Chevrolet Corvette

The Corvette ( in Europe by 2005 Chevrolet Corvette ) is an American sports car from General Motors, which has been produced in six generations since 1953. The first delivery of the seventh generation is planned for autumn 2013.

When the first Corvette went into production in June 1953, she was the second All-American sports car after not very successful Crosley Hotshot / Super Sport, with the Crosley rather a cheap small car / roadster with a 750 cm3 4- cylinder engine and 20 kW was. Thus we can not speak of sports car in the true sense. The first Corvette C1 had a 3.8-liter R6 engine with an output of 114 kW (155 hp). That is why the Corvette is still true today in the U.S. as the first American sports car. Since their introduction, to date, over 1.5 million Corvettes were produced. (As of 2010 )

  • 5.1 Corvette C5 -R
  • Corvette C6.R 5.2
  • 5.3 Corvette C6 Z06 -R GT3

Name and Logo

The Corvette was named after the small, agile warship. According to a legend, a name was sought until an employee came up with the name while he was looking in a dictionary for the new sports car from General Motors.

The first draft of the Corvette logo by Robert Bartholomew still contained the American flag on the left side and the checkered flag on the right. This logo should appear on the first Corvette in 1953, but was rejected four days before the presentation again, since the representation of the American flag was not allowed on a commercial product. Therefore, instead, a flag was used with the Chevrolet logo and the Fleur -de- Lis. The stylized iris ( fleur-de- lis ) was chosen because it is among other things, for purity and the name Chevrolet is of French origin.

To date, the logo was developed. Thus, the arrangement of the flags has been changed, and some colors were transformed with time. Were still embedded in the beginning in a circular emblem, the two flags, so they went further and further to the fore and are now without any border or accessories.

The emergence

Beginning of the 1950s were European sports cars in the U.S. very popular, which led to the development of a national sports car for the newly built interstate highways. While General Motors chief designer Harley Earl in September 1951 attended a sports car race at Watkins Glen in upstate New York, he had the idea to build such a vehicle. It was a Jaguar, which inspired him to develop the Corvette: The futuristic subscribed sports car Jaguar XK 120 with an aluminum body made ​​immediately caused a sensation and inspired among other Hollywood movie stars.

In 1952, Harley Earl, therefore, suggested offering an open two-seater with a body made ​​of fiberglass. On 2 June 1952, the General Motors President Harlow Curtice allowed the construction of a prototype; Thus, the decision to build a sports car had fallen. Therefore Harley Earl put a Jaguar XK 120 as inspiration to help GM Studio, and ordered a first two-seater concept car. The project went under the code name " Opel " - 15 years later, the Corvette was once again to initiate the development of the Opel GT. Chevrolet chief engineer Ed Cole, next to Harley Earl spiritual father of the Corvette, receives in July 1953 talented addition: Zora Arkus - Duntov, a then young racing enthusiast engineer came to General Motors. Also Duntov later as the "Father of the Corvette " because he has been instrumental in not only the success of the C1.

However, the Corvette C1 was only successful when a then young engineer started work in 1955 at General Motors as chief engineer. He ordered two years later that the small-block V8 engine is installed in the Corvette for the first time. This so-called small-block is built to date in every Corvette.

None of the first three generations held the claims of the former German car tester stood. " Sham sports car" meant the world on Sunday in their test of the Corvette C3 almost thirty years ago, testers Hans Werner Loose reported " a ride like a kangaroo " on wavy road and complained about the poor suspension.

Only since the C4 Corvette ZR -1, and at least since the C5 Corvette is regarded in Europe as a serious sports car. In fact, the Corvette won in this respect until the fifth generation of significant ground. Since its arrival in 1997, successes against the European competitors were achieved on the racetrack: Five wins in the GT1 group at the 24 - hour race at Le Mans and the profit of the Group GT3 available for the Corvette to book.

These successes in motorsport likewise contributed to the success and popularity. The Corvette is true but since the first C1 to date on the current C7 as a sports car with a very good price - performance ratio.

