(from GM Press Release) Marking
the sixth generation of its legacy, the 2005 Chevrolet Corvette delivers
more power, passion and precision to reach a new standard of performance
The 2005 Corvette Coupe will be introduced at the North American
International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2004, with production
slated to begin in the third quarter. A convertible version will be
unveiled in the first half of 2004, with its production beginning in
“The C6 represents a comprehensive upgrade to the Corvette,” said Dave
Hill, chief engineer of the Corvette and vehicle line executive for GM
Performance Cars. “Our goal is to create a Corvette that does more
things well than any performance car. We’ve thoroughly improved
performance and developed new features and capabilities in many areas,
while at the same time systematically searching out and destroying every
imperfection we could find.”
The development of the C6 intends to not only replace the outgoing C5
Corvette (1997-2004), but also to create a 21st century Corvette that
both thrills the legions of traditional loyalists and captures the
imagination of a new generation of performance enthusiasts. The formula
from the C5 era remains: extremely high performance capabilities in a
car that offers great style, value and quality, with surprising comfort
for daily driving. The C6 builds on that foundation and reaches beyond
with dramatic increases in performance and refinement, wrapped in a
passionate new design.
The sixth generation Corvette blends technical sophistication with
expressive style. Five inches shorter than the current car, the 2005
Corvette cuts a tighter, more taut profile – with virtually no loss of
usable space. More than just visual, the new dimensions make the car
more agile and “tossable,” with upgrades in handling, acceleration and
braking. At 0.28 coefficient of drag, the C6 is the most aerodynamically
efficient Corvette ever and has improved anti-lift characteristics that
enable improved high-speed stability and confidence.
“The C6 is more competition-influenced – given our championship
experience with Corvette Racing – than any previous Corvette,” Hill
said. “Our goal was a performance car at home in virtually any
environment. That means more than just raw performance. It calls for
improved ride comfort, a precisely-built and technically-sophisticated
interior, and a sleek new body that is fresh and contemporary, while
still instantly recognized as the new Corvette.”
With countless enhancements, ranging from major changes to minor
adjustments, the sixth generation aims to perfect the Corvette formula
of power, passion and precision delivered with great value.
A new LS2 6.0-liter small-block V-8 is
the standard engine in the 2005 Corvette C6. It is based on GM’s new Gen
IV small-block family of engines.
The LS2 raises the bar for standard performance in the Corvette,
delivering estimated peak output levels of 400 horsepower and 400
lb.-ft. of torque. It is the largest, most powerful standard small-block
engine ever offered in Corvette.
Major revisions to the manual and automatic transmissions provide
Corvette with significant improvements geared towards performance
driving. The Tremec six-speed manual gearbox is available with two sets
of ratios, one with more aggressive acceleration characteristics
reserved for Corvette’s Z51 Performance Package that emulates the
performance of the C5’s landmark Z06 model. Improved shifting
characteristics are another major improvement, with new synchronizers
that reduce travel by 10 percent, and a shifter knob that is an inch
shorter and redesigned for greatly improved driver operation.
The Hydra-Matic 4L65-E automatic transmission is an upgraded version of
the C5’s 4L60-E, strengthened and revised to accommodate the LS2’s 400
lb.-ft. of torque. It includes GM’s advanced Performance Algorithm
Shifting, which automatically selects the optimal gear for a given
driving condition, making it a willing accomplice for performance
driving and hard cornering. The transmission now shifts at higher revs
to take advantage of the higher engine output.
Not only does the LS2 engine deliver impressive horsepower, but in a
true measure of real-world efficiency, it also boasts the best
combination of horsepower and fuel economy among the world’s best
performance cars. When the LS2’s 400 horsepower is multiplied by its
22.6 mpg combined city/highway mileage estimates, it yields a total of
9,040. Here’s how the C6 compares with some of its key competitors:
|Porsche 911 GT2
The bottom line? The LS2 gives Corvette power in the range of exotic
cars that cost tens of thousands more, combined with fuel efficiency
better than some family sedans.
The signature of the sixth
generation is an expressive new design that is a worthy extension of the
Corvette lineage, distilling classic Corvette design cues in a
completely fresh and contemporary fashion.
C6 features a taut new body with greatly revised exterior dimensions – 5
inches shorter than the C5, and roughly 1 inch narrower – with excellent
aerodynamics. This new package not only aids the car’s agility and
performance, it also helped designers give the sixth generation a lean,
The new Corvette features more character and flair, expressed in an
absolutely purposeful manner. The car includes larger wheels (18-inch in
front, 19-inch in rear) topped by dramatic fender forms, with a crisp
and tapered rear deck and fascia that support improved high-speed
performance. Compared to the outgoing C5, this new generation Corvette
has much more character in its front and rear fascia areas. The exposed
lamps combine with the grille to create much more of a “face” on the
car. The rear fascia is more expressive and lean, with truly round
taillamps and integrated exhaust tips.
