SEMA eNews Vol. 10, No. 18, May 3, 2007

2008 CORVETTE OFFERS BOOST IN PERFORMANCE AND IS ACCESSORY FRIENDLY

The Chevrolet Corvette is getting yet another boost in performance and luxury. The changes made to the 2008 Corvette come three years after the introduction of the current sixth-generation body style.  According to a recent AutoWeek article, the Corvette is getting “a boost in performance, more luxury features and, most likely, a higher price.”

The changes to the Corvette for the 2008 model year “are aimed at keeping the Corvette ahead of the performance-car pack amid stiffening competition,” according to Corvette’s assistant chief engineer John Rydzewski.

The new LS3 engine will be a 6.2L aluminum pushrod V8 boasting 430 hp, and replaces the 400hp 6.0L LS2. An optional two-mode exhaust system kicks up horsepower to 436. The Z06 model will also return for 2008 with 505 hp.

Even with increased horsepower, fuel economy remains the same: 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Emissions are actually lower, which moves the new engine into a cleaner Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification category.

The 2008 Corvette goes from 0–60 mph in 4.3 seconds and has a top speed of 190 mph. The manual and automatic transmissions have also been upgraded. According to GM, the six-speed manual will offer more positive gear changes, and the paddle-shifted automatic has new hardware and a new controller that delivers faster shifts. The production of the 2008 Corvette is slated to begin in late July of this year, with sales expected to start in August.

The Corvette has always provided a great opportunity for SEMA members to make aftermarket parts, whether style or performance-related. One example of such a company is Callaway Cars. The company introduced its C16 Cabrio at the 2007 New York Auto Show. 

Engineers have integrated powertrain, brakes and suspension enhancements into the current Corvette platform. The supercharged 6.0L engine boasts 560 hp at 6,200 rpm and 529 lb-ft torque at 4,750 rpm.  An optional performance package increases output to 616 and 582 lb-ft and carries the Vette from 0–60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

Pricing for the C16 Cabrio starts at $128,765. Callaway was able to build this high-powered Corvette from data obtained from SEMA’s Tech Transfer program. The company requested specs for Z06 body panels, engine, transmission, and instrument panels, among other items. When specialty-equipment manufacturers obtain engineering data for new vehicles, such as the 2008 Corvette, it improves the accessory-friendliness of the vehicles. For more information on the Tech Transfer program, contact Oscar Muñoz at Techtransfer@sema.org.

Sources: Truett, Richard. (April, 27, 2007). “2008 Chevrolet Corvette: Faster, More Luxurious and Probably More Expensive.” AutoWeek. Retrieved April 27, 2007 from www.autoweek.com;
Callaway Cars. (March 19, 2007). “Callaway C16 Cabrio Makes World Debut At 2007 New York Auto Show.” Callaway Cars press release.