2005 Sports Car Comparison Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (2)
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term

2005 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

(6.0L V8 6-speed Manual)

  • Comparison Test
  • Editors' Evaluation
  • Top 5 Features
  • Stereo Evaluation: 2005 Chevrolet Corvette
  • Stereo Evaluation: 2005 Porsche Carrera S
  • Final Rankings and Scoring Explanation
  • Consumer Commentary
  • Second Opinion
  • Stereo Evaluation
  • 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S Specs and Performance
  • 2005 Chevrolet Corvette Specs and Performance

This is humiliating, but an office poll revealed that our entire staff had only seen The Godfather 347 times collectively. And there's 12 of us.

With that shameful fact now out in the open, our qualifications to test and judge the Chevrolet Corvette and the Porsche Carrera S, two of the fastest cars on the market, were obviously suspect.

We needed to watch The Godfather, and we needed to watch it now, over and over, then, and only then, would we be capable of judging these two very powerful, very expensive sports cars properly.

Why The Godfather?

Because it's the best of its kind. Pure genius. The greatest movie ever made. When you watch it, your standards go up. You demand more. You expect the very best. You can't help but get wrapped up in its excellence. As the credits roll, Louis XIII tastes a touch flat, Pamela Anderson is a touch flat and Beethoven's Fifth needs a little something.

So we watched it. And we watched it. And then we watched it again. After the fifth viewing in a row, with nothing in our stomachs except bad coffee and cold pizza, we were ready. Our eyes were burning like flaming shots of Sambuca, and we were all craving fennel, but we were ready.

Bring on the cars.

Two Legends Renewed
The Chevrolet Corvette and the Porsche 911 have both been redesigned for the 2005 model year. Chevrolet and Porsche each says its new model shares little with last year's version, although both cars deal their ancestries a lot of respect. At the curb and from behind the wheel, the Carrera S is clearly a 911, and you'd have to be dead, dumb and blind not to recognize the sixth generation of the Chevrolet Corvette as anything but a Corvette.

As it has been for half a century, the 2005 Chevrolet Corvette is a front-engined, rear-wheel-drive, two-seater powered by Chevy's small-block V8, in this case an all-aluminum 6.0-liter that cranks out 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. And the 2005 911, as it has been for over 40 years, is a rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive, 2+2 powered by Porsche's horizontally opposed six-cylinder, in this case a water-cooled, all-aluminum 3.8-liter cranking out 355 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

In other words, they couldn't be more mechanically or philosophically different from one another if they were a man and a woman. Still their missions have always been the same. Be fast and be sexy. Comfort, reliability and practicality just don't matter as much as the athletics and the aesthetics.

To find out which is the gun, and which is the cannoli, we ordered up an example of each with a manual transmission and lots of optional luxuries. The Corvette showed up in rich Le Mans Blue with Magnetic Selective Ride Control, DVD navigation, a transparent roof panel, heated seats, a head-up display and a sticker price of $54,045 with destination. Porsche sent over a subdued Seal Grey Metallic Carrera S with heated seats, navigation, the Sport Chrono package, which is an onboard stopwatch, power seats and an MSRP of $88,690.

If neither price makes you grab your wallet with a sweaty claw, te salute, Don Corleone.

We drove each for two weeks. They saw our commutes and our favorite canyon roads. We hit drive-thrus, the dry cleaners and the dog groomers. We cruised Sunset Boulevard after dark, and L.A.'s crowded freeways in the warm glow of the rising sun. We asked our significant others what they thought, and our neighbors which they liked better.

Early in the process, the Porsche gained points for its universal crowd appeal, its everyday usability, its upscale interior, its surprising refinement and its awesome performance. At the end of the two weeks it was in the lead and pulling away.

That dominance continued at the test track, where it out-accelerated, out-braked and out-turned the Corvette, but it was at the racetrack, where the Corvette was shot down like Sonny at the causeway. On the twisting Streets of Willow course in Rosamond, Calif., the Chevrolet Corvette needed three more seconds to cover a lap than the 911.

Conclusion
In the Corvette's defense, our tester did not have the Z51 package, which stiffens the suspension, adds larger cross-drilled brake rotors and stickier tires. If it had, it may have been a different outcome at the track, but we're sure the outcome of this test would be the same. The 2005 Porsche Carrera S is just that good. It's wicked fast, shockingly livable and turns heads like a "Free Money" sign. It's one of the few cars in today's world that is undeniably worth its price tag. It is The Godfather of sports cars.

