PDA

View Full Version : May 2004: C6 Corvette Design: Reality or Restraint?



Rob
05-04-04, 11:38 AM
C6 Corvette: Reality or Restraint?

<img src="/images/columns/wheelspin/wheelspin2.gif" alt="" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="left" />It's always interesting to sit back and read all the love/hate mail that gets published in car magazines after a new generation of Corvette is unveiled. As soon as the fake body panels, plastic shrouding, duct tape and plastic chunks are removed from the prototypes, and the final production version is shown to the public, the Corvette community mutates into a feeding frenzy of blood-thirsty sharks nipping and tearing at the newest Corvette's tucked and tightened body.

The lines are immediately drawn, and the camps develop. On the one side, you have the enthusiasts who absolutely love the car. And on the other side, you have the enthusiasts that now consider themselves to be ex-enthusiasts, taking every chance they get to bemoan, belittle and incinerate, the car, the engineers, Chevrolet and all of GM.

<img src="/specs/2005/images/508_13sm.jpg" border="1" alt="" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="right" />Did Corvette engineers fail with the new C6? Did they do a poor, shoddy, lazy job at designing the next generation of our pride and joy? Could they have gone much further with it? Should they have gone much further with it? Well, lets take a brief look back into Corvette design in history...

In looking at the 1953 - 1962 Corvettes, "C1" as we call them, also known as the first generation of Corvette, we see some very significant changes in design. The 1962 model looks nothing like the 1953 model.

The second generation, or 1963-1967 models are once again, a drastic change in design from the first generation models. In 1968, the third generation of Corvette hits the streets featuring a radical design change from the previous generation. This design will end up becoming the longest production run of any Corvette generation thus far.

In 1983/1984, the fourth generation of Corvette is unveiled and yet again, we see another radical change in design. Not as radical as the change from C2 to C3 production, but still, it was a significant redesign in Corvette history.

In 1997, the fifth generation of Corvette is unveiled to the public and as expected, fan-fare was mixed. It featured an obvious redesign compared to the C4 generation, but radical? In some ways, yes, and in some ways no. From an engineering perspective, it was a radical change for the most part, but from a design perspective, you could still see the evolutionary changes in the skin from the C4. The "visual" redesign was not as radical, again as we see in going from the C2 to the C3 generation. Is it possible that we could be seeing a "slow down" in the Corvette's evolutionary design?

<img src="/specs/2005/images/508_10sm.jpg" border="1" alt="" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="left" />So now that the sixth generation of Corvette is prancing around in its birthday suit, a large group of enthusiasts are stark raving mad. Why? Because even though it's a new generation, visually, it doesn't look much different than the previous generation. Regardless of what it may look like, as Corvette engineers have stated, 80% of the parts used in the car are new. They basically stated all along it would not be revolutionary, but evolutionary in design. For all intents and purposes, the redesign is not radical at all, and nowhere near the degree of change we have seen from previous generations.

In my opinion, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Let's face it, the C5 is a damn good Corvette, and until the C6, it is the best Corvette yet. It does a tremendous job at meeting the needs and demands of a finicky segment of the market, and you can't deny the fact that it is the best bang for the buck out there. That's one of the things that the Corvette has always been well known for. From the hydroformed steel frame rails, to the chassis/suspension setup, Chevrolet has one hell of a winner in the C5 and they know it.

So if you have a real winner on your hands, why look a gift horse in the mouth? Why invest an astronomical amount of money into developing a complete and radical redesign when all that's really needed, is a makeover that will greatly improve upon what has already been established?

<img src="/specs/2005/images/508_14sm.jpg" border="1" alt="" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="right" />A couple of the main goals of the Corvette engineers for C6 was to continue getting the weight out and increase quality, features, and potential without adding more weight. From the pre-production prototypes that we've seen so far, it's fair to assume that they're not too far off the mark.

So what if there is an apparent similarity between the look of the C5 and C6? Is this really a bad thing? Let's take a brief look at Porsche design.

For 40 years, Porsche has been building incredible sports cars capable of attracting many different customers from all types of income levels. From the Porsche Boxster to the $400,000+ Carrera GT, one thing remains visually apparent - design. You can't mistake the obvious look of a Porsche.

In looking at the design changes of the Porsche 911 over the years, I think it's fair to say, that model has never really seen a radical design change like the Corvette has seen during its lifetime. Yet, the Porsche continues to win on the street, the track, and in the hearts of its owners and enthusiasts. You could say, that Porsche has a winning and accomplished design theme on their hands.

So isn't it possible to say, that maybe...just maybe, Corvette engineers have a winning and accomplished design theme on their hands for the first time in Corvette history? In my opinion, I think so.

As for the pictures of the C6 front license plate we've been seeing...let's just leave that for another topic on another day. ;)

Comments, rebuttals, insults? Let's hear 'em! :D

-Rob

Related Links: C6, Naked and Exposed: Corvette Action Center's First Look at the 2005 Corvette (http://corvetteactioncenter.com/specs/2005/intro.html)

warren s
05-04-04, 11:50 AM
The reality is simple, no matter what the product is, a Corvette or a shopping cart, there will always be some who like it and some who dont.

