2004 Detroit Auto
Show Coverage (1/4/2004)
2005 Chevrolet CorvetteEnlarge Photo
Many car enthusiasts have been waiting for the successor of the C5 — and most were expecting it to be shown at the 50th anniversary of Corvette last June. Too, even the L.A. Auto Show crowds going to that show’s opening this weekend will have to wait for the 'Vette until after it’s shown in Detroit first.
The C6 may have a completely new body with a crispier, sharper look, but it still is a real Corvette. The C6 is 5.1 inches shorter and 1.1 inches narrower than the C5, which adds to the sportier stance, together with the new, wider five-spoke wheels. They are equipped with low profile run-flat Goodyear Eagles F1 (P245/40ZR-18s in front, P285/35ZR-19s on the rear).
Under the hood of the C6 is a new version of GM’s new 6.0-liter LS2 small-block V-8. The small block debuted in 1955 with 265 cubic inches and 195 hp. Since then it has grown and evolved into the new LS2, effectively the engine’s fourth generation. The new V-8 is the most powerful in the Corvette history with 400 hp at 6000 rpm and 400 lb-ft of torque at 4400 rpm, an increase of 50 hp and 40 lb-ft of torque over the LS1 motor. The cylinder heads for the LS2 are derived from designs for the previous Z06 models for a more efficient swirl of the air/fuel mixture. This enables a higher 10.9:1 compression ratio that increases fuel economy and horsepower.
The new lightweight LS2 V-8 is teamed with the Tremec G56 six-speed stick shift, or optionally, with the 4-speed HydraMatic automatic transmission. A Z51 performance option will be available with a further improved six-speed gearbox. The Z51 and the European version will also have a transmission cooler.
The new oil pan for the LS2 was developed during intensive track testing to provide better oil control under extreme demands of high revs and high g-force driving. The elimination of the previous gull wing design reduced the capacity from 6.5 to 5.5 quarts with a dry filter. The engineers furthermore improved airflow by approximately four percent through the exhaust manifolds. With a decrease from four to three millimeters of the wall thickness the mass was further reduced.