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The thought the Author head the "nail on the head". Good read. :cheers:

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The author mentions problems with the keyless entry. That's the first I've heard of that. Has anyone else had issues with that system?
 

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MSiska said:
Have to sign up for the NYtimes...:-?
2005 Chevrolet Corvette.
By JEFF SABATINI
Published: March 6, 2005

A new, upgraded interior is among the changes to the sixth-generation Corvette.

ET'S get this out of the way right at the start: the 2005 Chevrolet Corvette is the best high-performance bargain on the planet, bar none. There is simply no other way to park a sports car of this caliber in your driveway for less than $45,000.

To wit, when the glossy car magazines look for a worthy challenger to run hot laps against the 'Vette, they tend to pick the venerable Porsche 911 - a car with a base price of $79,895 and actual stickers that usually run much higher.

In these battles, designed to titillate both teenage horsepower hounds and candidates for midlife crises, the Chevy often wins. So it was no surprise that on the pages of the December issues of both Road & Track and Car and Driver, General Motors' tried-and-true two-seater was judged the better car for the money.

By now, track-day geeks, youthful dreamers and the Corvette's legion of fans have all memorized the winning numbers: 8 cylinders, 6 liters of displacement, 400 horsepower, 400 pounds-feet of torque, zero to 60 miles an hour in 4.1 seconds, 12.6 seconds through the quarter-mile, a top speed of 186 miles an hour. (These are all according to Car and Driver; Road & Track came up with slightly slower times.)

To get a little perspective on this slurry of statistics, however, I'd like to throw a third car into the mix. It's an equally iconic steed, my mother's Camry.

While the four-cylinder Toyota is anything but a sports car, it is fully capable of cutting off 911's and 'Vettes on the freeway. One can even imagine the Camry, in the hands of a less adept pilot than Mom, skidding toward a stop before slamming into the substantial plastic-composite rear end of a 'Vette that had just decelerated from 60 m.p.h. to a dead stop in only 114 feet.

The point is, in the real world, the Corvette's numbers matter a lot less than they do in the fantasyland of guys who use "pilgrimage" and "Bowling Green, Ky." in the same sentence. All of today's most potent performance machines - Corvette included - offer levels of power and handling so far beyond what is usable on our increasingly congested road system as to be absurd. Even if you can open the throttle, is there a difference between obliterating the speed limit in 5 seconds rather than 6? Not an important one.

Go ahead and believe in the infallible stopwatch and irrefutable spreadsheet if you must. I distrust numbers-crunching that fails to recognize the subjective qualities that make cars more than mechanical animals. Absolute performance matters far less than purity of design and overall drivability. Call it what you will - the spirit, the soul of the car, the Heartbeat of America - but I'll take this gestalt any day over pulling g's on a skidpad.

In other words, I'm unconvinced that the new Corvette is a great car just because it can literally run circles around 99 percent of what's on the road today.

This is the so-called sixth generation of Chevrolet's halo car (it is thus known as the C6), though it is heavily based on the previous C5 model. Like last year's Corvette, it comes in coupe and convertible body styles in a mostly conventional front-engine, rear-drive layout.

A higher-performance Z06 version of the C6 is due to arrive later this year as a 2006 model. It will be powered by a 7-liter V-8 that makes 500 horsepower and 475 pounds-feet of torque, and will carry other performance enhancements to make it more of a racecar in street clothes.

The C5 was a stellar sports car, which continued a Corvette tradition of major redesigns that took the car in new and mostly better directions. The look of the C6, on the other hand, breaks little ground. It is basically a warmed-over restyle of the C5. This new car makes no overriding design statement, and I get little sense that the development team sat down and probed the really big questions about what a 21st-century Corvette could - and should - be.

While this doesn't make the C6 a bad car - it is certainly not a bad car - it is disappointing that such an opportunity was missed.

(Page 2 of 3)

The C6 is 5 inches shorter than the C5 and an inch narrower, and it has a 1.5-inch longer wheelbase. This doesn't do too much to change the car's look, but it does significantly improve the Corvette's ride over unfriendly pavement. The new car is less edgy and it is exceedingly comfortable, even when equipped with the optional Z51 performance suspension package.

