1998 Chevrolet Corvette
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1998 Chevrolet Corvette Review
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1998 Chevrolet Corvette categorizes as a sports car manufactured by General Motors under its Chevrolet division. The history of this popular car can be traced back to 1953. The first Corvette sold as a convertible designed by Harley Earl who introduced it at the GM Motorama the same year as a concept car.
Forty years have passed since the first solid-axle Corvette appeared, and the fifth generation of the iconic sports car debuted in 1997. The present Corvette, called the C5, almost did not make it because the Corvette ceased production for some time when the C5 should have begun in 1993.
Engines: 5.7-liter V-8
Transmissions: six-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Chevrolet Corvette coupe, Chevrolet Corvette convertible
The 1998 Chevrolet Corvette comes back to its roots with the introduction of its convertible model this year. The latest Corvette, which debuted as a coupe, has been modified into a convertible in such a way that it does not require any additional structural bracing.
The new convertible models for this year come with a manually folding top that contains a glass rear window fitted with a defroster as well. This marks the first time since 1962 that the Chevrolet Corvette convertible comes with a conventional trunk.
The 1998 Chevrolet Corvette also offers magnesium wheels as an option, and the V-8 engine undergoes some revisions for a quieter performance. The automatic transmission has also been modified so that it can start from second gear, which allows for better acceleration on slippery roads.
The exterior of the 1998 Corvette uses body panels made of inexpensive but light composite materials called SMC or sheet molded composite. This includes a combination of fiberglass and plastics that offer better protection against direct impacts due to their stiffness, and they do not dent easily.
The underlying structure of the Corvette also seems stiff, with its full-length perimeter frame and tubular steel side rails. The styling of the 1998 Chevrolet Corvette departs from the styling of previous-generation Corvettes. While the C4 uses a simplified and more straightened-out version of the C3 fastback, the C5 takes a step backward and has a more curved, graceful appearance in order to capture the aggressiveness of the C3.
Entry and exit for older Chevrolet Corvettes proves difficult because of the tall doorframe sills, but this changes with the 1998 model. While entry and exit still seem as convenient as any other coupe, it proves considerably easier with the 1998 Chevrolet Corvette. For two adults, it offers ample space inside the car.
The dashboard has all the controls properly located and designed, and the instrument panel also proves easy to see and read. Visibility up front remains good with the low cowl, but it gets a little problematic around corners because of the thick roof pillars. In a shift from regular sports car design, the 1998 Chevrolet Corvette actually offers substantial cargo space.
Performance & Handling
The 1998 Corvette only uses an all-aluminum 5.7-liter V-8 engine that delivers 345 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. The engine can mate with a six-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission. Traction control comes standard for both the coupe and convertible.
The 1998 Chevrolet Corvette marks one of the fastest cars in the world. It takes less than 4.7 seconds to go from a standstill to 60 mph, and fuel economy remains pretty decent too, considering the fact that the Corvette serves as a true-to-the-core sports car. The Corvette offers a steering and handling experience comparable to that of some of the best sports cars.
Surprisingly, ride quality feels quite good in the 1998 Chevrolet Corvette, thanks to its stiff chassis, which gives it a sporty performance, and the soft suspension that takes on all the bumps in the road. In fact, the Corvette can even be a daily car, which seems quite astonishing considering its nature.
Crash test data remains unavailable for the 1998 Chevrolet Corvette.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Powerful performance
- Nimble and sharp steering and handling
- Well-designed dashboard controls
- Standard traction control
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy for everyday driving
- Visibility problems
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