While using the latest advanced computer-aided design techniques, the
styling of the C6 Corvette relied heavily on traditional hand sculpting
and the personal passion of designers and engineers. Sculptors pored
over every millimeter of the car’s surface. The aerodynamic development
combined digital simulations, Corvette Racing experience and more than
400 hours of wind tunnel testing.
The passion on the outside is reflected in an all-new interior. The
twin-cockpit layout incorporates sophisticated contours, leather-like
surfaces that are richer and softer, and pleasing details including
metallic accents and an expressive use of color.
Interior. A central
element of the 2005 Corvette is an all-new interior that includes
greatly improved materials, craftsmanship and functionality. The
interior delivers premium quality with new technology meant to enhance,
not distract from, performance driving. C6 continues the dual cockpit
design theme that has been a Corvette hallmark.
The instrument panel and door trim areas make extensive use of cast
skin, which retains the look and feel of genuine leather with excellent
softness, low gloss and low glare that conveys an overall premium
appearance and quality. Anodized aluminum accents the interior in key
functional areas, such as the manual shift knob and door release
buttons. This material includes a screen-printed appliqué that minimizes
sun glare, and is resistant to temperature changes and fingerprints.
Exterior. The C6 features exposed headlamps, the first time since
1962 that a production Corvette has not had a mechanism to conceal the
lamps when not in use. The fixed Xenon High-Intensity Discharge lamps
provide superior lighting performance in a compact, high-tech package
that integrates seamlessly into the design and aerodynamics of the car.
Technologies. Corvette contains many new electronic technologies
including Keyless Access with push-button start, and optional features
such as a reconfigurable head-up display, DVD-navigation system with
voice activation, XM Satellite Radio and OnStar.
Chassis. As the next logical step in the evolution of GM’s
Performance Car Architecture, C6’s chassis and structure are
significantly enhanced. While the overall design philosophy continues
from the C5 Corvette, the details contain a host of improvements.
The key features of the structure – low weight, high strength, cored
composite floors, enclosed center tunnel, rear axle-mounted transmission
and aluminum cockpit structure – all have been extensively revised to
extend Corvette’s total performance, with enhanced structural integrity,
feel, refinement and quietness. Overall vehicle weight is projected to
mirror the C5, despite mass-increasing features such as larger wheels
and tires, more robust brakes and increased body acoustics and interior
Suspension. None of the suspension bits has been carried over
from C5. The short-long arm and transverse leaf spring independent
suspension configuration remains, but the cradles, control arms,
knuckles, springs, dampers, bushings, stabilizer bars, and steering gear
are all redesigned. The Extended Mobility Tires (EMT) also are new,
taking advantage of the latest sidewall design and compound technology
for run-flat capabilities, and play a critical role in the tuning of the
suspension for excellent handling and comfortable ride.
Ride & Handling. Improvements in ride and handling include
greater lateral acceleration, more body control, less noise transmitted
from the road, and better traction and stability in corners. The
specific tuning changes in the chassis and suspension include suspension
and steering geometry optimized for better handling and ride, advanced
compounds in the tires, new directional control arm bushings, increased
caster angle and greater suspension ride travel. The result is a
Corvette that is more poised at even higher handling levels, yet easier
Suspension Choices. Three suspension choices allow drivers to
choose the setup that best suits their driving style – Standard,
Magnetic Selective Ride Control, and Z51 Performance Package. The
Standard suspension is tuned for a balance of ride comfort and precise
Magnetic Selective Ride Control. The optional F55 Magnetic
Selective Ride Control suspension features magneto-rheological dampers
able to detect road surfaces and adjust the damping rates to those
surfaces almost instantly for optimal ride and body control. Magnetic
Ride Control debuted on the 2003 50th Anniversary Edition Corvette, and
is the world’s fastest reacting suspension, replacing mechanical valves
with nearly instantaneous reactions of magneto-rheological fluid. The
system has been improved for the C6, allowing drivers more
differentiation in character between the system’s two settings, “Tour”
Z51 Performance Package. The Z51 Performance Package brings
Corvette Coupe performance very close to the same level as the widely
admired Z06. The Z51 offers more aggressive dampers and springs, larger
stabilizer bars, and larger, cross-drilled brake rotors for optimum
track performance capability while still providing a well-controlled and
comfortable ride. Extensive racetrack testing reveals that a C6 equipped
with the Z51 suspension almost equals the lap time of a C5 Z06 – marking
a major advance in the overall performance of a Corvette Coupe by nearly
approximating the extreme performance capabilities of the vaunted Z06 at
a remarkable value.