Indeed, the C6 is one of the best-riding sports cars I have ever driven. It is also roomy, capable of swallowing a driver of almost any size, including those who shop at the big-and-tall store. Its excellent seats are neither too soft nor claustrophobically supportive, and are still a pleasure after an entire day behind the wheel. With the top down, the convertible model has far too much wind buffeting at speed, but that's my only complaint from the cockpit.

There is no problem, either, with the Corvette's V-8, which paints the standard C5's lily with 50 extra horses. Acceleration is effortless, as expected, though steering effort is anything but light. The only thing wider than the steering wheel is the car's turning circle, making "nimble" the last adjective you'd use to describe this beast. Of course, it would be unimaginable for the Corvette suddenly to become a dainty little sports car, so the heft and brawn of the C6 are as welcome as they are familiar.

In fact, the C6 mimics the C5 in so many ways as to be almost entirely without its own personality.

The C5's main vices were a cheap, monochromatic interior and a large, unbecoming rear end. Designers sought to address these issues, though the results are middling.

The interior has been "upgraded" with the sort of faux-luxury plastic finishes now common on sub-$20,000 cars like the Scion tC and Chevrolet's own Cobalt. The result makes me appreciate the lack of pretension in the C5, whose dashboard would have looked at home in a Silverado pickup.

The big-booty issue was tackled in part by shortening the car, which reduced its rear overhang. The haunches and deck lid were given a more sculptured look, though the effect is like cinching the belt of your pants tighter to rein in a beer gut.

Given the failures in rectifying these big complaints with the C5, it's hard to believe that G.M. managed to screw up one of the Corvette's best features - its svelte, tapered nose. By ditching the concealed headlights that have graced every Corvette since 1963, and adding a long, horizontal open-air intake to the fascia, the C6 has gained what Chevy calls a "stronger" face. Or, if you prefer, a beady-eyed lizard.

The rest of the styling changes are of the nip-and-tuck variety and become apparent only when C6 is parked next to C5. What's really obvious then is how much more organic the old design was. You can tell someone actually drew that car, imperfect as its shape may be, while the new Corvette looks as if it had its genesis in Photoshop.

Though the C6, with its longer wheelbase and shorter length, has better overall proportions, I'll still take the C5. Not only does it look meaner, but less like a generic amalgam of influences from other cars.

I can understand that G.M. wanted to stick with what works, and there are worse directions it could have taken than creating this "C5½." The old car was (and still is) an impressive machine. In its 405-horsepower Z06 trim, the C5 was just as capable of generating numbers to make the fan boys drool. There are myriad ways in which the C6 could have been improved, but wasn't.

The Corvette still employs a conventional four-speed automatic transmission while virtually every other sports car on earth has adopted some sort of shift-yourself automatic or Formula One manual activated by paddles or buttons around the steering wheel. It is disappointing that the 'Vette still doesn't offer any of these modern gearboxes.

Would it be heresy to suggest that G.M. might have considered a wholesale reinvention of the Corvette? That perhaps the C6 should have an all-wheel-drive system like the one in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, a fellow member of the 4-Point-Something-to-60-M.P.H. Club? While a hybrid-drive system was clearly never on the drawing board - G.M. has no such deployable technology - wouldn't it have been cool to see the Corvette break this ground?
(Page 3 of 3)

Perhaps these two suggestions are equally stupid and unrealistic, but the point is simple: there are not enough new ideas in this car. Only once or so in a decade does G.M. redefine the Corvette. You'd think that even in lieu of a clean-sheet design, it might have come up with innovations beyond an optional navigation system. But the new Corvette is still pretty much the same old car with many of the same old annoyances.

Among these is the six-speed manual's skip-shift "feature," which forces drivers to shift from first to fourth gear at low speed. This trick provides a bump in mileage ratings, keeping the car free of a guzzler tax, but that hardly justifies such an intrusive system - especially since owners routinely disable it with a $20 after-market part.

In too many ways, the car feels forced together out of disparate parts or components that were not particularly well thought out. The steering column has two separate adjustment controls: a one-axis joystick for its telescoping function and a lever to adjust the tilt. Surely another company would have found a way to combine both functions in a two-axis control.

