The Chevrolet Corvette is one of the best performance cars on the market today, and it's also a real value. We realize value may not be the first word that springs to mind when looking at a $50,000 sticker. But this fifth-generation Corvette, called the C5, delivers a combination of acceleration and handling performance matched only by the Dodge Viper, Porsche 911 Carrera and various exotics, all of which are far more expensive.
There's really nothing quite like the Corvette. Sports cars in the C5 price range, such as the Mercedes-Benz SLK, BMW Z3, and Porsche Boxster, offer an entirely different driving experience and performance characteristics.
The Chevrolet Corvette is available in coupe, convertible, and hardtop bodystyles. Coupe ($40,805) and Convertible ($47,330) use the 350-horsepower 5.7-liter V8; it meets California's Low Emissions Vehicle standards. The engine in the Corvette Z06 Hardtop ($49,505) displaces the same 5.7 liters, but produces an amazing 405 horsepower, a significant 20-horsepower boost over the 2001 model. Torque also is up, by 15, to 400 foot-pounds.
Other changes for the 2002 model year include revised rear shock valving, new high-performance front brake pads, cast aluminum wheels and standard head-up display (HUD) for the Z06. Models with the optional Z51 suspension package also get aluminum front stabilizer bar links. All Corvettes with automatic transmissions get a new aluminum tranny cooler case. The Coupe and Convertible get a new AM/FM stereo with an in-dash CD player and an available 12-disc changer.
Navy Blue and Dark Bowling green Metallic paint no longer are available, but there's a new color called Electron Blue.
The C5 Coupe features a body-colored removable roof panel as standard equipment; it comes in translucent plastic as an option. But the Z06's top is fixed, a design chosen by engineers because that structure is stiffer. The Coupe's rear window opens like a hatchback, while the Z06 and the convertible have actual trunks.
In addition to awesomely powerful V8 engines, standard equipment for the Coupe and Convertible includes air conditioning, antilock brakes with four-wheel discs, a driver information center, remote keyless entry, stainless steel exhaust with chromed quad outlets, retractable headlights, Bose speakers, 6-way power seats, extended-mobility (run flat) Z-rated tires, traction control with active handling, cast alloy wheels and an automatic transmission.
The Chevy Corvette Z06 comes with dual-zone climate controls, titanium exhaust, a tire inflator kit for its Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, forged alloy wheels, a 6-speed manual transmission, and leather seating surfaces.