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Corvette C6 Coupe: the sixth generation of an American legend

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GM Media Press Release

Source: GM Communications of Europe.

For Release: March 2004

Corvette C6 Coupe: the sixth generation of an American legend

New standard of performance car excellence makes European debut in Geneva

GENEVA - The brand new Corvette C6 Coupe, the sixth generation of the ultimate American sportscar, makes its European debut in Geneva. The Corvette C6 delivers more power, passion and precision to reach a new standard of performance car excellence. The new Corvette is proving once again that it can turn dreams into reality.

The exterior of the sixth generation Corvette combines performance technology with expressive style. 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 2005 Corvette into a smaller package would emphasize its potency and the musculature that flexed beneath its tauter surfaces.

An overall length of 4435 mm and an overall width of 1844 mm were established as the target dimensions. Even though 2005 Corvette is now 130 mm shorter and 28 mm narrower than C5, efficient packaging and a wheelbase that is 28 mm inches longer allow 2005 Corvette to maintain current levels of interior room and class-leading cargo space.

Reducing two areas of the Corvette C6 front-end architecture enabled the overall shortening of the car: The front sections of the hydroformed rails were shortened by 60 mm and the fore/aft dimension of the front bumper beam was shortened by 16 mm. At the rear, the length was reduced by more effective positioning of energy-absorbing foam and by shortening the rear fascia and bumper structure. Corvette C6's overall dimensions are similar to those of the Porsche 911, another respected performer on the road and track.

Classic 'egg crate' grille
One key feature of the C6 is the classic 'egg crate' grille, reminiscent of Corvettes from the '50s, combined with exposed, HID Xenon low-beam projector-beam lens and a tungsten-halogen high-beam projector lens. The egg crate grille design is necessary as Corvette C6 switches from the 100 percent "bottom breathing" air intake of C5 to a hybrid air intake of 60-percent front/40-percent bottom, while the fixed headlights offer the advantages of lower weight, less complexity, and superior lighting performance.

Latest C6 Corvette Forum Topics

The front fenders are both more rounded and more sharply defined. They are higher by 10 mm and also feature a beltline crease. Combined with the shortened front overhang, the fenders contribute to a more taut, purposeful front-end design. The appearance of the rear end was kept bold, simple, and emphasizes the shortened rear overhang. Four round taillamps continue as a Corvette rear styling trademark, a tradition that dates back to 1961. Four circular exhaust tips are integrated into the rear diffuser and pick up the circular theme established by the four round taillamps.

All-new interior
The Corvette's stylish exterior is reflected in an all-new interior. The dual cockpit design theme that has been a Corvette hallmark continues and incorporates sophisticated contours, leather-like surfaces that are richer and softer, with added pleasing details including metallic accents and an expressive use of color. A central element of the Corvette C6 interior that includes improved materials, craftsmanship and functionality.

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 aluminium 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.

Corvette utilizes a two-layer composite seat frame that is supported by an aluminium base, giving the seats outstanding structural support, especially in the stiffness of the seat backs themselves. Whether the owner chooses the standard seats or the optional sport versions, they will experience an uncompromising seat that offers comfort for long-distance driving as well as increased lateral support for performance driving.

New technologies
Corvette contains many new electronic technologies including 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. Optional features include a reconfigurable head-up display and a DVD-navigation system with voice activation. An AM/FM radio with CD player and MP3 capability is standard. New technology enhances conventional radio reception despite the antenna being completely concealed within the windshield glass.

A menu-selectable head-up display is projected onto the windshield in front of the driver with vehicle speed and other information. The display is focused so that it aligns with the driver's line of sight on the road ahead, allowing the driver to focus on driving while still being able to monitor vehicle speed and other critical vehicle information. There are two settings: Street and Track; and each setting is preprogrammed to display information that is relevant for each respective - and very different - situation.

Most standard horsepower ever
The new LS2 6.0-liter small-block V-8, which is the standard engine in the Corvette C6, is based on GM's new Gen IV small-block family of engines and raises the bar for standard performance in the Corvette. With peak output levels of 400 horsepower and 295 of torque it has 50 horsepower more than the outgoing model and is the largest, most powerful standard small-block engine ever offered in Corvette's performance history.

The LS2 incorporates several significant changes that help improve performance, reliability and serviceability. An all-new aluminium block casting incorporates provisions for external knock sensors and revised oil galleries; external sensors improve serviceability. The cylinder bore diameter increased to 101.6 mm, increasing displacement from 5.7 to 6.0 liters and the camshaft lift increased to take advantage of increased cylinder head flow, while the engine's compression ratio is raised to 10.9:1 and the "redline" raised to 6500 rpm.

Transmissions
Corvette engineers thoroughly revised the Tremec gear box and added proprietary technology not offered on other automakers' high-performance transmissions. The (standard) Tremec T56 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. A lower fifth gear also gives the Z51 better fuel efficiency and a higher top speed than base models. To increase durability in sustained high-speed situations a transmission cooler is fitted.

The (optional) automatic transmission in the Corvette 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 295 Nm of torque. 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.

Enhanced chassis and suspension
Corvette'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 aluminium cockpit structure - all have been extensively revised to extend Corvette's total performance, with enhanced structural integrity, feel, refinement and quietness.

The short-long arm and transverse leaf spring independent suspension configuration remains, but none of the suspension components have been carried over from C5. 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.

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. The anti-lock braking system is tied into the Active Handling stability system and shares sensors for steering angle, wheel speed, and acceleration and deceleration in all directions. Active Handling stability control influences the attitude of the car by applying braking to individual wheels, but 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, a system which works with the drivers in their spirited driving, rather than against them.

The Corvette C6 Coupe will be available in Europe in October of this year; sales prices have not been disclosed yet.




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