Dave Hill, chief engineer of the Corvette C5 and C6 had to a famous quote regarding the Corvette:

"We want to build any collectibles, as do other major brands, we want to build sports cars that everyone can afford working Americans. "

The Corvette has an extensive standard equipment and many technical innovations. Since the Corvette C5 for example, is also the Head- Up Display (HUD ) in the cockpit of a known feature. With this, various parameters such as speed, rpm and fuel level projected on the windshield. Also worth mentioning are the special run-flat tires, which also belong to the basic equipment for the C5. With these tires, you can go far, despite a flat tire at a reduced speed up to 300 km. Thus, no more spare tire is required. Except in a few special editions of these extras have since fitted as standard on every Corvette.

Features which constantly recur in the Corvette series, include the removable Targa roof the Coupé, the plastic body made ​​of glass fiber reinforced plastic, the V8 engine with a large displacement, suspension with transverse leaf springs and round taillights. Until the current model also pop-up headlights were considered typical feature, but these were replaced by open headlights with aggressive look. The Corvette is based now more on European car design, optical bonds to current models of Ferrari are quite given.

As will be sold in Europe since 2005 vehicles from the Korean brand Daewoo as Chevrolet, she has been running since the introduction of the sixth generation model only under the brand name Corvette to sell significantly as a premium product of the Chevrolet vehicles. In Europe, the Corvette was driven by European general importer " Kroymans ". Kroymans went bankrupt and had to sign on 23 March 2009 bankruptcy.

The generations

The Corvette C1 appeared in 1953 as a two-seater with a curved body made from fiberglass material. A decade later, the Corvette C2 " Sting Ray" The grace of the " Mako Shark" concept car of 1961 has been put on the market. Inspired the aggressive lines of the Corvette C3, while the Corvette C4 and C5 with new technologies and good driving characteristics even at top speed are comfortable to drive.

The older generations of the Corvette are still very popular and sought-after collector's items, achieve some of the high prices. Today's models Corvette C6 Coupe, Convertible and Z06 C6 benefit from the winning technology from Le Mans. The end of 2007 was the C6 ZR1, the fastest Corvette ever imagined. The legendary sports car " Corvette " so for over 50 years continues to this day.

Corvette C1

The first Corvette was introduced in early 1953 and nine years built up to August 1962. The first true American sports car was quite small for his time and the USA, we knew there but only cars with mostly beyond 5 meters. The lightweight body made ​​of glass fiber reinforced plastic has been retained to this day and is used, among other things, the weight saving. In the nearly ten years of its construction, the car was repeatedly truly cleaned and always got bigger engines. Properly successful was the model with the use of V8 engines. Today, very high collector's prices to be paid for in accordance with neat C1 models.

Corvette C2

An all-new Corvette - called the " Sting Ray" - was released in the fall of 1962 and was built until mid-1967.

Unlike the previous C1, which was built only as a roadster, it was now for the first time a Corvette coupe. For the first time in this model the known pop-up headlights were used, which should be over 40 years typical of the Corvette. The V8 engines were given a displacement of up to 7.0 liters and accordingly have strong torque.

The C2 had, surprisingly, despite their success with just over four years, the shortest construction time of all generations. Accordingly rare and sought are well -preserved specimens today.

Corvette C3

The third generation was built from September 1967 to October 1982. She had from 1969 to 1976 the word " Stingray " ( now without spaces) on the fender. The dimensions were grown considerably compared to its predecessor. The optics was based heavily on the " Mako Shark" show car, a concept car that was unveiled in 1965. The so-called " big block " engine was bored out to 7.4 liters, making it the largest displacement production model of Corvette history. Due to drastically stricter safety regulations, however, the production of convertibles had to be discontinued in 1975.

The C3 was world famous for its distinctive body design and is still regarded as a cult object among Corvette fans. She is the longest -built Corvette generation with 15 years of production.

