The C5 Corvette was produced from 1997 to 2004.
The C5 replaced the long-running C4. The transmission was moved to the back of the automobile and connected to the engine via a driveshaft. That squeak-and-rattle C4 was gone. The auto press thought the new C5 was a vast improvement over the previous Corvette design. The C5 also had GM’s new LS1 small block. This third-generation small block featured a distributor-less ignition system and a redesigned cylinder firing order. It started at and was upgraded to in 2001.
“CORVETTE” the Fifth Generation
The C5 debuted as a coupe, despite the new platform’s initial intent to be a convertible. The convertible returned in 1998, followed by the fixed-roof coupe in 1999. On June 20-21, 2003, in Nashville, Tennessee, the Corvette turned 50. Many beautifully restored Corvettes were on display. A worldwide caravan of over 10,000 Corvettes convened in Bowling Green, KY, including engineering and restoration seminars for every model year. Participants were also invited to a factory tour not available to the general public across the street from the museum. The anniversary also brought to light seven authorized Chevrolet Concept Vehicles. A Corvette SS constructed by Zora Arkus-Duntov and a C5-R that won its class at Le Mans was also on display. Among the many displays were the 2003 50th Anniversary Edition Corvettes, 2004 “Commemorative Edition” Corvettes, and Indy Pace Cars.
The factory has expanded to create the Cadillac roadster, based on the sixth-generation Corvette. Corvette highlights this American automotive icon by displaying the many normal production variants as well as some exceptional one-off versions manufactured by Chevrolet in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Bowling Green also hosts the annual National Corvette Homecoming. The Flint factory that built the first automobiles was sold to GM’s Delphi Electronics subsidiary and eventually gifted to GMI/Kettering University. The C.S. Mott Engineering and Science Center now houses the Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry programs. A plaque at the school’s SAE club garage commemorates the site of the first Corvette construction.
The FRC C5 was replaced in 2001 by the Z06, a tribute to the high-performance C2 Corvette of the 1960s. This year’s Z06 Corvettes replace the FRC hardtops (1999-2000). The Z06 utilized an LS6, a high-output variant of the normal LS1 Corvette engine, making 385 horsepower. The Z06 had less power than the prior ZR-1, but it was lighter and faster. Despite this, the ZR-1 had a faster peak speed, retaining its “King of the Hill” title.
Like the ZR-1, Chevrolet realized that adding power accomplished little for the Z06 without modifying the platform. The package included a hardtop, revised suspension, larger wheels and tires, a new six-speed manual transmission, improved gearing, and functional brake cooling ducts. In addition to a titanium exhaust (from the catalytic converter rearward), thinner glass, and lighter wheels, the Z06 also has a lighter battery. With the addition of an aggressive camshaft profile, lightweight sodium-filled exhaust valves, firmer valve springs, and the removal of the precats, the Z06 generated 405 horsepower. A lot of dynamometer tests show that Chevrolet undervalued the engine with 425 horsepower overall.
The 2002 Z06 also got updated rear suspension valving and steel links instead of plastic links. It was replaced by an Electron blue. The HUD became standard, and the heavier forged wheels were spin-cast. The Z06 fender emblems say “405 horsepower.” 2003 vehicles got silver 50th-anniversary emblems and a new headliner. The aluminum shift fork was replaced by a steel fork in 2003.
GM claimed the Z06 could go from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds and run the quarter-mile in 12.4. A skilled driver can make 11 second passes in a 2002-2004 Z06. The current record is 11.7. This was achieved in 5th gear at 6,500 rpm, as 6th gear was an overdrive/economy gear. It was also a well-rounded track car that could do more than just accelerate. The Z06 can compete on a road track with modern versions of the Dodge Viper, Ford Cobra R, and even the Porsche 911.
The 2004 Z06 Commemorative Edition included a lighter carbon fiber hood and polished aluminum wheels. It also had a Nürburgring-tuned suspension for better handling and a special Le Mans blue paint job.
Pratt & Miller built the C5-R for GM Racing. It had a longer wheelbase, wider track, a bigger engine, and a more aerodynamic body with a rear wing and exposed headlamps. As a Corvette Racing entry, it raced in the American Le Mans Series GTS class.
- 1999 Season one of the car. After four races, the engine was upgraded to a 7000 cc version of the 5700 cc Corvette V-8.
- 2000 First win and first year at Le Mans.
- 2001 In ten races, he won eight, including the 24 Hours of Daytona and a 1-2 in the GTS class at Le Mans.
- 2002 In 2002, the C5-R won 1-2 in the GTS class at Le Mans and dominated the American Le Mans Series. The previous year’s separate transmission and differential were replaced. However, the Ferraris encountered problems late in the race, resulting in another Corvette GTS class triumph.