The trick is to get at least 20,000 folks a year to buy it.

Brett
05-04-04, 12:02 PM
I agree that Corvette should have a "common" design to its generations. I believe the car "found itself" with the C3 design, and it hasn't strayed from that since.

I've never understood the people that complain that the C6 looks too much like the C5. The comments "C5.5", etc.

Like the article said, the evolution has slowed now. Sharks (no pun intended) havn't changed for millions of years. Making cosmetic changes just for the sake of making changes is silly.

However, for me, that issue is a strawman. My problems with the C6 have never been that it looks too much like the C5.:)

By the way, who wrote that article?

Rob
05-04-04, 12:05 PM
By the way, who wrote that article?Who wrote what article?

Brett
05-04-04, 12:46 PM
The Wheel Spin: C6 Corvette: Reality or Restraint?

That you just posted.:)

Rob
05-04-04, 12:48 PM
The Wheel Spin: C6 Corvette: Reality or Restraint?

That you just posted.:)I wrote it.:o

Yoda
05-04-04, 02:13 PM
C6 Corvette: Reality or Restraint?Did Corvette engineers fail with the new C6? Did they do a poor, shoddy, lazy job at designing the next generation of our pride and joy? Could they have gone much further with it? Should they have gone much further with it? Well, lets take a brief look back into Corvette design in history...

Comments, rebuttals, insults? Let's hear 'em! :D

-Rob
Rob, as usual your article raises good points and opens the door for conversation surrounding the subject matter ;)

First and foremost, I like the new C6 design.

The question I raise is calling this a “New Generation” the C6?? In my way of thinking a New Generation should be “revolutionary in design, not evolutionary!

I mean it should be completely removed from the previous generation by either Technical and/or Mechanical design, or be so visually different that it leave the previous generation looking obsolete.

Past “Generation Changes”
The C1 with exception of the engine and a few body changes is the same car…
The C2 goes to new designed suspension and the unmistakable front end with the beginning of the hidden head lights...
The C3, while maintaining most of the suspension changes from the C2 goes to new heights with body design…
The C4, I believe the most prolific changes came with the C4. A total redesign from the ground up. The C4 set the automotive industry on it’s ear. Corvette design brings a competitor to the world market...
The C5, here again ground up design and performance that brings world respect and a body that is unmistakably Corvette, just sit in one and all the negative stories and naysayers are brought back into the Corvette fold...

I don’t see the 2005 Corvette worthy of being dubbed the C6 a “New Corvette Generation.” Where are the revolutionary changes in either the technical, mechanical or the body to warrant calling this Corvette by a new Generation!…

Until I see one coming at me out on the highway or one approaching from my rearview mirror, I’m sorry but this old boy thinks the C6 is an extension of the present C5 and falls into the C5 class, much like the way a 1968 and the 1982 fall within the C3 Generation.

DkBG
05-04-04, 03:34 PM
Rob , I enjoyed the article and I really love the C-6 . But I also agreed with about everything said in the other's comments so far , such as Warren's remark about it being impossible to please everyone . Now as for Rare's comment about it not being a new generation , well that may be valid but I really don't care . ( No offense intended ) . I only care what they are giving us and what they are charging us for it . In my opinion the C-5 is a world class car . Be it revolutionary or evolutionary , if the C-6 is an improvement over the C-5 , then I think Chevrolet is to be commended . They are giving us one of the best cars the world has known , keeping it decidely Corvette and keeping the price way below what the Euro cars , in it's class , are selling for . What more can you ask for ? Cliff

LT4man
05-04-04, 11:55 PM
I do not think anyone will mistake a C6 for a C5 when it hits the streets. I think the design of the C6 is unique. The sharp lines of the C6 are not the same as the rounded lines of the C5. IMHO I believe that the Corvette designers have hit a grand slam. Of course, a few years will have to pass before a lot of us will understand that. I love my LT4. But in 1997, I could picture myself in a C5. Now in 2004, I can picture myself in a C6. What a wonderful predicament for a Corvette lover to be in!
BTW Rob, enjoyed the article!

BlackZ28Turbo
05-05-04, 12:16 AM
Great observation Rob. I love my C5 and will most likely be adding a C6 to the stable next year. I need another rag top and the convertible C6 is the best looking car I have ever seen.

LongTimer
05-05-04, 03:20 AM
For 40 years, Porsche has been building incredible sports cars capable of attracting many different customers from all types of income levels. From the Porsche Boxster to the $400,000+ Carrera GT, one thing remains visually apparent - design. You can't mistake the obvious look of a Porsche.