Second Place: 2005 Chevrolet Corvette

The Chevrolet Corvette goes like hell. Its 6.0-liter LS2, which is one of the last pushrod overhead valve V8s left on the American auto market, creates enough power at any rpm to make a German engineer join the Pushrod Preservation Society. Mash the throttle in any gear and weird facial expressions become involuntary.

The big engine sounds great, but revs slowly. Compared to the quick-revving Porsche Carrera S, first gear in the Chevrolet Corvette seems to last a month. When the engine's 6,500-rpm redline is reached, the shifter for the six-speed is where it should be and ready to take a pounding. Bang second and the big rear Goodyears spin for an instant and then accelerate the car down the road like it's been fired from a slingshot.

Now the gear changes are needed more quickly. Third gear flies by as speed gathers in a hurry. Somewhere around 100 mph you pull the shifter back into fourth and reintroduce the throttle to the carpet. At a buck-forty, the Vette can be steered with one hand if you were stupid enough to do so, proving itself to be aerodynamically sound and its adjustable Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension to be well sorted. This car is fun to rip around in.

As fast as it is, however, our blue test car wasn't as fast as the Porsche Carrera S or the Z51 Corvette we tested a month ago. That Vette's performance was much closer to the Porsche's, in fact it ran a quicker quarter-mile time and a faster speed through our 600-foot slalom than the Porsche Carrera S.

If you want your Corvette to go really fast, order the Z51 package. Sure it'll ride a little stiffer than our blue tester, but the car was sprung on the soft side for a sports car anyway.

We're sure the major reason the 911 walked all over this Corvette was tires. The Michelins on the Porsche Carrera S were just softer and stickier than the Goodyears on the Corvette. How do we know? Simple, at the end of the day the Michelins looked like Telly Savalas, while the Goodyears looked new.

Around the track, or on twisting mountain roads, the Corvette feels large and slow to react compared to the Porsche, but it's also well balanced, and a lot of fun to toss around. It just doesn't have any grip due to its hard tires. Driving it on a racetrack is like asking the New York Jets' Curtis Martin to go up the gut in espadrilles.

The Chevrolet Corvette also falls short of the 911 in its attention to detail and its fit and finish. In any category of quality the Vette's interior is better than before, plus it's pleasantly ergonomic, but it's also plain and too plasticky for a car that costs most of $50 grand. The wife of one tester said it looked like the interior of a truck.

We especially dislike the Corvette's electric door release system, which gives you a button to push instead of a handle. The system is noisy, argumentative and answers a question nobody asked. The guy who thought it up should be banished to the mailroom where he can do no more harm.

Because it costs $30,000 less than the 911, we were going to give the Corvette some slack in these categories. Then we realized there are a number of sports cars that cost half as much as the Vette and have nicer interiors. Cars like the Audi TT, the Mazda RX-8 and the Volkswagen R32.

On a positive note, the Corvette's push-button starter, which allows you to keep the key in your pocket, is cool, and there's enough cargo space in this two-seater to swallow the luggage of four.

If you love the C5, which is arguably the greatest Corvette ever, you'll get all gooey after driving the Chevrolet Corvette C6. It's better than the C5 in every way you can imagine or measure. And it writes the book on bang for the buck, delivering the power and the performance of many cars that cost twice as much. But in the end, it falls short of the Porsche Carrera S.

In the end, it's the gun. Unless you're trading in a C5, listen to Clemenza and leave the gun.

First Place: 2005 Porsche Carrera S

Driving a 2005 Porsche 911, internally known at Porsche as the 997, is an offer you should not refuse. Firing up its flat six-cylinder is always special. The ignition is still to the left of the steering wheel, just as it always has been, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Twist the key to the right, and the Porsche Carrera barks to life, waking its bank of cleanly styled gauges and anyone within earshot. The tach needle, which is perfectly placed dead ahead of the driver, quickly falls to a lopey idle. The car is ready. It wants to make a late night diaper run, even if you don't.

The driver door closes with a solid thud, as it ought to at this price point. From the door, your hand moves to the three-spoke steering wheel, which is covered in soft hide and shaped for hard driving. The shifter is precisely where it should be, its knob shaped to perfection. The firm seat is comfortable on the highway, supportive on the track, infinitely adjustable and heated if you wish. The pedals are spaced right.

