2009 CORVETTE: ENHANCEMENTS BRING MORE CHOICES, REFINEMENT TO CHEVY’S LEGENDARY SPORTS CAR
Source: GM Media
After a milestone year in 2008 that saw the introduction of the LS3 6.2L V-8 as the new standard engine, a custom, leather-wrapped interior and more upgrades, the Corvette powers into 2009 with a raft of enhancements that further distinguish it and give customers more choices – including a lower-priced convertible model.
Of course, that range of choices also includes the ZR1, with its 6.2L supercharged engine that produces 638 horsepower (476 kW). (Please see the separate
Corvette ZR1 release
for complete information on Chevy’s world-class supercar.)
“The Corvette is an American icon with world-class credentials,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “It’s the car we all aspire to own and the 2009 edition, with more choices and features, only amplifies that craving.”
The ’09 Corvette lineup includes the Corvette coupe and Corvette convertible, each powered by the 430-horsepower (321 kW) LS3 V-8, and the incomparable
. Equipped with the 505-horsepower (377 kW) LS7 engine and built on a lightweight chassis, the Z06 is a street-going descendent of the championship-winning Corvette racing program.
New for 2009
Here is a rundown of the new features and content changes for the ’09 Corvette lineup:
Corvette 1LT convertible – Customers can slip into a Corvette convertible for a lower MSRP with this 1LT-equipped model. Additionally, a power top is now standard on 2LT convertible models.
Two new exterior colors – Cyber Gray Metallic and Blade Silver Metallic are added, while Machine Silver Metallic is discontinued. This brings the Corvette’s exterior palette to nine colors.
Revised crossed flags emblem – The iconic Corvette crossed flags emblem is distinguished with a new, bright surround.
Two new custom leather-wrapped interiors – Dark Titanium and Ebony join Sienna and Linen as available selections.
Bluetooth capability – This option enables the Corvette to offer the convenience and safety of Bluetooth hands-free phone service.
Standard power hatch pull-down – This convenient feature is now standard on Corvette coupe and Z06 models.
Additionally, steering wheel audio controls and variable-ratio steering are standard on all models. Revisions also are incorporated to the hardware and software of the anti-locking braking, traction control and Magnetic Ride Control systems.
Several trim and content changes are incorporated on the Z06, too. They include:
- New, “spider”-design 10-spoke Z06 wheel available in four versions: Sparkle Silver, Competition Gray and chrome
- Color-keyed door and instrument panels with red and titanium interiors
- Power-operated pull-down hatch now standard
- Gray stitching on Ebony base seats (previously red)
- New door sill plates with the Z06 logo
- Acoustic package standard on all Z06 models
The Z06 also receives a larger-capacity dry-sump oiling system. It upgrades to the 10.5-quart (9.9 liters) system of the new ZR1. The previous oil system held eight quarts (7.5 liters).
The popular museum delivery option (RPO R8C) remains available for all Corvette models.
The 6.2L LS3 small-block V-8 is the standard engine in coupe and convertible models. It is rated at 430 horsepower (321 kW)* and 424 lb.-ft. of torque (575 Nm)* with the standard exhaust system. An optional two-mode exhaust system brings a power rating increase to 436 horses (325 kW) and 428 lb.-ft. (580 Nm).
The LS3 features an aluminum cylinder block with cast iron cylinder liners. The cylinder bores measure 4.06 inches (103.25 mm) in diameter and combine with a 3.62-inch (92 mm) stroke to deliver a 376-cubic-inch (6.2L) displacement. Breathing is accomplished via high-flow cylinder heads. They’re based on the large port/large valve design found on the LS7 engine, with larger-capacity, straighter intake ports. The design optimizes intake flow to the combustion chamber and the exhaust ports are also designed for better flow.
Complementing the large-port design of the heads are commensurately sized valves. The intake valve size is a large, 2.16 inches (55 mm). The intake valves feature lightweight hollow stems, which enable the engine’s 6,600-rpm capability. The exhaust valves also are large, measuring 1.60 inches (40.4 mm) in diameter.
To accommodate the engine’s large valves and enable more direct intake port flow, the intake-side rocker arms are offset 6 mm between the valve tip and the push rod. Actuating the valves is a camshaft with 0.551-inch (14 mm) lift.
Dual-mode exhaust system
Optional on coupe and convertible models is a dual-mode performance exhaust system. It gives the Corvette a more aggressive exhaust sound character that appeals to performance enthusiasts, as well as a boost in horsepower.
Similar in design and function to the system used on the Z06 and ZR1, the dual-mode exhaust uses vacuum-actuated outlet valves, which control engine noise during low-load operation, but open for maximum performance during high-load operation. It is not identical to the Z06 system; it uses a 2.5-inch-diameter exhaust, while the Z06 uses a three-inch system.