Eliminating Imperfections. The C6 also seeks to eliminate the
little imperfections and potential “dis-satisfiers” that sports car
customers formerly had to accept. All of the major user interfaces – the
hood, the doors, and the rear hatch – have been painstakingly designed
for top quality performance, look and feel. The hood is still
forward-hinged, but is 15 percent smaller, 35 percent lighter, and 40
percent stiffer than the previous Corvette. The rear hatch has a
power-operated single-cinching latch for excellent fit and easy
operation. Doors are stiffer and easier to close, doing so with a more
refined sound. There are no traditional door handles on the 2005
Corvette. The C6 features GM’s Keyless Access with Push Button Start
technology. By detecting the proximity of the key fob, the system both
unlocks the doors and allows it to be started.
The removable-roof panel is 15 percent larger, yet offers the same
structural stiffness as C5’s while weighing just one pound more. The
roof panel comes standard painted body color, or is available with
optional tinted clear or with a dual-roof package. With new indexing
side-window glass and redesigned seals, Corvette is much more free from
wind noise, too. And the many improvements in tires, suspension, and
body structure yield impressive reductions in road noise, while
improving overall quality perception and making long trips that much
In-Depth Rundown of New
Corvette C6 is the result of lessons
learned from C5-R’s successes on the track combined with fresh thinking
about what a 21st century sports car should be. As the next logical step
in the evolution of GM’s Performance Cars Architecture, it takes its
robust and real-world-validated backbone structure and enhances it with
completely new suspension components.
The key features of the backbone
structure – low weight, high strength via hydroformed steel frame rails,
cored composite floors, enclosed center tunnel, rear-mounted
transmission and aluminum cockpit structure – enable C6’s top speed,
world-class handling, quiet ride and fuel efficiency.
Where the structure has been shortened,
it has been strengthened to enhance its crashworthiness. Optimization in
key areas – front rails, front bumpers, and hood-hinges – resulted in a
design that is more robust yet shorter and lighter than its predecessor.
Enhanced structure, all-new
suspension While the foundation has
been enhanced, every suspension component that attaches to it has been
changed – none of the suspension bits have been carried over from C5.
The short-long arm and transverse leaf spring independent suspension
design remains, but the control arms, springs, dampers, bushings,
stabilizer bars, and steering gear are completely redesigned. The
Extended Mobility Tires (EMT) are also new, taking advantage of the
latest compound technology for run-flat capabilities, and play a
critical role in the tuning of the suspension for maximum handling and a
Smoother ride, better
handling Improvements in ride and
handling include greater lateral acceleration, more body control, a more
relaxing ride, less noise transmitted from the road, and better traction
and stability in corners. The specific tuning changes in the chassis and
suspension include suspension and steering geometry optimized for better
handling and ride, advanced compounds in the tires, new directional
control arm bushings, and greater suspension travel achieved through
more clearance in the hub knuckles and dampers. The progressive rates of
the front and rear composite leaf springs have been tuned to take
advantage of the greater travel of the suspension.
The result is a Corvette that is more
poised at higher limits of handling.
“It’s a much more pleasing ride,” says
Mike Neal, ride and handling development engineer for the 2005 Corvette.
“It’s less touchy, it’s less tuggy, it’s better isolated, it’s quieter
for road noise. It’s all of those things and still a better handling
car. Handling is our first priority in the Corvette.”
Three suspension choices allow drivers to
choose the setup that best suits their style of driving. Each of the
choices (Corvette Standard, Magnetic Selective Ride Control, and Z51
Performance Package) provides outstanding handling, but each also offers
drivers the ability to tailor the car’s handling traits to specific
The Standard suspension is tuned for a
balance of ride comfort and precise handling. The optional F55 Magnetic
Selective Ride Control suspension adds to the Standard suspension
magneto-rheological dampers that are able to detect road surfaces and
adjust the damping rates to those surfaces almost instantly for optimal
ride and body control.
The optional Z51 Performance Package is a
competition-ready system for the true performance enthusiast. It offers
more aggressive dampers and springs, larger stabilizer bars, Goodyear
Supercar tires with an asymmetrical tread pattern, and larger,
cross-drilled brake rotors for outstanding handling performance that is
still comfortable for daily driving. Beyond the suspension bits, the Z51
is a total system that takes the “regular” C6 to near-exotic levels of
performance. It features gear ratios borrowed from the previous Corvette
Z06 for maximum acceleration performance, and includes coolers added for
the transmission and power steering systems for aggressive,
track-oriented use. The result is a car that very nearly equals the Z06
in track performance – representing a tremendous value.
Mobility Tires The 2005 Corvette
takes full advantage of the latest advancements in tire technology,
thanks to its long-running partnership with Goodyear. That experience
resulted in Extended Mobility Tires that improve both handling
capability and ride quality. The tires feature new compounds and
sidewall design which permit the tire to absorb impacts yet resist heat
generated by zero-pressure use. The new compounds also provide the
tremendous grip that Corvette buyers require for top performance.