Overall, the interior is nearly all new and it's a huge improvement over the interior of the 996. It's loaded with small details, such as aluminum trim, a suede headliner and two cupholders that stash out of sight brilliantly when not needed. Plus the window switches have been moved back to the door panel, like in the old days. Good move, Porsche. The only flaw we found is a sound/navigation interface, which has too many small buttons, and is needlessly complex, like setting the clock on your VCR.

The 911's driving position, which is much more upright than the Corvette's, hasn't changed for decades. And it hasn't changed for good reason. The view out is better than many SUVs and this has to be the easiest sports car on Earth to get in and out of. On the road, the Porsche Carrera S isn't flawless, but it's close. The steering is alive at any speed, the brakes are the best in the world and the gearing in the six-speed is perfectly matched to the quick-revving engine, which is remarkably torquey considering its small displacement, and provides a nice kick at 3,000 rpm.

Even more remarkable than the Porsche's performance is its smoothness. This car is as refined as it is thrilling. There's never any unwanted vibration in any of its controls, but it's always visceral. It's always communicating clearly with its driver.

Its one flaw is its highway ride, which some might find too stiff. After an hour or so on the concrete freeways of Los Angeles, anyone but the most committed Porschephile would call the ride busy, and the 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport tires noisy. It's actually hard to hear the radio, or talk on the cell phone as the road noise reverberates through the tight chassis.

Those big sticky tires, however, along with the Porsche's wide track, short wheelbase and rear engine layout, give this car awesome response, incredible acceleration and tremendous handling. Drive it right, and 0-60 mph takes just 4.5 seconds and cornering forces strain neck muscles.

But that rear engine layout also gives the 911 a sharp edge, which is why mere mortals should always keep the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system activated. With the system on, the Carrera S is idiotproof. PSM makes even the most ham-fisted pilots look like Hans Stuck. When it's off, crashing into hard objects unintentionally isn't hard to do.

Good drivers should find the "sport" button. Pushing it not only loosens the PSM, but tightens the suspension and quickens the throttle response to levels 993 enthusiasts will appreciate. Then the Carrera S can really boogie.

Great drivers, like I've-won-rallies great, should shut down the PSM altogether, which puts you alone in control of the car. Then tire-smoking powerslides and/or the quickest lap times are obtainable.

Driving the 2005 Porsche Carrera S, whether on the road or the racetrack, is really one of life's great pleasures. It is, without any doubt, the cannoli. No, make that the strudel.

Evaluation - Drive
Evaluation - Ride
Evaluation - Design
Evaluation - Cargo/Passenger Space

Evaluation - Drive

Engine Performance
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 9.7 1
Chevrolet Corvette 9.7 1
Transmission
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 9.3 1
Chevrolet Corvette 7.7 2
Braking
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 9.3 1
Chevrolet Corvette 8.3 2
Suspension
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 8.7 1
Chevrolet Corvette 8.0 2
Tires
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 10.0 1
Chevrolet Corvette 6.3 2
Steering
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 9.7 1
Chevrolet Corvette 7.0 2
Visibility
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 9.3 1
Chevrolet Corvette 8.0 2
Fun to Drive
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 10.0 1
Chevrolet Corvette 8.3 2

Evaluation - Ride

Seat Comfort Front
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 8.7 1
Chevrolet Corvette 7.7 2
Seat Comfort Rear
Vehicle Score Rank
Chevrolet Corvette 8.7 1
Porsche 911 Carrera S 8.3 2
Wind & Road Noise
Vehicle Score Rank
Chevrolet Corvette 8.3 1
Porsche 911 Carrera S 7.7 2
Rattles & Squeaks
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 10.0 1
Chevrolet Corvette 8.3 2

Evaluation - Design

Interior Design
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 8.7 1
Chevrolet Corvette 6.0 2
Interior Material
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 8.7 1
Chevrolet Corvette 7.0 2
Climate Control Design/Operation
Vehicle Score Rank
Chevrolet Corvette 8.3 1
Porsche 911 Carrera S 8.0 2
Audio System Design/Operation
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 9.0 1
Chevrolet Corvette 7.0 2
Secondary Control Design/Operation
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 8.3 1
Chevrolet Corvette 6.7 2
Exterior Design
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 9.0 1
Chevrolet Corvette 8.0 2
Headlight Illumination
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 9.0 1
Chevrolet Corvette 9.0 1
Overall Build Quality
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 10.0 1
Chevrolet Corvette 8.3 2