Transmissions and axle ratios
The Corvette is offered with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic with paddle-shift control. When ordered with the Z51 Performance Package, the six-speed manual comes with a more performance-oriented gearing, including a “shorter” 2.97:1 first gear.
The shifting feel for both the six-speed manual transmission and paddle-shift six-speed automatic transmissions were improved in ’08, with the manual transmission shifting improvements include a more positive and direct feel during gear changes, with better gate-to-gate location.
The six-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission on the coupe and convertible delivers quick shifts, with the ’08 enhancements bolstering the feeling of performance and driver control when using the shifting paddles. A 2.73 performance axle ratio is available with the automatic transmission. It is included with the Z51 package.
Corvette coupe and convertible have a hydroformed steel rail backbone structure, which features cored composite floors, an enclosed center tunnel, rear-mounted transmission and aluminum cockpit structure. Suspension cradles, control arms, knuckles, springs, dampers, bushings, stabilizer bars and steering gear have all been redesigned. Goodyear Extended Mobility Tires (EMT) take advantage of the latest sidewall design and compound technology for run-flat capabilities.
Three suspension choices allow drivers to choose the setup that best suits their driving style. The standard suspension is tuned for a balance of ride comfort and precise handling. Corvette is now more poised at even higher handling levels, yet easier to drive.
The optional Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension features magneto-rheological dampers able to detect road surfaces and adjust the damping rates to those surfaces almost instantly for optimal ride control. Cross-dilled brake rotors are included when this feature is selected, allowing customers to combine the larger brakes from the Z51 performance package with the comfort of Magnetic Selective Ride Control.
The Z51 Performance Package brings coupe and convertible performance very close to the widely admired previous generation Z06. The Z51 offers more aggressive dampers and springs, larger stabilizer bars, Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar EMT tires, enhanced cooling and larger cross-drilled brake rotors (13.4 inches / 340 mm in front and 13 inches / 330 mm in rear) for optimum track performance while still providing a comfortable ride.
With each suspension, three standard dynamic chassis control systems – anti-lock braking, traction control and Active Handling – operate in concert. In all, the dynamic chassis control systems are smarter, less intrusive and more adept at making the total driving experience precisely what drivers have come to expect from their Corvette.
Dramatic fender forms and exposed headlamps combine with the grille to create a strong visual identity for the Corvette, while the tapered rear deck and fascia improve high-speed performance. The lean rear design sports round taillamps and center-exit exhaust. The fixed Xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps provide superior lighting performance. With a 0.286 coefficient of drag, the coupe models are the most aerodynamic Corvettes ever.
The Corvette convertible now features a power-operated soft top with the 2LT package; an easy-to-operate manual top is standard on the new 1LT convertible. Both configurations use a five-layer fabric that conceals the underlying structure for a good top-up appearance, plus it helps preserve the car’s excellent aerodynamics and reduces road noise.
Interior details and technology
Corvette’s interior is inspired by the car’s dual-cockpit heritage. High-quality materials, craftsmanship and functionality help deliver premium quality meant to enhance performance driving. The instrument panel and doors are covered with cast-skin foam-in-place trim with the look of a leather panel. It is warm and inviting and has double the life of conventional trim materials.
An AM/FM/XM radio with CD player and audio input jack is standard. An optional Bose audio system with an in-dash six-disc changer adds to the choices available to the audiophile owner. Steering-wheel mounted audio controls are included on all models. XM Satellite Radio is standard.
A full-function OnStar system with Turn-by-Turn Navigation capability is standard and an onboard navigation system with voice recognition is available. Using a 6.5-inch (165 mm) color touch-screen display, the DVD-based system contains all the map data for the 48 contiguous states and most of Canada on two discs.
Corvette also features k eyless access. When the owner is in close proximity to the door, the key fob’s signal unlocks the door. The system’s emergency key and other remote-function controls are integrated in a single unit.
Custom leather-wrapped interior package
Available on coupe, convertible, Z06 and ZR1 models is the custom leather-wrapped interior package. It offers a stylish, two-tone leather-appointed cabin with details that enhance the feeling of Corvette’s craftsmanship. Details include:
- Leather-wrapped upper and lower instrument panel, door pads and seats
- Choice of new, exclusive colors: Dark Titanium, Ebony, Linen or Sienna, with unique color breakup
- Padded door panel armrests
- “Corvette” embroidered on passenger-side dash pad
- Embroidered crossed flags logo on headrests
- Unique center trim plate with Bias pattern.