Despite its lower profile, the design of the new sidewall is more
compliant over bumps and impacts, which improves ride comfort while
reducing noise and isolating the car from road surface imperfections.
Goodyear is supplying two different tires, depending on the suspension
package. For the Standard and F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control
suspensions, a standard directional-tread tire is offered for a balance
between handling and ride. The Z51 Performance Package – the choice for
the serious enthusiast – features an asymmetrical-tread tire that offers
maximum handling performance. The wheel and tire sizes are the same for
the Z51 option, which will deliver handling abilities similar to the
2004 Z06, despite the slightly narrower width of the new tires.
More robust brakes
With its increased horsepower and top speed, heartier braking is
critical to C6’s overall balance of performance. The brake systems have
been re-engineered from the previous generation Corvette to provide
improved durability and excellent performance.
The C6 brake system focuses its
improvements chiefly on heat dissipation and durability requisite of the
car’s upgraded overall performance capability. For the Standard and F55
Magnetic Ride configurations, the brake rotors remain the same diameter
as the C5, at 12.8 inches in front and 12.0 inches in the rear. However,
the rotors themselves have been thoroughly redesigned. The front rotors
weigh 2 pounds more than the C5, aiding durability. They also generate
less heat against the brake pads, which improves wear and reduces fade.
In all brake applications, the front calipers utilize dual pistons and
the rears use single pistons.
The Z51 Performance Package extends the
Corvette’s braking capability with larger diameter rotors (13.4 inches
in front and 13.0 inches in rear) that are cross-drilled.
Dynamic chassis control
systems Three standard dynamic
chassis control systems – anti-lock braking, traction control, and
Active Handling – operate in concert to provide a strong, but
unobtrusive safety net for spirited driving.
“Our philosophy for Active Handling is
that it should allow drivers to experience the higher handling limits of
C6 without interfering with their enjoyment of the car,” explains Dave
Hill chief engineer of the Corvette and vehicle line executive for GM
Performance Cars. “Our commitment to continuous improvement has resulted
in the industry’s most sporting stability system available.”
The anti-lock braking system detects and
intervenes to prevent wheel lockup during braking and features four
channels plus a steering sensor. ABS is tied into the Active Handling
stability system and shares sensors for steering angle, wheel speed, and
acceleration and deceleration in all directions. Traction control
initiates individual wheel braking and/or engine torque reduction after
sensing excessive wheelspin. Active Handling stability control
influences the attitude of the car by applying braking to individual
wheels. The optional Magnetic Selective Ride system integrates with
these systems to enhance handling and body control by optimizing damping
rates based on input from changing road surfaces.
In keeping with Corvette’s performance
heritage, and unlike more intrusive systems of some competitors, the
Corvette Team developed a calibration philosophy based on how Corvette
drivers actually drive their cars.
“We felt it was better to calibrate the
system around our knowledge of what our customers are going to do,
rather than a system that intervenes heavily and slows them down,”
explains Hill. “Our intent was to encourage Corvette drivers to keep the
system on. We wanted our Active Handling System to work with the drivers
in their spirited driving, rather than against them.”
In all, the C6’s dynamic chassis control
systems are smarter, less intrusive, and more adept at making the total
driving experience precisely what Corvette owners have come to expect
from their car.
The exterior of the 2005 sixth generation
Corvette is a modern blend of form, function, and emotion. Corvette
combines performance technology with expressive style – attributes
central to Corvette’s well-established mission.
The C6 propels that foundation into the
future with an all-new expression of style that is completely fresh, yet
unmistakably “Corvette.” In terms of function, Corvette also pushes
forward with a body that incorporates state-of-the-art performance
technology and sophisticated quality.
Corvette design reflects its serious
performance. From the very beginning engineers envisioned that that next
Corvette would take a logical step up in performance. That meant a more
powerful car that was also more agile, more “placeable” and “tossable”
on the race track, while also more comfortable in daily driving and at
home in any environment. Distilling the dimensions of C6 into a smaller
package would emphasize its potency and the musculature that flexed
beneath its tauter surfaces.
An overall length of 174.6 inches (4435
mm) and an overall width of 72.6 inches (1844 mm) were established as
the target dimensions. Even though C6 is now 5.1 inches shorter and 1.1
inches narrower than C5, efficient packaging and a wheelbase that is 1.1
inches longer allow C6 to maintain current levels of interior room and
class-leading cargo space. And, yes, there is still room for two golf
Reducing two areas of the C6 front-end
architecture enabled the overall shortening of the car:
- The front sections of the hydroformed
rails were shortened by 2.4 inches (60 mm).
- The fore/aft dimension of the front
bumper beam was shortened by .63-inch (16 mm). The previous beam was
roll-formed; the new beam is made from two C-channels of
high-strength, 180 ksi steel that are seam-welded together.
In the rear, the length was reduced by
more effective positioning of energy-absorbing foam and by shortening
the rear fascia and bumper structure.
