The Chevrolet Corvette maintains its
well-earned status as the automotive and cultural icon that has been
admired and sought after for a generation. For the 2004 model year,
commemorative editions for each Corvette model are available so
enthusiasts can celebrate the racing success of the Chevy flagship.
Also, the top-of-the-line Corvette Z06 - already hailed by enthusiast
magazines as the best combination of performance, comfort and value in
the automotive world - gets even better for 2004 with revised shock
valving based on testing at the legendary Nürburgring race track in
Corvette also has earned two consecutive quality awards from J.D. Power
and Associates and continues to win accolades for its surprising
interior room, cargo space, comfort and fuel economy in a
high-performance sports car.
Only a handful of cars in the history of the industry have shown the
Corvette's ability to capture the fancy of so many consumers and hold it
for so long. As the golden anniversary celebration continues, it is a
testament to the ability of Corvette's engineers to keep the car as
fresh and cutting edge as it was in 1953.
Corvette has remained relevant because it continued to embrace new
designs and technologies such as those featured on the current line:
Magnetic Selective Ride Control, Goodyear EMT "run-flat" tires (coupe
and convertible), active handling and a rear transaxle.
The commemorative editions recognize the
success of the C5-R racing program. In 2002, the Corvette C5 continued
to dominate the field with nine wins in 10 American Le Mans Series
races, also nabbing the 2002 GTS Manufacturer Champion and GTS Team
Champion awards. Combined with a second consecutive victory at the 24
Hours of Le Mans, Corvette continued to make history.
The Commemorative Edition Coupe and Convertible include new Le Mans Blue
paint with Shale interior, special badges and polished wheels. The
convertible's top also is Shale to match the interior.
The Commemorative Edition Z06 also is Le Mans Blue and also includes a
C5-R Le Mans stripe scheme, special badges, polished Z06 wheels and a
lightweight carbon fiber hood.
Z06 Ride Tempered at
Over the period of a month in 2002,
engineers put the Z06 through its paces at Germany's fabled Nürburgring
racetrack to give the definitive street-legal sports car an even better
ride. Since it was completed in 1927, the 12.8-mile (20.6 km)
Nürburgring circuit has been the ultimate challenge for vehicle
dynamics. The course has 177 corners, and in between them is every
conceivable combination of radius, camber and gradient - not to mention
altitude that varies by nearly 1,000 feet (305 m). No other track in the
world places such extreme demands on a vehicle's suspension, brakes and
powertrain, which is why Nürburgring is where the world's finest sports
cars are regularly tested.
After a month in Germany, it was back to General Motors Milford Proving
Grounds, where new shock absorber valving was "dialed in" and balanced
for optimum performance on American roads.
The result is a suspension that feels "more tied down, more glued to the
road," said Harlan Charles, product manager for the Corvette.
Magnetic Selective Ride
The suspensions of the 2004 Corvette
coupe and convertible continue to feature Magnetic Selective Ride
Control, which debuted in 2003. It uses a revolutionary damper design
that controls wheel and body motion with magneto-rheological fluid in
the shocks. By controlling the current to an electromagnetic coil inside
the piston of the damper, the MR fluid's consistency can be changed,
resulting in continuously variable real-time damping. As a result,
drivers feel a greater sense of security, a quieter, flatter ride and
more precise, responsive handling, particularly during sudden,
The system isolates and smoothes the action of each tire, resulting in
less bouncing, vibration and noise. On bumpy or slick surfaces, the
system integrates with traction control to assure maximum stability. It
also works with ABS to keep the vehicle balanced and poised. It is the
only system without electro-mechanical values and no small moving parts.
It consists of MR fluid-based, monotube shock absorbers, a sensor set
and on-board controller.