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2008 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Price Range: $46,100 - $71,275 | 15 MPG City - 24 MPG Highway

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2008 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Benefits of Driving a 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Chevrolet's 2008 Corvette coupe and convertible are flashy, fast sports cars, yet they're comfortable enough to drive daily in fair-weather places. The Corvette Z06 especially is one of the best-performing cars in the world, and makes various race-proven design features available in an affordably priced production vehicle. Relative to its performance rivals, all well over $100,000, the Z06 is a downright bargain at a touch over $70,000. The Corvette's various improvements and across-the-line power boost for 2008 make it an even better value.

What's new for 2008?

The Chevy Corvette gets extensive mechanical changes for 2008, including more powerful engines for both the standard model and the top-performance Z06, plus improved transmission action and steering feel. Also, a new 2.73 performance axle ratio is available with the six-speed paddle-shift automatic or included with the Z51 package.

Model Strengths

  • Supercar-caliber performance
  • flashy looks
  • racing-derived equipment (Z06).

Model Review

The Chevrolet Corvette gets more power for 2008. The new version of the standard aluminum-block V8 in the Corvette coupe and convertible models now displaces 6.2 liters and is rated at 430 horsepower--30 horsepower more than last year's 6.0-liter engine--and 424 ft-lbs of torque. The engine gets a number of design changes, including a new intake manifold that yields a more refined sound. It can be matched with either a six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic with paddle-shifters beside the steering wheel.

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2008 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

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Review: 2008 Chevrolet Corvette

Source: MSN Autos

The 2008 Chevrolet Corvette's larger base 430-horsepower V8 isn't what the car realistically needs because the 2007 model had more than enough sizzle with 400 horsepower than typical Corvette buyers needed.

The Vette's new V8 has been enlarged from 6 liters to 6.2 liters and also produces more torque than the car's 2007 V8. It can be ordered with a $1,195 "dual-mode" exhaust system that lets horsepower climb to 436. The added power is from an exhaust that bypasses the quieter of two passage through the mufflers.

Unlike the overhead-camshaft engines in most rivals, the Corvette V8 has a pushrod design, although it's an advanced one and is less complicated than an overhead-cam engine.

Ultimate Corvette
For those who must have ultimate Corvette power, there's the 505-horsepower Corvette Z06 hatchback with its 7-liter pushrod V8-although it costs $70,175 and doesn't come as a convertible

The Z06 is less comfortable than a regular 'Vette, feeling much like a race-ready street car with a higher-performance suspension that provides a stiffer ride, uprated brakes and unusually large, wide tires for a street machine.

Two Regular Trim Levels
The regular Corvette hatchback lists at $45,170, and the convertible is $53,510. You can add expensive options to any Corvette trim level, which is something Chevy dealers like to do.

The Z06 originally started out as a lower-cost Corvette that would be within reach of working class folks, which was the case with 1960s and 1970s 'Vettes. But Chevy was selling so many high-profit regular Corvettes when considering a low-cost, entry level version several years ago, it figured it would shoot the works and opt for an even more expensive, higher-horsepower version. Hence, the first Z06.

No lower-cost, entry level 'Vette looks like it's on the horizon. Instead, a more powerful Corvette than the Z06 is reportedly in the works to battle lower-production rivals such as the $83,895 Dodge Viper, which has an 8.4-liter V10 engine with 600-horsepower.

Corvette rivals keep adding power, so Chevy must figure it has to do the same.

The Corvette got a major redesign for 2005, so the only exterior difference between the 2007 and new Corvettes are new wheels. But there are major mechanical differences, which help make the car feel more refined.

Improved Steering And Shifting
For instance, the 2008 Corvette no longer has rather dead-feeling power steering-long a weak point. It now provides more feel. And the base 6-speed manual transmission shifts more directly, with shorter throws and lower effort. Also, the lighter clutch doesn't require as much effort.

The interior has been upgraded and can be given a real uptown look with the (gulp!) $8,005 (hatchback) and $8,600 (convertible) 4LT Preferred Equipment Group. This upscale interior-also offered for the Z06 in the $6,545 3LZ Preferred Equipment Group- has finely stitched 2-tone leather on the dashboard, door panels and seats, along with unique interior trim.

Options Escalate Price
My test 2008 base Corvette coupe had a bottom-line price of $54,610 with options but without an $825 freight charge -or $9,440 more than the list price. And no wonder, because extras included a $4,505 Preferred Equipment Group with items including an upscale sound system, power telescoping wheel, heated seats and side impact air bags.