C6’s overall dimensions are similar to
those of the Porsche 911, another respected performer on the road and
at 100 yards
The tighter, more athletic dimensions of
the car were not only engineering calculations; in the design studio,
the concept for a leaner, more passionate Corvette was gaining momentum.
In addition, Tom Peters, chief designer of the C6, charged his team with
designing a 21st century performance car that would propel Corvette
forward, not merely reflect on the car’s rich heritage.
“Designing the next Corvette is both
every designer’s dream and a tremendous challenge,” said Peters.
“Everybody has their personal vision of what a Corvette should look
like. Part of what makes Corvette so successful is its sense of history
and heritage. But, in our view Corvette should look forward.”
The driving factor behind the exterior
design was to keep it as fresh and new as possible, yet distill the
passion of Corvette design best exemplified by the classic “mid-year”
Corvettes of 1963 through 1967.
“The flair and personality of those older
Corvettes have stood the test of time,” said Peters. “There are some
basic aesthetic attributes that form the foundation of Corvette design
which are powerful, pure, and simple.”
The following features were identified as
essential to Corvette design and were incorporated into C6:
- An expressive front-end “face”
- A tense, flexed look
- Powerful, dramatic arching fender
- Side extractors
- Round taillamps and their relationship
to the license plate
- Performance-oriented exhaust tips.
“We wanted the C6 to say ‘Corvette’ at
100 yards,” said Dave Hill, chief engineer of the Corvette and vehicle
line executive for GM Performance Cars. “But, it achieves this in a way
that is unmistakably fresh, new and compelling. This is a design in
which the more you look, the more you see.”
Egg crate grille heritage
“An expressive ‘face’ has always been a part of Corvette’s image, and
C6’s new, center-mounted grille continues that tradition,” said Peters.
The grille also is necessary as C6
switches from the 100 percent “bottom breathing” air intake of C5 to a
hybrid air intake of 60-percent front/40-percent bottom. Its egg crate
grille design is reminiscent of Corvettes from both the ’50s as well as
the mid-year cars – a subtle tribute to Corvette’s heritage.
Exposed, HID headlamps
“C6 has exposed headlamps for the first time on a Corvette since 1962,
and believe me, there was a lot of emotional discussion around that,”
said Peters. “We finally settled on exposed headlamps because they fit
the theme for the new Corvette – lean, purposeful, performance
Additionally, fixed headlights offer the
advantages of lower weight, less complexity, and superior lighting
performance. The C6 utilizes a HID Xenon low-beam projector-beam lens
and a tungsten-halogen high-beam projector lens.
The projectors are housed within a
polycarbonate enclosure, which also contains the parking lights,
side-turn markers, and daytime running lights (DRL) for an integrated
appearance. Both lenses are encircled by chrome rings that add a
tasteful touch of brightwork, while the bottom of the headlamp assembly,
or bezel, is body-colored from the factory, and gives C6 an integrated,
In addition to superior lighting
performance, the C6 driver gets improved nighttime aerodynamics,
appearance and “flash-to-pass” capability.
Bulged hood section
“C6 is packing 400 horsepower under the
hood, and we wanted the hood design to reflect that power,” said Peters.
The hood’s center bulge implies “muscle
power” and radiates outward into the front fenders. The cutline for C6’s
hood opening falls in the valley where the fender meets the hood, Peters
“That’s a classic sports car styling
cue,” he said.
Sharp front fenders
“Walking around the front to the side of C6 allows us to appreciate C6’s
handsome profile,” said Peters. “The front fenders are both more rounded
and more sharply defined. They’re higher by about 10 millimeters and
they also feature a beltline crease.”
The fenders carry down tight against the
wheels and retain more definition as they traverse into the central
fuselage. Combined with the shortened front overhang, the fenders
contribute to a more taut, purposeful front-end design.
C6 now offers wheels that are 1 inch
larger in diameter than C5 as standard: 18.0 x 8.5 inches at the front
and 19.0 x 10.0 inches at the rear. The rear wheels are also 0.5 inches
wider than C5’s. C6 five-spoke flangeless wheels are painted silver as
standard; polished aluminum is optional.
Jet fighter profile
C6 continues the Corvette side-profile tradition of a jet-fighter canopy
on a fuselage. Viewed from above, the cockpit style of the car has been
extended to the roof, with more defined dual blisters.
“We looked to inspiration from modern jet
fighters,” said Peters. “The side profile brings to mind the silhouette
of an F22 Raptor – angular and aggressive, but with just the right
amount of curves.”
Corvette’s new Keyless Access system
allows the doors and hatch to operate electronically without exposed
handles and key cylinders, allowing the exterior to be free of any
visual distraction aside from its own sharply sculpted lines.
Bold rear view
“We paid a lot of attention to designing
the rear view of C6,” said Peters. “After all, it’s the view that most
other drivers will see.”