Evaluation - Cargo/Passenger Space

Entry/Exit
Vehicle Score Rank
Porsche 911 Carrera S 8.0 1
Chevrolet Corvette 7.7 2
Expanding/Loading Cargo
Vehicle Score Rank
Chevrolet Corvette 9.0 1
Porsche 911 Carrera S 8.0 2
Storage Space
Vehicle Score Rank
Chevrolet Corvette 8.0 1
Porsche 911 Carrera S 6.7 2
Cupholders
Vehicle Score Rank
Chevrolet Corvette 7.3 1
Porsche 911 Carrera S 6.7 2

When you're buying a sports car, having the right features can be the difference between a car that exceeds your expectations and one that leaves you wishing for more. After driving our test cars for the better part of two weeks, we asked each editor to pick the top features he or she thought would be the most useful to the average buyer in this segment. Any feature that was standard on both was thrown out and points were awarded based on whether each feature was standard, optional or not available.

Features

Features
Chevrolet Corvette Porsche 911 Carrera S
Heated Seats O O
Satellite Steering Wheel Controls N/A O
Adjustable Suspension O S
Side Airbags O S
Premium Audio System O O

Key:
S: Standard
O: Optional
N/A: Not Available

Adjustable Suspension: It can give a sports car a dual personality, stiffening or softening the ride with the flick of switch or the push of a button. Both the Corvette and Carrera have excellent systems.

Satellite Steering Wheel Controls: Even in sports cars with small cabins, controls for the radio and other amenities on the steering wheel, allow the driver to keep his hands where they're needed most. The Porsche's were a bit complicated, and the Corvette does without.

Side Airbag Protection: You can't put a price tag on safety, especially on a low and small sports car. This is a feature you'll be glad you have in the event of an accident.

Premium Audio System: No real sports car is complete without a great sound system and the audio quality in both the Porsche and the Corvette is top-notch.

Heated Seats: They're nice on a cool morning, and both cars have two levels of intensity, hot and hotter.

System Score: 7.0

Components: Order up the premium audio system in the Corvette and you get a seven-speaker Bose setup, an in-dash CD player and a DVD-based navigation system. The audio components consist of a digital amplifier with noise compensation technology, a 3.5-inch mid/high-range speaker in each door, a 3.5-inch mid/high-range speaker in the center of the dash, 10-inch woofers in each door and 5.25-inch full-range speakers just behind the seats.

The system controls consist of a few small main control buttons along with more detailed touchscreen controls on the 6.5-inch display screen. The on-screen buttons are straightforward and easy to use, but the miniscule auxiliary buttons along the side of the screen are difficult to decipher at first glance. The CD slot is hidden behind the screen, so the system takes up a relatively small piece of the center stack given its multiple uses.

Performance: Even with its substantial set of premium components, this system failed to wow us with its performance. Compared to the studio quality sound of the Porsche, the overall sound quality of this Bose-designed system was uninspiring. Bass reproduction is solid, power is plentiful and there's respectable separation of the highs and lows, but there's a level of clarity missing that made it sound a step below the 911's setup.

If you tend to listen to the same types of music all the time, this setup won't disappoint, but anyone looking for a truly flexible system that can make any music sound great will find it lacking.

Best Feature: Enough power to sound good even with the top off.

Worst Feature: Miniscule seek button.

Conclusion: A solid all-around performer, but it can't match the industry's top systems when it comes to producing the intricate sound reproduction audiophiles crave. — Ed Hellwig

System Score: 9.0

Components: This Bose-designed system consists of 12 speakers and roughly 350 watts of power. The controls are integrated into the navigation display making for a somewhat clumsy interface, but the clarity of the display is impressive. A CD slot resides just above the screen, but it's only able to accept one CD at a time.

Performance: Porsche has finally turned the corner with this system. The 911 has never been impressive when it came to delivering sound quality on par with its price, but this system is well worth the cost. The Bose setup has a surround sound feature called Centerpointe that splits standard two-channel audio into five channels.

The result is a more spacious, concert hall sound that doesn't seem to be emanating from the dashboard or doors as much as it is filling the entire cabin. The clarity of high notes is superb, with delicate vocals coming through like the singer was in the backseat. Clean bass comes through on the bottom to fill out more complex tracks without drowning out the high side. It doesn't skip a beat when cranked up and with power to spare you'll find yourself listening to music louder than you're used to just so you can hear all those things you've been missing with other systems.

Best Feature: Incredible clarity and depth of detail that brings just about any old CD to life.