- 2003 In 2003, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest lowered the power of all 24 Hours of Le Mans participants by 10% to slow them down. The C5-Rs continued to triumph at the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring, with one taking first in class and seventh overall. In 2003, a 50th anniversary red, white, and blue color scheme was introduced. Prodrive Ferraris won the GTS class at Le Mans, sabotaging GM’s anniversary and three-peat attempt.
- 2004 The C5-R won the GTS class at Le Mans. A Prodrive Ferrari built by a privateer led the race. Both Prodrive cars encountered mechanical issues mid-race, forcing them to pit and lose laps. The Corvettes won their class.
- In 2005, the factory Corvette Team started racing the C6.R to promote the new sixth-generation Corvette. Private teams, mostly in Europe, kept racing the C5-R.
The new C6 has a wider passenger compartment, exposed headlamps for the first vehicle since 1962, and a larger 6.0 L engine. Overall, the C5 Corvette is shorter and thinner than the C4. Infiniti’s 6.0L LS2 V8 produces 400hp and 400 ft. lb. of torque at 4400 rpm. Its redline is 6500 rpm. The C6 continues the C5’s strong fuel economy, reaching 18/27 MPG with an automatic transmission. The manual version is somewhat better at 18/28 and has Computer-Aided Gear Selection, which requires drivers to shift directly from 1st to 4th gear at lower RPMs to increase fuel economy. New LS3 engine with 6.2-liter displacement and torque improvement for 2008 Corvette ). In addition to the enhanced shift linkage, the 6-speed manual achieves a 0-60 time of 4.0 seconds, while the automatic achieves a time of 4.3 seconds, the fastest of any production automatic Corvette. Added a new 4LT leather-wrap inside kit. The wheels were also changed to five-spoke.
The 2006 Z06 arrived in the third quarter of 2005. It sports a 7.0 L LS1 small block engine. Certified output is. It outperforms the Ford and rivals the Dodge Viper in terms of speed. From a standstill in first gear, the Z06 can go from zero to 100 in about 7.7-8.2, with a quarter-mile pace of 11.5 and a top speed of 198. GM and Corvette Racing driver Jan Magnussen took the new Z06 to the Nürburgring in Germany in 2005. Magnussen’s Z06 ran 7:40.99. With its bigger engine and Dry sump oiling system, the C6 Z06 is able to put the engine low inside the chassis. Titanium connecting rods are lighter than steel rods and stronger than steel rods.
Unlike the non-Z06 cars, the C6 Z06’s principal structural element is aluminum rather than steel. Hydroformed aluminum frames are as strong as steel but much lighter. The front fenders are carbon fiber to save weight, and the rear fenders are wider to accommodate the engine’s increased power. The Z06’s magnesium engine cradle saved 6Kg over the base model’s aluminum cradle. This gives the Z06 a power-to-weight ratio of 6.2 lb./hp. First 500+ hp production car to evade the US government’s Gas Guzzler charge.
2006 Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars were both Z06s. The Pace Car edition Z06 was unveiled in January at the LA Auto Show. It was also given to St. Louis Cardinals shortstop David Eckstein, the 2006 MVP, despite Eckstein’s lack of driving skills. The 2007 Z06 was also an “Automobile All-Star” in 2007. The suspension was returned after some magazine test drivers complained that the suspension didn’t perform up to expectations. Chevrolet announced pre-release models and 2007 damping changes. The T-56 was replaced by the TR6060 six-speed manual transmission in 2008. The steering rack and internal plastic bezel were upgraded. Due to supply difficulties, full leather inside became available.
Several print and online outlets first stated that Chevrolet was building an extremely high-performance production version of the Corvette, internally dubbed Blue Devil. “I wonder what they can achieve for $100,000?” Wagoner reportedly said regarding Chevrolet designers during a GM board meeting. Official premiere at the 2008 North American International Auto Show with 2009 model year availability.
An Eaton Supercharged 7-liter engine delivering power and torque with a ticket tag of around $100,000 was disclosed as the new “LS9” engine in a December 2007 news release. . The ZR1 has bigger fenders, a hood, roof panel, roof bow, front fascia splitter, and rocker moldings made of carbon fiber. The supercharger makes the car heavier and more front-biased than the Z06, with a weight distribution of 52 percent front and 48 percent rear. Larger and stronger brakes, adjustable suspension, optional chrome wheels, and a luxury interior package were also added. The ZR1 has carbon-ceramic brakes, extensive carbon fiber, and a full-width rear lip spoiler, as seen in recent hot laps at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
2007 The C6.R won the GT1 class at the 2007 12 Hours of Sebring. For 2007, the two Corvette Racing cars were joined by single entries from Luc Alphand Adventures and PSI-Motorsport. Despite their increased numbers, Corvette Racing finished second in GT1 class, one lap behind Aston Martin Racing’s class-winning DBR9.
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