In looking at the design changes of the Porsche 911 over the years, I think it's fair to say, that model has never really seen a radical design change like the Corvette has seen during its lifetime. Yet, the Porsche continues to win on the street, the track, and in the hearts of its owners and enthusiasts. You could say, that Porsche has a winning and accomplished design theme on their hands.
Rob, You and I have bantered about this before so you know that I agree with nearly all of your post. However, let's expand on one of the big reasons for the sucess of Porsche, OK? True the 911 has not changed significantly in layman eyes for many, many years - though we all know that MANY changes have ocurred in the chassis and engine areas. But another thing that has added to Porsche's success is the addition of lower and upper end models which, as you know, I endorse for Corvette. Beginning with the 914, 924 based cars, and now the Boxster, Porsche has been grooming their version of entry level buyers for decades now. Although less than successful with the 928 Porsche has always mangaged to have upper end cars available and they are doing it again.

I would like to see 3 completely different vettes offered on three chassis. The new Kappa platform would be a great chassis to fit a high tech V6 into to do battle with the 350Z's market segment. No change to the "middle" C6 offering would be required in my scenario, but the Blue Devil must be produced and on a unique chassis with a unique look and unique power. If all three models were offered, vette could spin off into it's own division and be sold on any qualifying GM dealer's lot. Qualification would require the devotion of certain dealer resources for selling and servicing vettes. JMHO.

Rob
05-05-04, 07:50 AM
Rob, You and I have bantered about this before so you know that I agree with nearly all of your post. However, let's expand on one of the big reasons for the sucess of Porsche, OK? True the 911 has not changed significantly in layman eyes for many, many years - though we all know that MANY changes have ocurred in the chassis and engine areas. But another thing that has added to Porsche's success is the addition of lower and upper end models which, as you know, I endorse for Corvette. Beginning with the 914, 924 based cars, and now the Boxster, Porsche has been grooming their version of entry level buyers for decades now. Although less than successful with the 928 Porsche has always mangaged to have upper end cars available and they are doing it again.

I would like to see 3 completely different vettes offered on three chassis. The new Kappa platform would be a great chassis to fit a high tech V6 into to do battle with the 350Z's market segment. No change to the "middle" C6 offering would be required in my scenario, but the Blue Devil must be produced and on a unique chassis with a unique look and unique power. If all three models were offered, vette could spin off into it's own division and be sold on any qualifying GM dealer's lot. Qualification would require the devotion of certain dealer resources for selling and servicing vettes. JMHO.I agree with you 100% on this, and I know that you and I have discussed this before and feel the same about this issue.

I was going to mention this in my article, but decided to keep it out as I wanted to focus strictly on the design rather than the marketing potential of the platform.

However, since you brought it up, the one thing that comes to mind here, and I hate to even mention the word because I totally dislike the car and its quality but.......Saturn.

Personally, I like what GM has done with Saturn in terms of marketing the platform. It is its own car with several different models and its own dealerships. Unfortunately, I think the design is butt-ugly and the quality is comparable to a Yugo or an old '60s Jaguar E-type with Lucas electronics. If you know anything about either of these cars, you'll get the picture.

If GM moved the Corvette into the direction of Saturn in terms of its marketing with a couple different models and its own dealerships, I think it would be very cool.

Again....just my humble, unprofessional opinion. What the hell do I know anyway....I'm just some web wonk.:L

JBsC5
05-05-04, 08:17 AM
Rob,

That was a truly enjoyable read. Thank you.

As far as an opinion on the new C6. It surely makes sense to evolve the existing C5, refine the areas that might have needed attention...and for the most part creating the performance of a C5Z06 in both coupe and convertible format..along with additional refinements to improve the ownership and driving experience..

The Corvette team hit a home run...

Sure I don't like the three little bulbs I keep seeing in the headlight buckets..but thats just me and an easy aftermarket fix....(lightly smoked headlight lens)

Change whether its good or bad...tends to be tough to process...and that includes Corvette Sports Enthusiasts..

When the Detroit Show opens next January...Thats when all Hell breaks loose..

Thanks again for a great read..Excellent and appreciated..

JB

Rob
05-05-04, 08:27 AM
The question I raise is calling this a “New Generation” the C6?? In my way of thinking a New Generation should be “revolutionary in design, not evolutionary!

I mean it should be completely removed from the previous generation by either Technical and/or Mechanical design, or be so visually different that it leave the previous generation looking obsolete.

Bud,

Interesting points, and in some ways, I'd have to agree. In looking at the C1 generation, the '53, '54, '55 were all very similar. It wasn't until 1956 that we saw the first apparent redesign/makeover, and then again in 1958, we see even less of a redesign/makeover with most of the changes apparent in the front-end of the car.

However, this raises the question, should the defining criteria of a generation be strictly design, strictly engineering, or a combination of both?

With the C6, it seems to me like an equal amount of redesign and re-engineering went into the car, possibly with a heavier percentage of change seen in the design over the engineering aspect? I don't know...I'm making assumptions at this point.

Edmond
05-05-04, 09:18 AM
The thing I can't understand about people liking it or not liking it is that no one has driven one yet. I'm sure with the technology and engineering that GM has put into the C6, a drive will shut many of us up.

We're liking or hating the car because of it's looks. Sure, they've released preliminary performance features but no one knows how it truly feels.