The appearance of the rear end was kept
bold, simple, and emphasizes the shortened rear overhang.
Round rear lamps
Four round taillamps continue as a Corvette rear styling trademark, a
tradition that dates back to 1961 – with variations along the way, such
as rounded squares or oval-shaped lights. As one of the key
characteristics of Corvette identified early on, round taillamps and
their relationship to the license plate were an important styling cue
for C6. Reflector optics give the illuminated taillamps a glow
reminiscent of jet afterburners.
Accommodating license plate
holder The plate holder enables a
more integrated rear-end appearance for C6 when it travels abroad and
projects an image of being at home wherever it might be. The holder
readily accommodates three different plate sizes: the long, narrow
rectangular license plates of the United Kingdom and Europe; the taller,
wider license plates of Japan; and the short, rectangular license plates
of North America.
Crisp roof and decklid
“On the coupe the fender shapes
emphasize crisper transitions and creases that run all the way to the
back of the decklid and draw the eye to the taut body form,” said
A center high-mounted stoplight (CHMSL)
is integrated into the molded black spoiler located on the rear decklid.
The CHMSL is lit using light emitting diodes (LED), as was the lamp on
Diffused rear fascia
“We wanted to enhance the effect of the
skin of the car being drawn down more tightly to the body and also
reduce the visual weight of the rear end,” said Peters. “So we added a
diffuser to the bottom of the rear fascia to enhance air flow and to add
visual interest to the rear of C6.”
Four circular exhaust tips are integrated
into the rear diffuser. The tips exit from the center of the diffuser
and pick up the circular theme established by the four round taillamps.
Framing the rear fascia with the black CHMSL, functional spoiler at the
top and the black diffuser at the bottom produces a narrower cross
section. In this way, the rear of C6 is reduced both dimensionally and
Expressive exterior colors
The 2005 C6 will be offered in eight exterior colors:
- Precision Red (new)
- Daytona Sunset Orange (new)
- Le Mans Blue
- Millennium Yellow
- Magnetic Red
- Machine Silver
- Arctic White
All of the major user interfaces – the hood, the doors, and the hatch –
have been improved for ease of operation. Doing so improves perceived
quality and sets the stage for more favorable impressions behind the
Easier operating hood
The hood is still forward-hinged, but is 15 percent smaller, 35 percent
lighter, and 40 percent stiffer. Closing efforts were reduced while
closing energy increases by 50 percent. The result? A hood that latches
securely from a single position – the driver no longer needs to run to
the opposite side in order to check or secure the hood latch.
Reduced effort hatch
Hatch-closing efforts were reduced thanks to the optimization of
locations for hinges, gas struts, and bumper stops. A power-operated
single-cinching latch makes sure the hatch seals securely every time it
is closed. To make closing more convenient, a hand-hold is designed into
the hatch’s inside bottom edge. Protected from the elements, the
hand-hold stays clean and, to the relief of fastidious Corvette owners
everywhere, and prevents fingerprints from collecting on the edge of the
Doors - Keyless Access with
Push Button Start There are no
traditional door handles on the 2005 Corvette. Instead, it features the
Keyless Access with Push Button Start system, which replaces traditional
door and hatch mechanics with solenoids and electronic actuators.
External handles and key tumblers are replaced by membrane-activated
switches tucked into a pocket behind each door. The door edge is
protected by a small black molding, keeping the finish fingerprint- and
By detecting the proximity of the key
fob, the system both unlocks the car doors and allows it to be started.
With the key fob in a pocket or purse, one can simply approach the car
and touch the pad located on each door and the door unlocks and
unlatches. The ignition is operated via a rocker switch located on the
instrument panel. As long as the fob is somewhere inside the cockpit and
the brake or clutch is depressed, the engine starts at the touch of the
The removable-roof panel is 15 percent larger, yet offers the same
structural stiffness as C5’s and weighs just 1 pound more. The roof
panel is available painted body-color as standard, optional tinted
clear, or with a dual-roof package. With new indexing side-window glass
and redesigned seals, the roof panel system also contributes to a
quieter interior. The simple three-lever release system makes the panel
easier to remove, and the snap-in storage system makes it easier to
stow. Small items, bags or briefcases can now be stored underneath the
panel when it is stowed.
The opening to the air is larger and Corvette now moves through the air
more easily, too. Thanks to more than 400 hours in the wind tunnel, the
shape of the exterior has been optimized for a drag coefficient of .28.
It’s an impressively low number, and even more so when you consider the
C6 has a larger engine with greater cooling needs; shorter front and
rear overhangs; an overall length that is 5.1 inches shorter; and has
wider rear tires, all of which conspire to make reducing drag difficult.