You might figure that a power tilt/telescopic wheel would be standard in a $45,000-plus car. And side air bags (standard on the convertible) shouldn't be in a costly option package. (You can get them for the coupe in a $1,496 option package that also has perforated leather upholstery and a 6-way power passenger seat.)

My test car also had a $1,695 "Z51" Performance Package, with larger cross-drilled brake rotors and a performance-tuned (spell "firmer") suspension, which didn't affect the comfortable ride much.

Then there were the $1,295 polished aluminum wheels, $750 removable transparent roof panel and that power-enhancing dual-mode exhaust. How many Corvette owners really need the special exhaust for that 6 extra horsepower?

Extras Not Really Needed
While some of those extras are desirable to some folks, they're not really necessary unless you've got extra money to throw around because even the base Corvette hatchback coupe and convertible are well-equipped with comfort, convenience and safety items. They include leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate controls, anti-lock brakes and traction control.

Automatic Favored
The base V-8 works with a 6-speed automatic transmission or my test car's manual gearbox. Shifting gears usually makes driving a sports car more fun. But, with the Corvette's prodigious power and torque, the quicker-shifting automatic is the way to go for most 'Vette buyers. In fact, the majority have ordered the automatic for years.

The standard suspension is fine for fast, safe driving. So are the regular brakes.

The new Corvette provides decent highway fuel economy for such a high-performance car despite its added power-and lower EPA fuel economy ratings for 2008 cars. It's an estimated 16 mpg in the city and 26 on highways with the manual transmission and 15 and 25 with the automatic. The Z06 comes only with a 6-speed manual and delivers 15 mpg in the city and 24 on highways.

Difficult In And Out
It's not easy to enter or leave any version of this low-slung 2-seater without some contortions, and long, heavy doors aren't suited to tight parking spots.

Gauges can be read quickly, and the nicely placed controls are easy to use. But the seats can be improved, and small interior push-button door openers are more gimmicky than practical.

High Trunk Liftover
Trunk room is pretty good, but getting objects in or out of the high cargo opening can be a strain.

It's too bad we never saw the proposed lower-cost entry Corvette, but the 2008 model is even more of an outstanding performance bargain.

Printable Version

2008 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Active Suspension System Opt
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Opt
Passenger Air Bag Opt
Side Air Bag Opt

Road Visibility

HID Headlights Std
Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Std
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Opt
Printable Version

2008 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

2dr Cpe

Engine

Engine Type 6.2L Gas V8
Horsepower 430 @ 5900 RPM
Torque (lb-ft) 424 @ 4600 RPM
Optional Engines ,

Fuel

Fuel Capacity 18.0 gal
Fuel Economy 16 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy
Estimated max. distance per tank of gas 468 miles

Wheels

Rims 19 x 10 in.
Tires P285/35ZR19

Interior Space

Seating Capacity 2 adults
Front Headroom/Legroom 37.9 in. / 43.1 in.
Luggage/Cargo Space 22.4 cubic ft.

Dimensions

Wheelbase 105.7 in.
Curb Weight 3217 lb.
Printable Version

2008 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

2dr Cpe

Comfort

Air Conditioning Standard
Climate Control Standard
Dual Zone Climate Control Standard
Front Bucket Seats Standard
Front Reading Lamps Standard
Leather Seats Standard
Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel Standard
Targa Roof Standard
Telematics Standard
Active Suspension System Optional
Front Bucket Seats Optional
Leather Seats Optional
Targa Roof Optional
Telematics Optional

Convenience

Adjustable Steering Wheel Standard
Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror Standard
Auto-Off Headlights Standard
Auxiliary Power Outlet Standard
Cruise Control Standard
Driver Vanity Mirror Standard
Front Floor Mats Standard
Heated Mirrors Standard
Illuminated Driver Vanity Mirror Standard
Illuminated Passenger Visor Mirror Standard
Intermittent Wipers Standard
Keyless Start Standard
Passenger Vanity Mirror Standard
Power Driver Mirror Standard
Power Driver Seat Standard
Power Steering Standard
Power Windows Standard
Remote Trunk Release Standard
Trip Computer Standard
Navigation System Optional
Universal Garage Door Opener Optional

Entertainment

AM/FM Stereo Standard
Auxiliary Audio Input Standard
CD Player Standard
MP3 Player Standard
Satellite Radio Standard
AM/FM Stereo Optional
CD Changer Optional
CD Player Optional
MP3 Player Optional