We can't forget that the standard for Corvette's is raised every year and especially with every new generation unveiled. Have we raised the expectations too high?

c4c5specialist
05-06-04, 05:52 AM
Hi there,
Personally, I love every Corvette out there, but in this case even moreso.
Outside of the basic frame design platform, every part of this car is new.
Systems integration, noise reduction, powerplant and driveline, comfort, ease of driving, has been substantially improved upon.
Revolution, yes, absolutely.
Drive one, and you will see for yourself.
Allthebest, c4c5:hb

doylede
05-09-04, 12:02 AM
Rob,

You're dead on. The C5 is the culmination of almost 50 years of Corvette refinment. People who think the C6 should be a radical departure are throw-backs to the 50's when Detroit just changed the sheet metal evey year. These are the same folks that believe NASCAR is STOCK CAR RACING.

Your analogy to the Porsche is very apt.

The C5 is the best ever Corvette. The C6 MAY improve on the C5. Adding power is a good start. The claimed cd of .28 improves the C5 cd of .29. But looking at the C6 front, it is hard not to decide that drag will be increased. Drag is the product of cd and effictive frontal area. Does the C6 have more frontal area than the C5? Sure looks like it.

But the C6 claims 180 top speed over the 174 of my 2000. That seems a waste of 50 extra HP.

All of this is nit-picking. The good thing and the right thing is that the C6 draws on the C5. As your Porsche reference shows, when you get it right, refine it.

Evolution1980
05-09-04, 12:55 PM
However, let's expand on one of the big reasons for the sucess of Porsche, OK? True the 911 has not changed significantly in layman eyes for many, many years - though we all know that MANY changes have ocurred in the chassis and engine areas. But another thing that has added to Porsche's success is the addition of lower and upper end models which, as you know, I endorse for Corvette. Beginning with the 914, 924 based cars, and now the Boxster, Porsche has been grooming their version of entry level buyers for decades now. Although less than successful with the 928 Porsche has always mangaged to have upper end cars available and they are doing it again.

I would like to see 3 completely different vettes offered on three chassis...
LongTimer,

Unless I'm reading you wrong, I'd have this to say about your thoughts...
You mention that Porsche has done well by diversifying their product line. The 911 not changing much, the 914, 924, etc... But to compare this to vette is a little bit off. Porsche needs to be compared to GM and the vette needs to be compared to the 911. To say that there should be other vettes just like there are different Porsches, I think the correct analogy is that GM needs to create other models just like Porsche creates other models. Or at least create a the vette on another platform. That exact thing essentially already happened, and continues to happen to some extent.

GM did create other platforms for other levels of buyers. The Camaro, the Firebird were those cars. They were the 914, the 924. Granted, they never really had a boxter comparison unless you would consider that one Pontiac prototype 'vert (I forget the name). And you still have the 'vette' being released on other platforms. The new GTO, and the Caddies to name a couple off the top of my head.

So I think GM does in fact diversify just like Porsche. They just may not do it as well for whatever reasons. But the Corvette is simililar to the 911 or Carrera as the car pretty much been the pinnacle of the respective companies offerings. (With the execption that Porsche plays in the supercar field much much more than GM. Who's going to buy a $200K GM vehicle???)

Edmond
05-09-04, 06:52 PM
Who's going to buy a $200K GM vehicle???


You never know. There are a people who are going to shell out $140K for the Ford GT when it's out.

We can't compare Porsche and GM; it's like apples and oranges. Porsche is a specific line and GM is the whole company. If we compared Porsche and Vette', that would be different.

Hib Halverson
05-09-04, 07:46 PM
The thing I can't understand about people liking it or not liking it is that no one has driven one yet.


That will change in a little more than a month and you'll read about it hear on CAC in a little under two months. I can't be more specific until Rob makes his announcement about the second round of CAC's C6 coverage.

Rob....



I'm sure with the technology and engineering that GM has put into the C6, a drive will shut many of us up.


That's an understatment.



But the C6 claims 180 top speed over the 174 of my 2000. That seems a waste of 50 extra HP.


The observed top speed GM states for the C6 targa is 186 not 180. That's 12mph faster than a stock C5 Targa might go, but I have to ask c4c5specialist if that "174" is his observed top speed for his 2000 or what he thinks it might do?

At those speeds, it takes a ton of horsepower to go faster so my guess is 12mph is all 50hp will get ya. I should note that the 186 was done at the Desert Proving Ground

04cmnthru
05-09-04, 08:24 PM
Its cost a lot of R&D money nowadays to produce a completely new car and car companies are having a tough time at making real money in today's environment. For example, just getting a vehicle Federally certified costs a boat load of cash. Also, production costs are only part of the story - you may have heard of GM's outstanding pension liabilities. My point is that most car companies cannot affort to introduce really "revolutionary" redesigns - most of what is offered is based on a mix of old and new.

I assume that is part of the reason Chevy purposefully went to an evolutionary design to save some money somewhere along the line. And while I agree that the design is evolutionary, they did put money into the engineering that gives us 50 more hp, better handling, improved service intervals, improved materials, and better build quality - so it may be more "revolutionary" than meets the eye. And many of the changes were things Vette owners were complaining about - so give them credit for listening. And to top it all off, Chevy has to hit a price "bogey" or the car will lose its customer base - Chevy still has to have some "volume" in sales.

