
 
2008 Corvette LS3 6.2 liter V8 2008 Corvette LS3 6.2 liter V8 2008 Corvette LS3 6.2 liter V8
Source
Ankur Patel Web Gallery
LS3 Photos: All Things Corvette Related
GM Releases Official 2008 Corvette Information
2008 Corvette Engine and Interior Photos
2008 Corvette Wheel and Exhaust Photos
New Paint Chips Unveiled for 2008 Corvette Technorati Tags:
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