With a targeted top speed of 180 mph,
reducing lift and increasing stability was a critical job in the car’s
development. That’s where the aero experience gained from Corvette
Racing’s C5-R championship-winning efforts paid huge dividends. With
C5-R basically an extension of the “street” car, its race and product
development teams communicate constantly, and knowledge gained in one
program often crosses over into the other. Aero work, thermal analysis,
and tire development are among the most fertile areas of transfer
between these two “worlds” of Corvette.
The new 6.0-liter LS2 is part of the
fourth generation of GM’s small-block engines. The small-block debuted
in 1955 with 265 cubic inches and 195 horsepower. Since then, this
legendary family of engines has been an integral component of Corvette’s
“It’s almost impossible to talk about
Corvette without the small-block,” said Dave Muscaro, GM Powertrain’s
assistant chief engineer of small-blocks for cars. “As Corvette has
grown into a world-class sports car, the small-block has grown with it.
The LS2 is a state-of-the-art engine that draws on a rich heritage of
The LS2 also raises the bar for standard
performance in the Corvette, delivering 400 horsepower at 6000 rpm and
400 lb.-ft. of torque at 4400 rpm – an increase of 50 horses and 40
lb.-ft. of torque over the previous Corvette’s LS1 engine.
“More than dynamometer numbers, the LS2
engine’s range of power and torque is broad and very usable in everyday
driving,” said Muscaro. “This engine is smoother, and more refined, but
at the same time retains tire-thrashing output.”
Design changes for the
better Compared to the Gen
III-based LS1, the LS2 incorporates several significant changes that
help improve performance, reliability and serviceability:
- All-new aluminum block casting
incorporates provisions for external knock sensors and revised oil
galleries; external sensors improve serviceability
- Cylinder bore diameter increased to
101.6 mm (4.00 inches), increasing displacement to 6.0 liters
- Camshaft lift increased to take
advantage of increased cylinder head flow
- Camshaft sensor relocated from the
rear of the block to the front of the block provides room for new oil
- Flat-top piston design with lower ring
tension reduces friction
- Piston floating wrist pins help quiet
- Redesigned, “wingless” oil pan with
cast baffling has reduced mass and provides superior oil control under
high-performance driving maneuvers
- Revised exhaust manifolds are 33
- More efficient ignition coils require
less energy to provide a comparable spark
- Compression raised to 10.9:1
- Larger, 90-mm single-blade throttle
- Reduced-mass water pump design with
improved sealing capability
- Engine “redline” raised to 6500 rpm
- Revised and more powerful engine
controller incorporates all electronic throttle control functions.
- Mass has been reduced by 7 kilograms
on the automatic version.
Cylinder heads for the LS2 are derived
from designs used in previous Corvette Z06 models, including raised
intake ports and an unshrouded-valve combustion chamber design that,
when combined with the engine’s flat-top pistons, produces a more
efficient swirl of the air/fuel mixture. This efficiency enables a
higher 10.9:1 compression ratio, which increases fuel economy and
Valves measure 2 inches for the intake
and 1.55 inches for the exhaust. The valve springs also have been
upgraded to withstand the engine’s increased power and rpm range.
The LS2’s new oil pan was developed to
ensure oil delivery commensurate with Corvette’s high-performance
capability. Extensive track testing has shown the new design to provide
better oil control under the extreme demands of high-rpm/high g-force
driving maneuvers. The elimination of the previous “gull wing” oil pan
design also reduces the engine’s oil capacity from 6.5 quarts to 5.5
quarts with a dry filter.
Engineers also increased the efficiency
and reduced the mass of the exhaust manifolds. Wall thickness of the
manifolds is reduced from 4 mm to 3 mm, eliminating weight and helping
enhance airflow by approximately 4 percent.
“We sweated the details to ensure the
engine maintains a balance between performance and efficiency,” Muscaro
Several of the new features of the LS2
were incorporated as continuous improvements to later versions of the
Gen III engine, including long-life, iridium-tip spark plugs; pistons
with full floating wrist pins; a redesigned water pump that
significantly reduces the probability of a leak; and a stronger,
long-life timing chain.
Building on a proven
foundation The LS2’s Gen IV
architectural roots lie in the proven LS1 5.7-liter Gen III V-8 that was
standard in the Corvette C5. It was an engine that redefined performance
and efficiency expectations of cam-in-block architecture.
Like the venerable small-block engine
introduced in 1955, the modern small-block features a 90-degree cylinder
bank arrangement and 4.40-inch bore centers – the distance between the
center of one cylinder and the center of the next. The Gen IV builds
upon the strengths of the Gen III small-block architecture, including:
Aluminum block with iron cylinder bore
liners: The lightweight block is cast from 319-T5 aluminum with
cast-in-place iron cylinder bore liners. A die-cast aluminum valley
cover and upper deck rails tie together the cylinder banks, increasing
torsional and bending stiffness.
Deep skirt block: Structural
rigidity and operating smoothness is enhanced because the engine block
extends below the crankshaft centerline.
