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TheCarConnection.com's editors read the latest reviews on the new 2008 Chevrolet Corvette to write this comprehensive review. Experts from TheCarConnection.com also drove the standard Chevrolet Corvette, including the Z51 and Z06 models, and can offer driving impressions and details that add to your understanding of this iconic sportscar. This review also compares the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette with other vehicles in its class to give you the best advice even when other reviews present conflicting opinions.
Today, more than ever, speed comes easy. Evidence: The 2008 Chevrolet Corvette. Fittingly, it's the first place GM chose to put its new 430-horsepower V-8. Together, the new engine and the Gen VI Chevy Corvette make a total speed package capable of an honest and repeatable 190 mph. Yup, over three miles per minute is available for low monthly payments from your local Chevrolet dealer. Chevy expects to sell around 40,000 per year. Is this a great country or what? Far fewer of the ultra-high-performance 505-hp Corvette Z06 models will be sold, as this model is more expensive but delivers the ultimate in American performance.
So what do you actually get when you leave your Chevrolet dealer's lot in a new Corvette? Well, with the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette, you're actually getting (in Microsoft terms) a Generation 6.5 Vette. GM's sportscar got a midcycle refresh in 2007; along with the new 6.2-liter V-8 superseding the 6.0-liter engine, plenty of other revisions were made. The overall result: All it takes to go fast in this car is aiming and firing. Bragging rights are thus: 0-60 comes up in only 4.1 seconds with the new six-speed manual. Its throws are shorter, and the gearbox has a smoother mechanical feel. The reprogrammed and faster-shifting-for-2008 automatic transmission takes only two-tenths [of a second?] longer to dispatch the same task. Fifth gear takes you to 190 mph, a feat that consumes nearly three minutes and over eight miles. You get this performance with EPA estimated economy of 16 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, but you'll need to use sixth gear to hit those numbers.
Capable brakes burn off the speed. TheCarConnection.com's last ride was with a Z51-equipped Corvette coupe sporting cross-drilled rotors measuring 13.4 inches front, 13 inches rear. As it has been for almost a quarter century, the Corvette with the Z51 package get more aggressively tuned springs and dampers, larger bars, and upgraded tires. What hasn't always been part of the Z51 package was a livable ride. The first modern Z51-equipped cars (from 1984) rode so stiffly that they would knock your fillings out. The 2008 Chevrolet Corvette with the Z51 car could easily be a daily driver. The drawbacks are nil to those who don't mind a slightly stiffer ride than standard-issue C6.5s.
Steering feel on all standard 2008 Chevrolet Corvette models is up, thanks to an entirely new rack. This revision should quiet those who felt the previous steering system wasn't spot-on. We've put close to 1,000 miles on previous C6s and never felt the need to complain, but more feel is always welcome.
The only downside to the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette is the fact that it has a spotty reliability record. Paint, squeaks, rattles, and powertrain issues top the complaint lists.