Just remember that the C2 and C3 were alot more alike than different - i.e., chassis was basically unchanged as were engines, trans etc. The techology really wasn't that radical although the body design was. I guess its where do you want your money. For me, I want it in performance and build quality.

ALthough the car design is not a radical departure, it certainly stays true to the heritage and won't be mistaken for anything else. Peace.

Edmond
05-09-04, 09:30 PM
I assume that is part of the reason Chevy purposefully went to an evolutionary design to save some money somewhere along the line. And while I agree that the design is evolutionary, they did put money into the engineering that gives us 50 more hp, better handling, improved service intervals, improved materials, and better build quality - so it may be more "revolutionary" than meets the eye.


I agree with the saving money part. However, I do not agree that they put money into the engineering to give us 50 more hp or better handling.

Those 50 more hp were already around and they just used tried and true methods. They didn't have to do any new research or development; IMO, that was already there with the current Z06 line. And that's with less displacement. In terms of handling, it was again there with the current Z06 line.

Evolution1980
05-09-04, 11:06 PM
We can't compare Porsche and GM; it's like apples and oranges. Porsche is a specific line and GM is the whole company. If we compared Porsche and Vette', that would be different.Who is the parent company of Porsche?

Edmond
05-09-04, 11:16 PM
Who is the parent company of Porsche?

:confused Don't know the answer to that one. I know someone here does.

04cmnthru
05-10-04, 08:14 AM
I agree with the saving money part. However, I do not agree that they put money into the engineering to give us 50 more hp or better handling.

Those 50 more hp were already around and they just used tried and true methods. They didn't have to do any new research or development; IMO, that was already there with the current Z06 line. And that's with less displacement. In terms of handling, it was again there with the current Z06 line.Generally agree but still think the C6 represents some R&D and engineering "creative thinking". The C6 engine has to undergo its own emissions and durability testing to meet Federal standards and quality control since it is a new engine. While the general "technology" has been there, its application is not exactly a no brainer. If 50 ponies were that easy to pick up, then I don't know why there are so many posts on this forum of owners having to spend several thousand dollars to get them - and still we read of posts where daily drivability is affected. So, IMHO, 50 hp requires some engineering both in terms of making it and making it useful (putting it on the ground).

If as Chevy says the new Vette has over 80% new parts, then there certainly is R&D involved. I agree that the handling was there in the Z06 if thats what Chevy wanted the base car to be - but they didn't - we all know that the Z06 is has an edge that the base C5 doesn't have. You won't find that "edge" in the base C6 either (from what I have read).

Edmond
05-10-04, 08:31 AM
Generally agree but still think the C6 represents some R&D and engineering "creative thinking". The C6 engine has to undergo its own emissions and durability testing to meet Federal standards and quality control since it is a new engine. While the general "technology" has been there, its application is not exactly a no brainer. If 50 ponies were that easy to pick up, then I don't know why there are so many posts on this forum of owners having to spend several thousand dollars to get them - and still we read of posts where daily drivability is affected. So, IMHO, 50 hp requires some engineering both in terms of making it and making it useful (putting it on the ground).

If as Chevy says the new Vette has over 80% new parts, then there certainly is R&D involved. I agree that the handling was there in the Z06 if thats what Chevy wanted the base car to be - but they didn't - we all know that the Z06 is has an edge that the base C5 doesn't have. You won't find that "edge" in the base C6 either (from what I have read).

I think the increase in displacement would require the engine to not work as hard to make power as a smaller engine.

IMO, I think the C6 is going to raise the bar higher. And when the Z06 version comes out; watch out! :_rock I can only imagine what they have in store for that car. If Chevy can mass produce the C5 Z06 and sell it at that price with a 350; I can only wonder what they'll do with more displacement and determination.

04cmnthru
05-10-04, 09:47 AM
I think the increase in displacement would require the engine to not work as hard to make power as a smaller engine.

IMO, I think the C6 is going to raise the bar higher. And when the Z06 version comes out; watch out! :_rock I can only imagine what they have in store for that car. If Chevy can mass produce the C5 Z06 and sell it at that price with a 350; I can only wonder what they'll do with more displacement and determination.
I am with you on that - Vettes will continue to offer the best overall performance value and that's something to get excited about - - gotta be able to kick azz on Vipers and future Cobras. Peace

:beer

Edmond
05-10-04, 11:51 AM
I am with you on that - Vettes will continue to offer the best overall performance value and that's something to get excited about - - gotta be able to kick azz on Vipers and future Cobras. Peace

:beer

Oh yeah, Corvette's can definitely hang with them. I'm not flaming here, but I talk to people who hardly know anything about cars and all they say is, "Yeah, the Viper has a V10. The Corvette only has a V8." Or they'll say, "The Viper is $80,000 and the Corvette is only $50,000." Someone needs to explain to those people that there isn't an absolute correlation between price/cylinders and performance.