Similarly, the power convertible top isn't entirely automatic - it must still be unlatched by hand. Much of the competition, including lesser sports cars like the BMW Z4, have one-button automatic tops.

These throwbacks should not be surprising, given that most of this 'Vette was defined a decade ago. The rest, including a problematic keyless entry and ignition system (with electronic door handles) is a result of the C6's being co-developed with the Cadillac XLR luxury roadster.

I have had problems with both cars' failure to identify the radio transmitter in the keyfob, forcing me to go through the tedious process of unlocking the car with the key. Since there are no keyholes in the doors, this requires fiddling with a concealed lock at the rear of the car, then a further effort to convince a sensor to "see" the fob so the engine can be started.

The bottom line is that you can find yourself sitting 15 minutes in a parking lot, frustrated with a new technology that offers no more convenience than the previous system. This does provide some time to contemplate what this whiz-bang superfluity is doing in the Corvette in the first place.

Sadly, we already know the answer. G.M. has only so much money to spend developing cars, and some of it had to be sunk into the XLR, which shares its architecture with the C6 Corvette. Now I'm not saying that G.M. robbed Peter to pay Paul, but it's clear that Cadillac's sports car influenced the C6's parameters as much as anything.

I won't judge whether this was the right move - Cadillac's turnaround is certainly G.M.'s greatest success of the last 20 years - but I will say that I like the XLR a lot.

And despite my carping and criticizing, I like the new Corvette, too. It's a lot of fun to drive. And as all the world already realizes, it offers unmatched bang for the buck.

But I want more than a fast car at an attainable price. I expect more from the caretakers of this icon - America's Sports Car, as it's called. I long for a Corvette in which every surface, every part, every angle and ultimately every decision contribute to the creation of the perfect sports car.

I don't expect G.M. - or any automaker, for that matter - to succeed in this impossible task, but in the trying comes the possibility of creating a very special car. The new Corvette, unfortunately, isn't it.
:z:
 

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Thanks for the article :thumb:
I think he was taking it easy on the General :bang:
 

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janoz06 said:
Thanks for the article :thumb:
I think he was taking it easy on the General :bang:
I would have gone further :cheers:
 

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Thanks again for the posting. :thumb:

Interesting read, pretty much the same that has been hashed around on here. :crazy:

Think GM is going to listen or continue to be satisfied losing marketshare? Or perhaps they can ship a few over to India to increase sales? :(
 

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I thought the author was a jack @ss...

(a little harsh but come on...the vette kicks @ss and he was just looking for something to whine about...

JMO
 

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novetteyet said:
The author mentions problems with the keyless entry. That's the first I've heard of that. Has anyone else had issues with that system?
I've heard of issues but haven't seen anything official.
So far, at least from what I can find there has been only one recall on the C6:

Make: CHEVROLET
Model: CORVETTE
Affected Year(s): 2005
Units Affected: 290
TC Recall #: 2004389
Manufacturer:
Campaign Code: 04086

Recall Details
Certain vehicles were produced with one or both rear brake hydraulic lines that can come in contact with or be affected by heat from the left engine exhaust manifold and the left exhaust pipe. Also, on some 2005 vehicles, the crossover brake line to the right rear brake can come in contact with the rear differential case. In both cases, a half system brake failure could occur, resulting in increased stopping distances. Correction: Dealers will repair/reposition the rear brake lines.
 

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JBsZ06 said:
I thought the author was a jack @ss...

(a little harsh but come on...the vette kicks @ss and he was just looking for something to whine about...

JMO
He says it "kicks ass" right from the get go. He has the same problems with the C6 that I had from the very beginning. I still say the design "changes" don't warrant a "next generation" title. It's just a re-hash of the C5 styling. The author likens it to a C5 that has been Photo-shopped. I have to agree. I've been calling the C6 a C5.2...he refers to it as a C5 1/2.

As far as the keyless electronics go...a friend who test drove one tells me that the keys and fob were in the dealer showroom but the car started and was driven miles away from the dealership WITHOUT THE FOB!! I think that'a a HUGE keyless problem. That tells me that if I jump out to run into the store, I had BETTER lock it up tight or the local car thief can jump in, push the start button and off he goes. If it's a convertible...YIKES!!!

