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C6 - 2005 to 2013
2005
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C6 Corvette - 2005

When the 2005 Corvette was introduced, the 400hp LS2 6.0L V8 had only been bested by two other Corvette small blocks; the 1993-1995 Corvette ZR-1 with its costly, complex and Mercury Marine assembled 32-valve dual overhead cam 5.7L V8, and the Z06 version of its predecessor. The margin of victory? Five horsepower.

Performance was was definitely back in the Corvette vernacular. After decades of almost as good, not bad, or a great value, Corvette was more. Corvette was world class. The C5 proved how good a Corvette could be. The C6, how great.

The LS2 was a version of the Generation IV small block and benefited from the advances that wrought the Z06. The LS2 block used enhancements common to the LS6 engines, internal vents that lessened the crankcase pressures. The 400hp LS2 displaced only 300 more CC's than the LS1, however the 6.0L engined netted an additional 50 horsepower more than the 5.7L LS1. The horsepower per cubic inch value was now 1.1 to 1. The increase in displacement, was a product of enlarging the bore from 3.90 inches to 4.00. Just like the old 350. The stroke of the forged steel crankshaft remained the same at 3.62 inches. The oil pan lost its "wings" resulting in a slightly less oil capacity, now at 5.5 quarts.

New better breathing cylinder heads were added to the LS2, as well as a higher lift camshaft, now at .522" on the intake side, .521 for the exhause. This was achieved with 1.70 to 1 rocker arms, gliding on low friction needle bearings. The new cylinder heads gave rise to a higher compression ratio of 10.9:1, however premium fuel was recommended, not required Maximum engine speeds were higher on the LS2, with the redline receiving a 500 rpm bump to 6,500 rpm. The torque of the LS2 was the highest of any small block, now peaking at 400 lb/ft.

The addition of the horsepower seemingly had little effect on the fuel economy numbers parlayed by the new 400hp power plant. Owners reported fuel economy values near thirty on long distance jaunts. A supercar with economy car fuel consumption?

That's right, Supercar.

Z51 equipped C6s could rocket to sixty miles per hour in four-point-two seconds, eclipse the quarter mile in 12.6 , and not reach an aerodynamically blotted top speed until the numbers reached 186. The C6 bested the numbers of the $60,000 ZR1s, all for a price that was $10,000 less.

Styling for the C6 took on a controversial role. Hidden headlamps, a staple since the 1963 Sting Ray, were gone. When the hidden headlamps were introduced, the advantages were obvious, a more aerodynamic stance, at least when closed. The speed brakes of the C3s and the C5s were obvious. On both cars, when raced, bulbous headlamps covers or fairings were used, making the car fast at night as they was during the day. Consider the new headlamp assemblies as thinking ahead.

The headlamps were more than just aerodynamic; they worked better too. The headlamps used projector beam lamps to better focus the light where it can do the most good. The low beams used Xenon high intensity discharge lamps to produce a brighter light. the high beam, halogen projector beams. The clusters contained not only the elements for the headlamps, but also included the park/turn signal and daytime running lamps. In addition to the new headlamps, the now standard fog lamps were integrated into the front fascia.

The entire car took on a sharper, more angular shape, and the front fascia lost the soft shape of the C5, replaced by a chiseled stature. The C5R racing program trickled down elements that influenced the new grille. In a quest for aerodynamic efficiency, the C5's radiator intakes were small, with most of the air being pulled in from underneath the car. In the racing program, this concept simply didn't work and the front end had to be modified to work efficiently. On the C6, a large grille opening forced air in to the radiator, allow for the engine to better dissipate the heat created by the higher horsepower numbers. Even though the front end lost some of the aero flair, the coefficient of drag was lowered to .28.

A new emblem sat atop the C6's pointy nose. The familiar crossed flags were no longer surrounded by the circle (or oval on the C5), giving a more free appearance. The exposed headlamp clusters had body color bases, and the polycarbonate lenses were sculpted to match the body contours.

At profile, the customary air extractors were now sharper, playing along with the edgier appearance. The cove no longer was a soft, contoured extraction, instead the area was removed with a clay modelers knife, not a spoon. No identifying badges spoiled the bodywork, the same being true for any bodyside protective moldings. The rear deck looked shorter and was a now a semi-Kamm tail whose appearance took on a leaner profile than the C5's. The C6 had an overall length of 175 inches, 4.7 inches shorter than the C5.

