Performance is the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette’s middle name. For 2008, it's the ‘Vette’s first and last names too.
Edmunds reports that at Chevrolet, 2008’s Corvette comes in two trims: “The standard Corvette comes with a 6.2-liter, 430-horsepower V-8 coupled to either a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic. (Models previous to 2008 had a 6.0-liter engine and 400 hp.) The Z06 comes with a 505-hp 7.0-liter V-8 mated to a six-speed manual.” They disliked the “the manual transmission's clunky gearchanges.”
Cars.com notes that “the Z06 is 3 inches wider than other Corvettes, and the car's aluminum frame has a magnesium engine cradle. Super-performance engine technology includes such items as titanium connecting rods and intake valves. Chevrolet says the Z06 will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds.”
All the reviewers universally praise the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette powerplant, but most of their discussions are aimed at the enhanced steering that elevated the car to a new level. Motor Trend cites the "tighter machining tolerances for the rack and pinion gears and a stiffer intermediate shaft." Car and Driver states the steering felt "lighter" and "less artificial" with "far less drama."
“A choice of three suspensions (standard, optional Magnetic Ride Control with Sport and Touring modes and track-ready Z51) for the regular Corvette mean there's a setup for everyone, from casual enthusiasts to hard-core apex clippers,” Edmunds reports, “and all provide a fairly smooth ride.”
Equally praised are the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette’s brakes and capable suspension, stopping the car from 70 mph in 161 feet and pulling 0.95 g's on the skid pad. ConsumerGuideAuto warns that a judicious use of the throttle is in order in corners, or the car is prone "to fishtail."
Fuel consumption also merits mention. A coupe with the manual transmission achieved 17.4 mpg. A convertible with the automatic ran 17.7 mpg, but the Z06 needed the most fuel, rating only 14-15 mpg and demanding premium fuel.
TheCarConnection.com drove the new 2008 Chevrolet Corvette and thinks the six-speed manual gearbox is the best choice. Its throws are shorter, and the gearbox has a smoother mechanical feel. 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 2008 Chevrolet 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.