As the author says, this car was in the planning stages for the last 10 years and, as usual, The General missed the boat.

Charlie
 

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I found the article annoying that the Corvette team keeps taking it up the @ss for the awesome C6...and for what?
(meaning they didn't go far enough to warrant a model designation change) sp

GM went out and listened to the wants and desires of its consumers, its target audiences and existing owners of C5 coupes/verts and giving them what they said they wanted..

How many times have C5 owners said... "

Dam...I'd buy a z06 but......I want to take the roof off the car...(coupe or convertible) yet I want C5 Z06 power, and while your at it...I'll take a slightly more refined interior and better sound isolation ... so GM delivers on all of this.....GM creates a new car with ..... more power....Bigger tires...better gearing... better interior isolalation (SP) and the list goes on and on..



GM took the mighty fine C5, and refined the C6 where its every bit the stock C5 Z06 from a performance perspective...(give or take a few points) gives a more refined interior....quiets down often tiring road noise........gives open air motoring in both coupe and convertible formats.........etc..

and still even the press complains..

Lets get real people...

Hell the 911 has been refined for many many decades without even nearly as much change as the C5 to C6 and no one blathers on about it..

The new Boxster? WTF? its the same car with even less changes from the last iteration..and the press raves about it..

I still believe its whose paying the most in advertizing dollars and nothing more..

Either that or its still in style to bash america......

I don't happen to agree. with any disappointment towards the C6....as..the C6 coupe and convertible are quite the accomplishment....The upcoming 500hp C6 Z06 even more so...



All that said...it was cool opening up the times and seeing the gorgeous C6 in full color...

The articles not that bad...but I was disappointed in the same old retorhic...(sp)

As far as disappointed Corvette owners go? I guess there are many differening perspectives...

I see the C6 as an evolution...of the late great C5..

Its a C5 Z06 performing vehicle with a top that comes off...

Slightly updated styling and a slightly improved interior...

I consider the C6 a refinement of the C5...

Maybe it shouldn't have been labeled a C6 and the press would have not have expected so much more...

IMHO..the evolution of the 1967 corvette into the 1968 corvette was primarily a fiberglass change...The internals from my understanding were very similiar...

Here is a case where GM did such a great job with the C5 that the C6 really had to be evolutionary in nature..

Just by the very fact that there really isnt anything better out there in the marketplace today than the C5... proves the point......

The C5 outclassed the competition...and the C6 is just a refinement on that..

How can the press knock a car that is based off of the c5 and just an evolution....

Its not always possible to reinvent the wheel especially when your already at the top of your game...

Subtle refinements and improvements are the key ingredients to the C6 's claim to fame...

the C6 is not enough for me to sell my personal C5 corvette and buy a C6....but then it really doesn't make sense for me or many of us as an owner of a late model low mileage C5 ...

If the C5 was high mileage...? or a few years older? then yes definitely the C6 makes one hell of a car to own...

C5 Z06 performance..wrapped in a more up to date interior and exterior package...for less money (MSRP) sure is a winner as far as I can tell.

The NYTimes writer just wanted to bitch because there are so many articles being printed giving rave reviews to Corvettes throughout the years.... He was more interested in being different and unique...than reporting on the car itself....

JMO and I look foward to the C6 Z06 being totally insane and on every magazine cover for months and months...

They will have comparision tests...individual tests...

GM will reap the benefits for a long time...

Should be fun.

I'm proud to own a Corvette even if its not the latest and greatest .....but rather one that is historic in its nature...

Any C5 corvette can claim that title..

Hell any corvette can...

A true american icon that kicks @ss on practically the entire sports car segment..

That is......as long as stroking the dashboard is not a criteria of a great sports car...
 

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Nice Job JB :thumb: And thanks for the article Smook.
My first impression of the C6 was disapointing. But , after seeing a number C6's while in Florida, I am liking them more everyday. A Z51 C6 vert, with 500 HP, sure sounds like fun. :usa:
 

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Maybe a lot of folks just expected the same magnitude of difference as we saw from C4 to C5. That was a huge improvement. It'd be hard to do that again and keep the car affordable.
 