But I think the C5 owners have taken an image beating. I think the stereotype of a C5 owner is the guy who only takes his car out on the weekend when it has 0% chance of rain and plays golf and goes 5 under the speed limit. The stereotype seems to be some old guy who can't have fun anymore. Of course, those are the opinions of people who have never owned a Corvette before.

Cape Cod Bob
05-10-04, 05:35 PM
My 20 minute ride in a C6 6-speed with Z51 performance package is that it's a ZO6 but the top comes off and you have all that luggage space in the rear. Shifts better and the throw is shorter. Interior is nicer and the new runflats are excellent. Sound system rocks! Handling is as good as my ZO6 from what I could gather on a fast run through the back roads of Bowling Green.
Only negative is the front plate goof. I'm trying to think if this is the 1st year Corvette has not provided a built-in front license plate spot...or the 1st year on a Corvette where 3 holes have to be DRILLED into the front of the car to attach a front plate.

Bob

Rob
05-11-04, 08:01 AM
My 20 minute ride in a C6 6-speed with Z51 performance package is that it's a ZO6 but the top comes off and you have all that luggage space in the rear. Shifts better and the throw is shorter. Interior is nicer and the new runflats are excellent. Sound system rocks! Handling is as good as my ZO6 from what I could gather on a fast run through the back roads of Bowling Green.
Only negative is the front plate goof. I'm trying to think if this is the 1st year Corvette has not provided a built-in front license plate spot...or the 1st year on a Corvette where 3 holes have to be DRILLED into the front of the car to attach a front plate.

BobBob,

Thanks for sharing your experiences with the C6!

1g1yy
05-15-04, 08:16 PM
I'm sure the C6 is an improvement over the C5 in many ways -- but I kinda like the flowing lines of the C5 better.

There is one area in which the C6 is a disappointment to me. ( Actually I am glad of it because it means I will have no great desire to trade my C5 on a C6! )
You see, I have muscular dystrophy and my legs are now so weak that I cannot depress a clutch pedal. This means I have to be happy with an A4 now. I will only consider trading in my C5 when GM develops a paddle shifted 5 speed automatic. There are many like me who, for various reasons, need an automatic. It does NOT mean we don't care about performance. One of the main reasons I bought a Corvette is because it is one of the few cars I could afford that still performs well with an automatic. But it is high time GM put a worthy automatic in the Corvette. So, I guess I will be waiting on the C7!

doylede
05-16-04, 12:51 AM
I'm sure the C6 is an improvement over the C5 in many ways -- but I kinda like the flowing lines of the C5 better.

There is one area in which the C6 is a disappointment to me. ( Actually I am glad of it because it means I will have no great desire to trade my C5 on a C6! )
You see, I have muscular dystrophy and my legs are now so weak that I cannot depress a clutch pedal. This means I have to be happy with an A4 now. I will only consider trading in my C5 when GM develops a paddle shifted 5 speed automatic. There are many like me who, for various reasons, need an automatic. It does NOT mean we don't care about performance. One of the main reasons I bought a Corvette is because it is one of the few cars I could afford that still performs well with an automatic. But it is high time GM put a worthy automatic in the Corvette. So, I guess I will be waiting on the C7!
I agree with your comment about the lines of the C5. Using 50 HP as bait, GM has reshaped a classic. The C2 and the C5 will, I believe, be the two classic Vettes in the future.

Regarding the manual/auto part of your message, while I don't have any medical condition other than old injuries, arthritis and high mileage with poor service, I agree with your request for a paddle shifted manual. This type of transmission is just BETTER. Since GM buys the manual in the Vette, perhaps they can buy a paddle shifted manual without using it as an excuse to add big bucks to the Vette price.

Have hope, the A4 is still available on the C6 Coupe and Vert. In fact, it is new and improved? with a downshift for corners feature and sufficient added strength to handle the 400 ft-lb of the LS2.

Rob
05-19-04, 09:55 AM
Regarding the manual/auto part of your message, while I don't have any medical condition other than old injuries, arthritis and high mileage with poor service, I agree with your request for a paddle shifted manual. This type of transmission is just BETTER. Since GM buys the manual in the Vette, perhaps they can buy a paddle shifted manual without using it as an excuse to add big bucks to the Vette price.
My opinion is still out on a paddle-shifting transmission. The concept is neat. I understand that it's used in various types of car racing. Admittedly, I have not driven a paddle-shifter equipped car before so I might absolutely love it, or I could totally hate it.

I do know one thing, there is nothing like grabbing hold of a short-throw stick shift, and running through the gears. In a car that I use for commuting back and forth to work, I usually want an automatic simply because it's a pain in the rear to be shifting in and out of 1st and 2nd gear incessantly in stop and go traffic.

However, when it comes to a sports car used for sporting driving, etc., give me a manual stick-shift any day. :)

JBsC5
05-19-04, 10:08 AM
How bout if you could have both?


Forget paddles for a minute and imagine a shifter just like you have now..

That could cut 2 more seconds out of your zero to 100mph run times..

Zeroshift being implemented in Europe for factory TVR's (similiar in concept to Corvettes) and I have been in contact with them on their prototype Tremec T56 for corvettes..

Could be the corvette team is going this route for the 2006 /7 Z06 C6..