Both the painted and transparent tops carried the "double bubble" roof treatment from the C5, however on the C6, there was a hard edged clean break between the two sides. The roof panel was larger than found on the C5 with a 15 percent increase in area. The rear window was more angular, and less curvy than the C5. The rear opening was about the same area, however the center rear underfloor storage was eliminated. The slightly shorter overall length made for a slightly smaller cargo capacity , with 22 cubic feet being available on the coupe, three less than the year before. The convertible made do with eleven cubic feet with the top up, only five with the top retracted.

There would be a coupe and convertible version of the C6 during the first year of production, something that hadn't occurred with the two previous generations. The top followed the same edgy style as the rest of the car. The top could still be the easy to lower and stow manual unit, or an electro-hydraulic power top could be substituted, a feature not seen on Corvette's since 1962. The option proved popular with nearly two-thirds of the buyers spending $1,995.00 for the convenience. Convertible production followed the coupes by about four months and 10,644 buyers opted for the full open top version.

Traditional door handles disappeared on the C6, as did a keyed door lock cylinder. To open the doors from the outside on the new Corvette, a pressure pad was mounted on the inside door skin. When pressed, an electric release would open the latch in the door jamb, not the door itself as on traditional latches. The locking system used a proximity sensor that would detect the passive remote door lock fob, and unlock as the driver approached. The driver need never take the fob out of their pocket or purse. Just make sure the fob is with the commander at all time because if you drove off without it as soon as the car was shut down, you were stranded. At least until someone arrived with the fob.

In the event a a dead battery, a lock cylinder was tucked under the bodywork of the license plate pocket. Secured in the remote fob was a key that fit the lock. The rear hatch was unlocked mechanically, and a pair of cables, one for the door, and one for the fuel door could be accessed to release the doors. Beside the lock cylinder was another pressure pad to open the rear hatch. The key fob could also lock/unlock the doors or open the hatch by pressing one of the buttons.

The ovalized appearance of the emblems, tail lamps, and exhaust tips of the C5 returned to round for the C6. The tail lamps were considerably larger and the polished exhaust tips had an aggressive angle cut in their now customary paired grouping. A dark gray panel lay above the exhaust outlets, making the car look lower at the rear and reducing the heavy look that plagued the C5.

The wheels were an impressive set of cast aluminum five spoke units, with the spokes gaining in girth from the C5. Once again wheel sizes increased, with the fronts being 18 inches by 8.5 inches wide, the rears now 19 inches in diameter with a 10 inch width. The wheels were available in a bright silver painted finish or polished, or a late guest to the party, Competition Gray. During the production run, the polishing of the wheels went from a mirror finish to a one of a tarnished appearance. The demand for the wheels were so strong that quality suffered as the wheels were rushed for installation. Tires in the front were still sized at 245mm in section width, but had a 40% aspect ratio. The rear tires were now sized at P285/35ZR-19 versus P275/40ZR-18 on the C5 coupes and convertibles. The tires were Goodyear EMT run flat tires, on base cars, the Z51s received Supercar EMTs. Once again, a spare tire was not offered.

Brakes for the 2005 Corvette were four piston fixed caliper unit. The rotors on base cars were the same size as the C5, but when the optional Z51 Performance Package was ordered, the cross drilled rotors were sized at 13.4 inches in the front and 13 inches at the back. The cross drilled rotors were implemented to improve braking performance by reducing mass and enhancing cooling. The use of fixed over a sliding calipers increased braking performance with greater pad interaction and less flex from the caliper. Four wheel antilock brakes were still standard and worked in symphony with the Active Handling.

The 2005 Corvette carried on the tradition of the composite leaf springs for the front and rear suspensions. Three suspension systems were available; base, Z51, and the RPO F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control. The base suspension offered a moderately compliant ride with exceptional handling. The Z51 was the most aggressive, offering higher rate springs and shock absorbers, with sturdier stabilizer bars. The package also included the larger brake rotors. The suspension that offered the compromise of driver comfort and handling performance. The shock absorbers ability to recalibrate on the fly to was a wonder to experience.

The transmissions were mostly carry over from the C5 to the C6. The manual transmission was the same, but the automatic was an improved version. The automatic was a Hydramatic 4L65E, designed to handle the greater torque loads of the LS2. The automatic still employed Performance Shift Algorithm, the computer controlled shift program that could hold shifts and utilized engine braking during aggressive driving.

