60 Years of the Chevrolet Corvette

We celebrate 60 years of the Chevrolet Corvette as we count down to the seventh-generation's unveiling on January 13, 2013.

December 17, 2012
Since the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette "C7" hasn't yet been introduced, the current, sixth-generation--or C6 Corvette--is arguably the best model to date. First introduced back in 2005, the C6 Corvette carried on with the front engine and rear transmission configuration used in the previous-generation C5. Everything else on the C6 was all-new, and featured exposed headlights for the first time since the 1962 model year. A new 6.0-liter LS2 V-8 engine was also introduced along with the C6 with base horsepower getting a bump up to 400, up from 345 hp produced by the former LS1 mill. The C6 also welcomed in a new navigation system as well. In 2006, the C6 Corvette found 34,021 new homes; 16,598 of which were coupes, 11,151 were convertibles, and the remaining 6,272 were Z06 hardtops. When it came to engine choices, you had two options; the standard-issue 6.0-liter V-8, or the humungous 505-hp 7.0-liter V-8 that came as part of the Z06 package. The Z06 returned in the 2006 model year, bringing with it 0-60 mph times of 3.8 seconds, and a top speed of 198 mph, all in a car that cost about $70,000. Not fast enough for you? In 2009, Chevrolet introduced the most powerful production Corvette ever--and the first one supercharged from the factory. The ZR1 made a colossal 637 horsepower, had a top speed in excess of 200 mph, and is still the king of the hill of American sportscars.
In 2007, the C6 Corvette experienced its best year of sales for its generation with a total of 40,561 units sold for the year. That same year ushered in quicker shifts from the paddles mounted on the side of the steering wheel of automatic transmission models, a problem that dogged the C6 the previous year. A year later, in 2008, the LS3 engine was introduced along with the option of an all-leather interior on the 4LT and LZ3 trims. Yet, despite the leather-trimmed interior, and despite the incredible performance of every available Corvette model--from base to the ZR1--the C6 was still not the car it could be. The seats still felt wonky, flopping forward under hard stops. The interior still felt cheap in many places, and even the leather-covered dash didn't quite feel like real leather. While few could credibly question its performance, it was too easy to pick on the Corvette's aesthetics once again, despite being markedly improved over its predecessor. In fact, if the C7 did nothing but improve the refinement, it would be a huge hit. But rumor has it that Chevrolet did that, and much, much more. Come back soon to find out how much is different.
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