Not an electrical computer device at all and designed for the street.

JBsC5
05-19-04, 10:11 AM
Here's the link to a very cool article with diagrams and photos too.

http://www.pistonheadstv.com/images/ZeroShift_RacecarEng_0204.pdf (http://www.pistonheadstv.com/images/ZeroShift_RacecarEng_0204.pdf)

Evolution1980
05-19-04, 09:16 PM
I think Audi just released their brand new paddle-shift transmission. According to Car and Driver, it shifts faster than you can manually because it uses a double-clutch system. As the first clutch is removing the first gear, a second clutch is already engaging the second gear. ...or something like that.

invinceablevett
05-20-04, 12:44 AM
How bout if you could have both?


Forget paddles for a minute and imagine a shifter just like you have now..

That could cut 2 more seconds out of your zero to 100mph run times..

Zeroshift being implemented in Europe for factory TVR's (similiar in concept to Corvettes) and I have been in contact with them on their prototype Tremec T56 for corvettes..

Could be the corvette team is going this route for the 2006 /7 Z06 C6..

Not an electrical computer device at all and designed for the street..........Just last week a buddy of mine came to pick me up to show me his new toy......A Red 1967 Convertible manual Corvette with Air Conditioning..(this car was owned by Felix Ptovin,goaltender in the NHL).......That thing was a beauty.....Well he came to pick me up in a 2003 BMW Z4 .Apparently it has 225 HP,..cute ....but wait,where it gets interesting is that it is an automatic AND manual.I tell you that transmission was awesome....The shifter is located where an automatic is but you can shift manually if you so desire.....I liked it alot and I wish Gm would use some sort of paddle shift too....Just my .02 cents.

doylede
05-21-04, 01:17 AM
My opinion is still out on a paddle-shifting transmission. The concept is neat. I understand that it's used in various types of car racing. Admittedly, I have not driven a paddle-shifter equipped car before so I might absolutely love it, or I could totally hate it.

I do know one thing, there is nothing like grabbing hold of a short-throw stick shift, and running through the gears. In a car that I use for commuting back and forth to work, I usually want an automatic simply because it's a pain in the rear to be shifting in and out of 1st and 2nd gear incessantly in stop and go traffic.

However, when it comes to a sports car used for sporting driving, etc., give me a manual stick-shift any day. :)
I have driven paddle shifting cars, but they are paddle shifting automatics, i.e. Porsche Boxster.

What I would like to see the Corvette employ is a paddle shifted, automatically shifted, manual transmission. Other than the Ferrari Enzo, I don't know of a street car that uses this system today. But, I know nothing, don't take that as a expert opinion.

I do know that the auto-manual shifts faster and smoother than any professional race driver. Ferrari F1 racing has said that Schumaker didn't like the transmission because he thought he was faster (they say he is not), and he was smoother (they say he is not). They claimed .1 sec shift times.

Nobody can shift that fast every time. Well, I will back up a little. I've seen people do amazing things. Perhaps Senna had reflexes that justified his enormous salary. Schumaker thinks that he has such abilities. Ferrari says he doesn't.

Bob Yates
05-27-04, 08:32 AM
I'm going to jump in here and say I don't know about all the tech talk you guys are talking about.The thing I'm going to say is the one thing that has always been a fact about a Corvette is that it's a Dream Car built and sold by a major car manufacturer and you and I can own it. That's what the Corvette has always been about. All the designs and tech things are just some one putting their dreams and ideas in a form others can own. There are but a hand full of real cars that can stand up to the Corvette and deep in side all who own one know this. The Corvette is as a Dream Car that gets better with each new model change.The Corvette only goes backwards when put in reverse. That's just my take on the car I own......Bob Yates

capkarl
06-08-04, 01:06 PM
I'm going to jump in here and say I don't know about all the tech talk you guys are talking about.The thing I'm going to say is the one thing that has always been a fact about a Corvette is that it's a Dream Car built and sold by a major car manufacturer and you and I can own it. That's what the Corvette has always been about. All the designs and tech things are just some one putting their dreams and ideas in a form others can own. There are but a hand full of real cars that can stand up to the Corvette and deep in side all who own one know this. The Corvette is as a Dream Car that gets better with each new model change.The Corvette only goes backwards when put in reverse. That's just my take on the car I own......Bob Yates
Couln't have said it better myself. Saturn owners don't join "Saturn" clubs and Porche owners don't wave to each other.
Karl

barkingowl
06-15-04, 01:08 PM
I sat in a black C6 that rolled off the assembly line last Thursday. I really wasn't impressed.

like2drive
06-18-04, 03:35 PM
Deacon of Gm, Roger Smith, while in command, virtually stopped any growth. He pleased the stockholders with cutbacks in R &D and primarily, "milked the cow" . While dividends and profits were good, market share was declining, especially to the rice burners. A good example of this strategy, is the C-4s. Not only is it the same old, same old year after year, but it doesn't appear much different than the Camaros the that era. The C2s & C3s usually sell for more and are distinctively "Corvette". I really like the C5s too but setting on the laurels is unwise while the competition is hacking away, like the Viper, Ford, even the Miatias!
"new improved"....Reformulated.....from the few pictures I've see, this C6 is a another C5. The only reason I responded is I really appreciate the work Scott does ,...didn't want you to think no one is interested. thanks
By the way, I was in the Caravan last year, and visited the Bowling Green Mueseum. As you probably know, they have a cut-away of the C5 which shows, to me anyway, "space age design". I didn't particularily like leaning back against the fuel tank when driving...but its a real thrill to just look at. I remember my first Vette drive in 1963, a friend let me take a spin with my ladyfriend....I'll never forget.

