C6 Corvette History & Overview
The C6 Corvette was introduced in 2005 as the sixth generation of Corvettes. It is currently the generation of Corvette in production. Compared to its predecessor, the C5, the C6’s redesign included improvements to the suspension, bodywork, and of course, the powerplant.
On the outside, the Corvette’s overall length and width were reduced, but the wheelbase lengthened. Also on the exterior, the C6 had exposed headlights – a style element not employed in Corvettes since 1962. Gone from the C6 were the C5’s trademark pop-up headlamps.
In 2005, the C6 introduced the public to the Corvette’s new engine, the LS2, which delivered 400HP and 400 lb-ft of torque. It was a far superior engine to the LS1, offering more displacement, more torque, increased camshaft lift, a higher compression ratio, lighter exhaust manifolds and an oil pan designed to reduce or prevent oil starvation during high g-force turns. It had a redline of 6500 RPM, a 500 RPM increase over the LS1.
In 2006, the Z06 brought a whole new level of performance to the C6 Corvette. With the LS7 powerplant of the 7.0L version of the small-block, it pushed out 505HP. In addition to the greater displacement, the LS7 introduced a dry sump oiling system, and featured titanium connecting rods. With these improvements over the LS2, Car and Driver recorded a scorching 0-60 MPH time of 3.6 seconds in a March 2007 test.
But the Z06 wasn't to remain the top performance package available in a Corvette for long. In April 2007, GM began to release details on its code named “Blue Devil” project: the 2009 ZR1. Featuring the supercharged 6.2L, LS9 engine and producing 620HP, the ZR1 has a top speed exceeding 200 MPH - making it the fastest production Corvette in history.
In 2010, the C6 generation had the distinction of being part of the re-introduction of another Corvette legend: the Grand Sport.
In the race world, the C6 has also has a very good run, with the replacement for the C5-R, the C6.R, also being built by Pratt & Miller and debuting in honor of the C6’s public release in 2005 at the 2005 12 Hours of Sebring. In 2006, it won both American Le Mans GT1 Championships. In the GT3 class, a modified production Z06, named the Z06-R, was constructed by Callaway Competition of Germany.
The Corvette C6 is still in production.
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