Worst Feature: No in-dash CD changer.

Conclusion: An outstanding system that performs almost as well as the flat six in back. — Ed Hellwig

Final Rankings

Final Rankings
Porsche 911 Chevrolet Corvette
Personal Rating (15% of score) 100 50
Recommended Rating (15% of score) 83 66
Evaluation Score (20% of score) 87.8 78.3
Feature Content (20% of score) 80 53.3
Performance (20% of score) 100 88
Price (10% of score) 44 100
Total Score 85.4 71.4
Final Ranking 1 2

Personal Rating: Purely subjective. After the test, each participating editor was asked to rank the vehicles in order of preference based on which he or she would buy if money were no object.

Recommended Rating: After the test, each participating editor was asked to rank the vehicles in order of preference based on which he or she thought would be best for the average consumer shopping in this segment.

24-Point Evaluation: Each participating editor ranked every vehicle based on a comprehensive 24-point evaluation. The evaluation covered everything from exterior design to cupholders. Scoring was calculated on a point system, and the scores listed are averages based on all test participants' evaluations.

Performance Testing: Each car was subjected to a set of performance tests that measure acceleration, braking and handling through a 600-foot slalom course. In addition, we timed each car around the Streets of Willow racetrack. Scores were calculated by giving the best vehicle in each category 100 percent. Subsequent vehicles were awarded points based on how close they came to the best performing vehicle's score.

Feature Content: For this category, the editors picked the top five features they thought would be most beneficial to the consumer shopping in this segment. For each vehicle, the score was based on the amount of actual features it had versus the total possible (10). Standard and optional equipment were taken into consideration.

Price: The numbers listed were the result of a simple percentage calculation based on the least expensive vehicle in the comparison test. Using the "as tested" prices of the actual evaluation vehicles, the least expensive vehicle received a score of 100, with the remaining vehicles receiving lesser scores based on how much each one costs.

Chevrolet Corvette

"When you hop into a C6 Vette it will be hard to get out. You won't want to. When driving, it's a thrill. Handles great, quieter than its predecessors, and performance-wise it's great. It's a head-turning, jaw-dropping, smile-freezing, chick magnet of a car. Push-button start is cool. Headlights turn on automatically, clearer HUD, in addition to satellite radio and OnStar, it's just too fun to drive." — Scrotti, Nov. 27, 2004

"I have owned six Corvettes from the C3 thru the C6 and this one is by far the best! It is a pleasure each time I get into this car and drive it and the value that it provides is remarkable. GM and the Chevrolet Division deserve a 'hats-off' to this world-class machine. I had the first one delivered in Santa Fe and the response by others who saw it was not to be believed." — Santa Fe C6, Nov. 12, 2004

"I've owned several Porsches and always respected the power of Corvettes but thought their handling left something to be desired. Those days are gone. This car out-accelerates, out-handles, out-brakes and outlooks any of the Porsches I've owned. The engine has the sound of a jet whine combined with that ripping-canvas Ferrari growl. It's intoxicating. I got the Z51 suspension with a 6-speed and leaving it in 3rd on a Mt. road lets repeatedly hear the V8 burble which you can feel in your stomach. With the Z51 there is no body lean and it feels like a slot car around corners. The car really doesn't have a weak spot. Best sports car buy this century, it's like getting a Ferrari for $50K." — Clutchplate, Nov. 8, 2004

Editor in Chief Karl Brauer says:
Newsflash! Porsche builds the superior sports car! The expected response will, of course, be, "It better, considering the $30,000 price difference." Problem is, I don't know too many people who consider a $50,000 sports car within their budget, and an $80,000 sports car beyond their budget. Buyers for both models are using discretionary cash, so for them the difference between a $50,000 car and an $80,000 car is like the difference between a $50 DVD player and an $80 DVD player for the rest of us. These people aren't looking to pinch pennies. They should buy the Porsche.

Senior Road Test Editor Ed Hellwig says:
With 911s as common as Camrys in Santa Monica, the aura of its legend doesn't quite shine as bright for me. I still appreciate its iconic design and unmistakable sound, but after seeing one too many Wall Street wannabes parading down Wilshire Boulevard the luster has faded.

Besides, I've driven nothing but American V8s from Day One and the idea that a smallish flat six could do better was suspect. Throw in the Porsche's ridiculous price and I just about made up my mind before the cars even showed up.

Then I drove the 911 at the track.