JBsC5
06-18-04, 08:29 PM
Refinement is the key word with regards to comparing the C6 to the C5..

That along with Z06 performance for both the standard coupe and convertible...

Since the Z06 C5 was world class..

That makes the coupe and convertible all the more impressive.....especially withthe added refinement included in the package..

Second year C6 models with the six speed automatic should make quite a few sports luxury car makers quake in their boots..

JMO

BruceBed
06-20-04, 10:02 PM
I agree with you about having the Corvette as a separate division , outside of Chevrolet. Although the C6 hasn't grown on me , I feel that it will evolve into a class car. The one thing I could never understand when I took my vette to a Bowtie dealer was the level of service. The just couldn't get it right and they never treated you the way you should be treated. I'm no snob , but when I take my wife's Lexus for service, it always comes back right, clean and a phone call follows to make sure your happy. Every new generation has a familiarity to the past so that no one is alienated. They are taking a tried and true product and "homoginzing " it.

rsub92
06-23-04, 12:48 PM
About paddle shifted manuals, I can attest to driving what amounts to a clutchless manual shift vehicle, and that it made a noticeable seat-of-the-pants difference in acceleration. Ok, it wasn't an automobile :) but a KTM 125MX motorcycle. The bottom end/drivetrain was shared with the 250 cc displacement version of the same machine, and was therefore overbuilt for the 125. Clutchless full-throttle high-RPM upshifts in a race were routine, and the gearbox took it in stride. There was no noticeable hesitation in acceleration, just an instantaneous change in the pitch of the motor. (Almost eerie, and never quite got used to the sensation). This was good for a bike length or more on a long straightaway against a zook or yammie, insuring a pass if exiting the previous corner on the other guy's tail. (Plus being able to focus more on the race, and not having to release the grip on the handlebars, even if only two fingers, for squeezing the clutch lever). The same could be said about being able to keep both hands on the steering wheel under high performance :) conditions.

Ken
03-17-05, 06:25 AM
By the way, who wrote that article?See the May 2005 issue of Corvette Fever magazine.

Congratulations Rob! The entire article is there. :CAC

Rob
03-17-05, 09:33 AM
See the May 2005 issue of Corvette Fever magazine.

Congratulations Rob! The entire article is there. :CAC

Thanks. Yeah, I wrote that article a while ago.

Rollnfast
03-28-05, 10:33 PM
Rob, good article and good history lesson for a "newbie" Corvette "hope to be owner". While I'm nothing of a authoritarian on the histroy of the car, in relation to other sports cars, I can say there are many of us out hear in the market place who really aren't being given the chance to "establish a relationship with the Corvette" like many of the current posters, simply because we can't get our hands on the car! Design, style, evolution versus revolution.....it's neither here nor there for those of us who have been standing in line for "months" after putting down hard cold cash to own a corvette. It's ashame for Cheverolet to have a market for the car and it seems that they can't deliver.....at least in a reasonable time. You would think after decades of getting their pants beat off by the Japanese, they would have gotten it right by now. Again, being a newbie, I hope someone can convince me that it'll be worth the wait. I continue to be patient after five months!

capkarl
03-29-05, 01:25 PM
It's ashame for Cheverolet to have a market for the car and it seems that they can't deliver.....at least in a reasonable time. You would think after decades of getting their pants beat off by the Japanese, they would have gotten it right by now. Again, being a newbie, I hope someone can convince me that it'll be worth the wait. I continue to be patient after five months!

I think part of the "Corvette experience" is the fact that you own a car that is somewhat limited. It's something like owning a boat. You start off with a small one (earlier model Corvette) discover that you love boating and then go for the yacht (new Corvette).
BTW boaters usually wave to each other, much like Corvette owners.

Edmond
03-29-05, 02:10 PM
In my opinion, another part of the Corvette experience is a product that people can afford. I always thought it's a world class sports car that a blue collar person could obtain. But with the unknown MSRP of the C6 Z06 and the inevitable price gouging by dealers, I think they're going away from that principle.

capkarl
03-29-05, 04:29 PM
In my opinion, another part of the Corvette experience is a product that people can afford. I always thought it's a world class sports car that a blue collar person could obtain. But with the unknown MSRP of the C6 Z06 and the inevitable price gouging by dealers, I think they're going away from that principle.

That I will agree on. The price of the C6 is OK in my opinion, a new (first on your block) Corvette was always overpriced, but the ZO6 is way out of line. I think the General made a miscalculation there, but who knows?