Corvette C4

The fourth Corvette was introduced due to delay until the spring of 1983, therefore, the first delivered C4 is considered a " model 1984 ". C4 was produced until the end of 1996.

In 1986, came after more than ten years back, the convertible back into the model program. The body design was in contrast to its predecessor, the C3 kept rather simple and unobtrusive. The project presented in 1989, top model ZR -1 achieved very good performance and was the first time a competition for European sports cars.

Corvette C5

In early 1997, followed by the Corvette C5, with the introduction had been delayed for financial reasons, among others, by two years. Since this generation Corvette thanks to modernized technology was ( the body, the aluminum engine and chassis were a completely new design ) and the resulting improved performance also internationally recognized as full-fledged sports car. You could, at least in the U.S., between three different body styles: Choose: coupe with removable roof center part, fixed-roof coupe and convertible.

The fifth generation was built by early 2004 and is now regarded as a reliable sports car with a good price - performance ratio.

Corvette C6

The Corvette C6 was introduced in early 2005. The body is slightly shrunk in size, the look has been revised. With the introduction of the C6 disappeared after more than 40 years, the pop-up headlights used since the second generation. The 5.7-liter V8 engine was first replaced in the base C6 with a version of 6.0 liters and in 2008 by a version with 6.2 liter displacement. The interior has been modernized and improved the quality of workmanship.

The sixth generation was or sports car among other things on 2006 with the Z06 (7 -liter displacement and 376 kW / 512 PS) and from 2008 with the ZR1 ( 6.2- liter supercharged V8 with 475 kW / 647 hp ) is a component of the. supercar class.

In the spring of 2013 ended the production of the sixth Corvette.

Corvette C7

The new " 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray " (C7) was ( " the night before the official opening " of the Detroit Auto Show ) presented on 13 January 2013.

The new LT1 base engine, which was already introduced by GM in 2012, has 6.2 liters and makes 335 kW (450 hp/455 PS) at 610 Newton meters. The V8 engine remained true to his small-block concept, however, provides the first direct fuel injection, variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation AFM ( Active Fuel Management), which decouples at low engine load four of the eight cylinders of the performance process.


Corvette Racing

The Corvette has been the C1 over 50 years in motorsports with this. In modern times, the Corvette C5 -R since 2000 in various racing series was very successful. These successes were from 2005, continued by the new Corvette C6.R, so many valuable experiences from motorsport flowed into the street version or serial production of the normal Corvette. As one of the oldest still -built sports car in automotive history, the Corvette has since 1956 several championships against the biggest names around the globe won in automobile racing and set many speed records.

Here are some important historical examples:

Corvette C5 -R

The C5 -R racing car built by Pratt & Miller for GM Racing. It is based on the Corvette C5, but has a longer wheelbase, a wider track, a change in shape (eg, no folding, but standard headlights ) and a 5.7 ​​increased to 7.0 liters V8 engine which in the external dimensions ( small-block ) remained unchanged. Only cylinder bore and stroke were changed. The C5 -R took part during their missions to the American Le Mans Series in the GTS class and denied in the years 2000 to 2004 five times the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Corvette C6.R

The Corvette C6.R is based, as the name suggests, on the Corvette C6. The vehicle is a GT1 racing car, which like its predecessor, the Corvette C5 -R was developed by the company " Pratt & Miller " on behalf of GM Racing. It is visually closer to the production version than the C5 -R, which suffered deeper intervention in the body at that time. The C6.R was unveiled before their first race of the 2005 season at the 12 - hour race at Sebring. Although the racing version of the C6 retained the 7.0 -liter V8 from the previous series but he was closer to the LS7 engine from the C6 Z06

Corvette C6 Z06 -R GT3

The Corvette Z06 -R GT3 is based on the normal C6 Z06 and was rebuilt for the race series under the FIA ​​GT3 regulations. The race car was developed on behalf of General Motors by the well-known Corvette tuning company " Callaway " in Germany. The motor and the body was visually not much has changed, but the racing version differs significantly from the series technically - Z06.