The exhaust system routing was altered on the new Corvette. The exhaust now had a more linear path the the mufflers, now traveling through the driveshaft tunnel and going straight to the mufflers, emanating the 90-degree bend of the C5s.

Inside the C6, the interior space was much unchanged, the the interior did take on a bit more angular look, much like the exterior. The driver was treated to a fresh look to the instrument panel, now with "three dimensional" analog gauges. The speedometer and tachometer were placed on different planes, adding depth to the cluster. They were flanked by the usual oil pressure, coolant temperature, fuel level, and voltmeter gauges.

Starting the C6 took on a new approach with the keyless, push button starting system. To start the car with an automatic transmission equipped car, the brake pedal had to be depressed, on the clutch on manual transmissioned cars. To shut the car off, things were pretty simple for the automatics; hold the button until the car shut off. On the manuals, you had to put the car in reverse before shutting the car off or the car would stay in accessory mode and come the next morning you would have a dead car.

Interior door handles took on a new role, as an electronic push button replaced the door handles. Fear not if for some reason the battery failed while you were in the car as a mechanical fail safe was present. Levers were on the floors outboard of both seats that pulled a cable to release the latch, and escape was possible.

The seats inside the C6 were all leather covered and there were four colors available. There were once again two seat styles, the base bucket seat (RPO AR9) or the optional Adjustable Sport Seats (RPO AQ9). The Sport Seats still included the power lumbar and adjustable side bolster, but now they also included side impact torso air bags. The bags were contained in the outboard seat back sides and were designed to reduce the chance of injury in a side impact. On Corvette models equipped with the 1SB package, the AQ9 seats could be heated. A memory package was also available, and it remembered the positions of the seats, outside rear view mirrors, climate control, telescopic steering wheel, and the radio presets. The steering wheel was a new three spoke design with a leather covering.

The interior electronics were upgraded with the standard AM/FM/CD stereo radio now being able to play music recorded in the MP3 format. A seven speaker Bose sound system with a six-disc in-dash CD changer was included in the 1SB package. A final available sound system was a Navigation unit that used a CD-based system that had a 6.5 inch color touch screen and a new way to communicate with a in car appliance, voice recognition. GM's OnStar was available for the first time on a Corvette. The system allowed customers to communicate with an advisor to assist them in times of an accident, an emergency, or to gain directions or service needs. XM (now Sirius/XM) Satellite radio promised clear mostly commercial free listening that you didn't have to keep searching for when you left a typical radio stations range.

Total Production - 37,372
Model Number Description Production Base Price
1YY07 Corvette Coupe 26,728 $44,245.00
1YY67 Corvette Convertible 10,644 $52,245.00

Engine Codes
RPO Cu. In. / L Horsepower Torque Fuel System Trans Block Code Comp Ratio :1 Emissions
LS2 364 / 6.0 400 @ 6000 400 @ 4400 Sequenial Multi Port EFI Man ZJB 10.9 All
LS2 364 / 6.0 400 @ 6000 400 @ 4400 Sequenial Multi Port EFI Auto ZJB 10.9 All

Color & Trim Codes
Exterior Color Codes Interior Trim Codes
Color Code Color Base Seats AR9 Sport Seats AQ9
Arctic White 10U Ebony Leather 193 193
Black 41U Red Leather 023 023
Daytona Sunset Orange Metallic 71U Cashmere Leather 313 313
LeMans Blue Metallic 19U Steel Gray Leather 363 363
Machine Silver Metallic 67U
Magnetic Red Metallic 89U
Millenuim Yellow 79U
Monterrey Red Metallic 80U
Precision Red Metallic 27U
Victory Red 74U
Dimensions
Corvette Coupe Corvette Convertible
Overall Length 174.6 174.6
Height 49.0 49.15
Width 72.6 72.6
Wheel Base 105.75 105.75
Track F / R 62.1 / 60.7 62.1 / 60.7
Curb Weight 3179 3199
Dimensions are in inches, weight in pounds unless otherwise noted.

2005 - Headlamps Exposed!
2006 - The 505 Horsepower Corvette Z06
2007 - Honored, Ron Fellows, Corvette Racer
2008 - What a Retirement Bonus
2009 - Code Name: Blue Devil
2010 - Grand Sport Returns
2011 - Build your Own
2012 - Chevry Celebrates 100 Corvette Style
2013 - Corvette turns 60 and the Reign of the C6 is over

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