It was a revelation. I felt like one of those people falling to the floor after being smacked in the head by a televangelist. Perfect steering, unbelievable grip and handling that rewards drivers who know exactly what they're doing — in other words, the ultimate sports car.

I've seen the light, and it's made by Bosch.

2005 Chevrolet Corvette
2005 Porsche Carrera S

2005 Chevrolet Corvette

System Score: 7.0

Components: Order up the premium audio system in the Corvette and you get a seven-speaker Bose setup, an in-dash CD player and a DVD-based navigation system. The audio components consist of a digital amplifier with noise compensation technology, a 3.5-inch mid/high-range speaker in each door, a 3.5-inch mid/high-range speaker in the center of the dash, 10-inch woofers in each door and 5.25-inch full-range speakers just behind the seats.

The system controls consist of a few small main control buttons along with more detailed touchscreen controls on the 6.5-inch display screen. The on-screen buttons are straightforward and easy to use, but the miniscule auxiliary buttons along the side of the screen are difficult to decipher at first glance. The CD slot is hidden behind the screen, so the system takes up a relatively small piece of the center stack given its multiple uses.

Performance: Even with its substantial set of premium components, this system failed to wow us with its performance. Compared to the studio quality sound of the Porsche the overall sound quality of this Bose-designed system was uninspiring. Bass reproduction is solid, power is plentiful and there's respectable separation of the highs and lows, but there's a level of clarity missing that made it sound a step below the 911's setup.

If you tend to listen to the same types of music all the time, this setup won't disappoint, but anyone looking for a truly flexible system that can make any music sound great will find it lacking.

Best Feature: Enough power to sound good even with the top off.

Worst Feature: Miniscule seek button.

Conclusion: A solid all-around performer, but it can't match the industry's top systems when it comes to producing the intricate sound reproduction audiophiles crave. — Ed Hellwig

2005 Porsche Carrera S

System Score: 9

Components: This Bose designed system consists of 12 speakers and roughly 350 watts of power. The controls are integrated into the navigation display making for a somewhat clumsy interface, but the clarity of the display is impressive. A CD slot resides just above the screen, but it's only able to accept one CD at a time.

Performance: Porsche has finally turned the corner with this system. The 911 has never been impressive when it came to delivering sound quality on par with its price, but this system is well worth the cost. The Bose setup has a surround sound feature called Centerpointe that splits standard two channel audio into five channels.

The result is a more spacious, concert hall sound that doesn't seem to be emanating from the dashboard or doors as much as it is filling the entire cabin. The clarity of high notes is superb, with delicate vocals coming through like the singer was in the back seat. Clean bass comes through on the bottom to fill out more complex tracks without drowning out the high side. It doesn't skip a beat when cranked up and with power to spare you'll find yourself listening to music louder than you're used to just so you can hear all those things you've been missing with other systems.

Best Feature: Incredible clarity and depth of detail that brings just about any old CD to life.

Worst Feature: No in-dash CD changer.

Conclusion: An outstanding system that performs almost as well as the flat six in back. — Ed Hellwig

Vehicle
Model year2005
MakePorsche
Model911 Carrera S
Drivetrain
Engine type24-valve DOHC flat six
Displacement (cc/cu-in)3.8
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)355 @ 6600
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)395 @ 4600
Transmission type6-speed manual
Track Test Results
0-60 mph (sec.)4.48
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)13 @ 110.7
60-0 mph (ft.)111.6
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)63.9
Dimensions & Capacities
Length (in.)175.6
Width (in.)71.2
Height (in.)51.2
Wheelbase (in.)92.5
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper4 years/50,000 miles
Powertrain4 years/50,000 miles
Corrosion10 years/Unlimited miles
Roadside assistance4 years/50,000 miles
Vehicle
Model year2005
MakeChevrolet
ModelCorvette
Drivetrain
Engine type16-valve OHV V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in)6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)400 @ 6000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)400 @ 4400
Transmission type6-speed manual
Track Test Results
0-60 mph (sec.)5.23
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)13.6 @ 109.3
60-0 mph (ft.)112.8
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)64.9
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)18/28
Dimensions & Capacities
Length (in.)175
Width (in.)73
Height (in.)49
Wheelbase (in.)106
Turning circle (ft.)39
Legroom, front (in.)43
Headroom, front (in.)38
Shoulder room, front (in.)55
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain3 years/36,000 miles
Corrosion6 years/100,00 miles
Roadside assistance3 years/36,000 miles
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