Cross-bolted main caps: Two
horizontal cross bolts for each main bearing cap complement four
traditional vertical main cap bolts and contribute additional strength
and smoothness to the engine’s rotating assembly.
Gerotor oil pump: Simple
and compact in design, the gerotor-style oil pump fits the shallow oil
pan and offers superior pumping capability.
Balanced cylinder head design:
Performance and efficiency is enhanced with identical airflow and energy
direction for each cylinder.
Coil-near-plug ignition: A
separate ignition coil pack and short spark plug wire for each cylinder
maximize the efficiency of the delivered coil energy, enhancing fuel
efficiency and power.
Electronic throttle control (ETC):
Instead of a mechanical linkage between the gas pedal and engine
throttle, an electronic throttle control system improves driveability
and reduces overall system complexity by eliminating typical
conventional mechanical items, such as the idle air control motor,
cruise control module and throttle relaxer (traction control).
Because the LS2’s new engine controller
incorporates ETC commands, the separate ETC module used on the LS1 is no
longer required. This allows faster communication of the controller to
the throttle, as well as reducing the mass and complexity of the system.
Additionally, emissions are slightly improved with the damping of
unnecessary throttle movement.
Improvements to the engine’s crankcase
breathing and ventilation were made similar to the LS6 engine, including
moving the crankcase ventilation system’s PCV valve away from the rocker
covers and into the block valley.
“The small-block V-8 is a powerful and
continually refined package that stacks up with the best engines around
the globe,” said Muscaro. “The Corvette is simply the best way to
showcase its world-class traits.”
Advances in catalyst substrates made possible catalytic converters that
are at the same time more effective and less restrictive for the LS2’s
exhaust. The new converters are mounted closer to the exhaust manifold
for quicker lightoff and reduced cold-start emissions. As a result, the
more restrictive quad catalyst design of the LS1 – with its small,
auxiliary “pup” converters – was not necessary to meet emissions
requirements. An additional benefit of the exhaust system’s development
was the elimination of the LS1’s air injection reaction system.
Subtle adjustments were made to the C6
exhaust system itself to improve its performance. Sharp angles in the
tubing have been replaced with more gradual bends. A larger muffler
volume and tri-flow technology eliminated certain periods prone to
unwanted noise, particularly between 1500 and 2400 rpm. An inline
muffler that flows more efficiently replaces the laterally mounted
muffler in the C5. These changes, coupled with one converter per exhaust
bank, reduced backpressure in the system and contributed to the LS6’s
400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque.
The 2005 Corvette continues to offer drivers thrilling driving dynamics,
whether they prefer shifting or leaving it to the transmission. The
Tremec T56 six-speed manual is standard and the Hydra-Matic 4L65-E
four-speed automatic is optional.
Corvette engineers thoroughly revised the
Tremec gear box and added proprietary technology not offered on other
automakers’ high-performance transmissions. The six-speed transmission
also has revised gearing when selected with the Z51 performance option.
With the Z51, the Tremec is tailored with numerically higher gears to
improve acceleration. Also, a lower fifth gear gives the Z51 better fuel
efficiency and a higher top speed than base models. To increase
durability in sustained high-speed situations, the Z51 and the base
European manual-transmission models have a transmission cooler.
Smoother shifting six-speed
C6 Corvette drivers will find more pleasing, performance-oriented shifts
with the six-speed transmission. They’re smoother and more precise, with
shorter overall throws. The gear shift lever is now an inch shorter, and
travel for all synchronizers is reduced by 10 percent. An all-new shift
linkage and shift-rail bearings contribute to a more positive, confident
feel. Computer Aided Gear Selection (CAGS) continues as a fuel-economy
enhancement function for the manual transmission.
Durable 4L65-E delivers
automatic performance The available
automatic transmission in the C6 is the new Hydra-Matic 4L65-E
four-speed. An upgraded version of the C5’s 4L60-E, the “L65” is
strengthened and revised to accommodate the LS2’s 400 lb.-ft. of torque.
To beef up the internals, a five-pinion
planetary gear set was added – replacing a four-pinion gear set. The
extra gear reduces friction and loads carried by all the gears. The
washers between the gear sets are made from Teflon, allowing optimal
operation at high speed.
For protection from the high temperatures
that are generated by high speed, a four-plate oil cooler has been
added. When the transmission fluid reaches 127 degrees Celsius
(approximately 260 F), the torque converter lock does not disengage,
except briefly during shifts. This prevents fluid shear in the torque
converter from adding heat to the transmission.
The 4L65-E uses a highly advanced
electronic controller that has been specifically calibrated for
Performance Algorithm Shifting. This technology automatically selects
the optimal gear for a given driving condition, making it a willing
accomplice for performance driving and hard cornering. The 4L65-E
transmission shifts at higher rpm, compared to the C5’s 4L60-E, to take
advantage of the LS2’s higher horsepower and rev range.