American Classics: Chevrolet Corvette

Chevrolet Corvette has been American classic car for almost six decades. The first Corvette was built in 1953 and named after a fast ship of the same name. In the beginning the coupe was assembled in Michigan and Missouri, but now it is built in Boling Green, Kentucky.

The manufacturer offers several models for the 2010 Chevrolet Corvette: besides standard Corvette and Grand Sport, there will also be Z06 and ZR1. The first two are available with the convertible body style and the standard one also has a removable body-color roof panel. The Z06 model is special with aggressive transmission, dry-sump oiling system for manual gearbox and sport brakes. The ZR1 adds Performance Traction Management System which improves performance in specific, unusual conditions: the driver can choose from Wet, Dry, Sport with Active Handling and Race modes.

There are four trim packages for the 2010 Corvette. The standard features on both coupe and convertible 1LT are 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels, xenon headlamps, cruise control, keyless ignition, full power accessories, OnStar, leather seats, six-way power driver seat, manual tilt steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control. The car also receives a standard seven-speaker audio system with CD/MP3 player, satellite radio, steering wheel-mounted controls and auxiliary audio jack.

To all of these features second package adds Bluetooth and power leather sport seats with power-adjustable lumbar support and side bolsters. The 3LT has even more: head-up display, power telescoping steering column with manual tilting, heated seats, driver memory settings and a Bose audio system. And finally, for the 4LT designers have secured unique two-tone leather interior with leather covered dash top, console storage cover and thickly padded armrests.

Grand Sport model also comes with four packages, but it features sport suspension as a replacement for Z51, front fender stripes and vents, wide front and rear fenders, uniquely styles front splitter and tall rear spoiler, alloy wheels, Z6 brakes and tires, and manual transmission gear ratios.

The Z06 model comes in a coupe model only and acquires all the features with more muscular rear fenders, lighter frame and body panels, stronger suspension and brakes, and tan-colored interior.

The ZR1 runs on higher tires: 19-inch front and 20-inch rear, features carbon-ceramic brakes, exclusive suspension with adaptive dampers and lightweight body, including carbon-fiber roof and hood.

Both basic 2010 Corvette and Grand Sport are powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine that outputs 430 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque. A little increase of power can be added by the optional dual-mode exhaust. The Z06 model has bigger motor: 7.0-liter V8 and pushes out 505 hp and 470 lb-ft. As for the ZR1, it runs on a tubrocharged 6.2-liter V8 which gives 638 horses and 604 lb-ft.. All of the coupes have six-speed manual transmission with launch control, but can be substituted by six-speed automatic with paddle shifters as a no-cost option on standard and Grand Sport models.

The main competitors for standard 2010 Corvette are M3 from BMW which is a little higher in price, but has better interior and Ford Shelby GT500 that went through some improvements this year too. The Z06 and ZR1 models fall into category of Nissan GT-R, Porsche Boxter S, Porsche Cayman S and Porsche 911.

Mini Cooper
Top Coupes from Edmunds