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The word awesome gets tossed around like a beach ball at a baseball game. The C6 is far from something that inspires awe. The feeling of awe is generally associated with something majestic or stately. The only thing majestic about the C6 is that it closely resembles a C5. And yes, they didn't go far enough to warrant a designation change. ALL the previous generation changes came about when a whole new Corvette was born. Say what you will about the C6...it's just a C5 in C6 clothing. So they gave you a shorter shifter, chrome bezels on the gages, and a few more horsepower. The "sheet metal" design of the coupe is easily mistaken for a C5. There was no such confusion when we went from the C1 to the 2, to the 3...etc. Of course "we" Corvette enthusiasts know the difference immediately...the general population has to stare long and hard to determine the difference.

Like I've been saying...when the "new" Z06 hits the market, we will have a coupe with a motor. They aren't giving us another "true" Z06, they're giving us a coupe with suspension work, RUN FLATS, OnStar, GPS, AND A MOTOR!! They came pretty close to designing a re-born Z06 in 2001. For the "next generation" Z06, it looks like they are really going to bastardize the Z06 concept.

Charlie
 

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I couldn't agree more with the author.

I do disagree with the author though. I don't think the C6 is 'kick-ass' at all; it's more like 'ass-kicked'.

Unlike JB, I do not feel GM gave what the enthusiasts wanted, if they did, no one would be complaining about it's PATHETIC styling. All of my friends who've seen the C6 have been horrified and said, 'what have they done???'

First and foremost, I want a car that looks bad-ass, everything else is just gravy. If that bad-ass car were slow, it's relatively simple to make it faster. On the other hand, it's damn near IMPOSSIBLE to change the looks of a car, and the C6 styling is ABYSMAL!

To make matters worse, the C6Z-Mustang is even more comical looking with those ugly rear flairs and rear brake ducts.

By the way, when Porsche came out with it's new (..at that time) slab-sided 996 (..in 1999) which replaced the very curvacious, swoopy 993, the 911 enthusiasts pretty much rioted in the streets at the styling change. Porsche reponded with the new 997 (..2005) whose styling is heavily influenced by the still popular, ever-sexy 993.

It's too bad GM didn't learn from Porsche's styling mistake with their 911 series. Slab-sided is OUT, swoopy and curvacious is IN!!!

The C6 is a HUGE styling mistake! Who in their right mind will want to spend new-car-money on something one considers LAME looking???

Justify and cheerlead all you want why the C6 is SO 'kick-ass', etc, etc. All one has to do is take one look, and gasp, to know it got it's ass-kicked up and down the street by it's criminally unqualified stylists. What a frickin' SHAME!
 

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SRV,

I certainly appreciate your candor and even though I don't happen to agree I think we can honestly say the C6 and C6 Z06 certainly has the ability to polarize opinions....

Some might say that ability to create such passion, both positive or negative is a testament of a strong design.

Many like the C6 (C6 Z06) and many like yourself don't.

In this very tough economic environment it will be a challenge to meet and exceed GM's sales targets.

I am impressed that GM listened to what C5 coupe and convertible owners asked for in the next generation Corvette and delivered!

Todays economic climate/ environment is very very different than when the C5 released in 1997 so it should be interesting.

Glad we have these forums to voice our differing and yet well respected opinions.

PS..Did I mention I'm proudly keeping my 33K mile 465 flywheel hp 2001 Z06 for the near future and did I also mention that is also the best dam car I've ever owned!!!

Did I also mention, I too also prefer the FRC body style over the fastback....Even so...

Corvettes are KICK @SS plain and simple...IMO and the Z06 even more so! Time marches on and styles change...

It is often said by many... .....change with the times or choose to stay in the past Either way its ok..no wrong answer...(many C4 owners hated the C5 if I remember correctly) ....Its a choice any of us can make...or we can change to a different brand...(or wait for the C7?) We can all make our own choices...but the bottom line....

This is the new corvette. The true american icon.

That said...

I look foward to the reports both by new owners and magazines on the upcoming C6 Z06. Gotta be a great sports car!

Rah...rah..sis boom ba! ;)
 
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