What's New for 2007
Changes for the 2007 Chevrolet Corvette consist of an enlarged glovebox, added sound insulation, the addition of bigger brakes with cross-drilled brake rotors for the Magnetic Ride Control option, and the availability of new two-tone leather seating with embroidered accents. Two special editions debut as well: an Indy Pace Car convertible and a Ron Fellows Z06, the latter inspired by a successful Corvette driver in the American Le Mans series.
Perhaps the best performance bargain ever in the history of sports cars, the 2007 Chevrolet Corvette makes fast friends with those who like to go fast affordably and comfortably. During its last revamping in 2005, the Corvette picked up more power in the form of the 6.0-liter "LS2" V8 that allowed the standard Corvette admission into the hallowed 400-horsepower club. All that power along with a choice of three suspension levels, an improved interior and revised styling (that visually lessened the chunky rear end) make this the best Vette yet.
With acceleration, braking and handling stats that are fully equal to sports cars that cost up to three times as much, the Chevy Corvette could stop there, rest on its laurels and still be a great car. But there's more to the Corvette's appeal, including its user-friendly cockpit, massive amount of luggage space and ride quality that's comfortable enough for daily commuting and long freeway slogs. There are also a wide range of Corvettes to choose from: the standard removable-top coupe, a convertible, and the ferocious Z06, a fixed-roof coupe that takes it to another level with its track-ready suspension and 7.0-liter, "LS7" V8 that cranks out a tire-frying 505 hp. In addition, this year brings the Indy Pace Car convertible (which features Atomic orange paint with gold ribbon stripes, split-spoke wheels and special seat embroidery) and the Ron Fellows Edition Z06 (which is named after a victorious Corvette driver in the American Le Mans series and features red fender stripes on a white body along with a red and black two-tone cockpit).
Downsides to the 2007 Chevrolet Corvette are few and center chiefly on the interior. Although the Vette's interior is better than before, especially in terms of build quality, it's still too plain and has too much plastic trim for a car in this price range. This year's availability of two-tone leather seating with embroidery accents adds a few points here, but in the end, the cockpit still isn't the equal of some sports cars such as BMW's M variant of the Z4 or Porsche's Boxster and Cayman. Nor can it quite match those European cars' more precise and nimble road feel. But for the majority of shoppers in this segment, those items shouldn't be much of a deterrent. For the money, it doesn't get any better than the Corvette.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
Although officially noted as being available in two body styles, a coupe and a convertible, the 2007 Chevrolet Corvette in essence offers three: targa-roof coupe, fixed-roof coupe and convertible. The standard Corvette coupe has a removable roof panel (a.k.a. "targa") that allows nearly the same open-air experience as a true convertible, whereas the Corvette Z06 coupe's roof looks the same but is fixed in place. The convertible is for roadster purists, and its top, as tradition dictates, hides under a flip-open panel that lies flush with the body. The coupe and convertible come well-equipped with features such as xenon headlamps, keyless entry and startup, a tire-pressure monitor, leather seating, a six-way power driver seat and dual-zone automatic climate control. Notable options for the standard coupe and convertible include a navigation system, a transparent roof panel for the coupe, a head-up display, a driver-seat memory and a seven-speaker Bose audio system. A couple of suspension options are available as well: the Magnetic Ride Control suspension, which automatically firms up and softens the suspension in milliseconds according to how the car is being driven, and the Z51 performance handling package, which adds extra cooling; stiffer springs, shocks and stabilizer bars; bigger brakes with cross-drilled rotors; specific tires and shorter gearing for the six-speed manual. The Z06 maintains most of the regular Corvette coupe's features but gains a lightweight aluminum frame, wider wheels and tires, a more stiffly tuned suspension, better brakes and special sport seats.
Powertrains and Performance
Base coupe and convertible Corvettes come with a 6.0-liter LS2 V8, rated at 400 hp and 400 pound-feet of torque. The Z06 boasts a stunning 505 hp and 470 lb-ft from its 7.0-liter LS7 V8. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard across the board, while a new six-speed automatic is a no-charge option for the base coupe and convertible. Either engine delivers stunning performance: The regular Corvette with an automatic runs the quarter in 12.8 seconds, while the Z06 turns in a blistering 12.2-second effort.
Four-wheel ventilated, antilock disc brakes are standard. Side-impact airbags are optional and head curtain airbags are not available. The latest Chevy Corvette features a superb stability control and traction control system as standard. Called "Active Handling," this system has been programmed to provide noninvasive assistance, and its performance driving mode gives the driver even more control at the track while still maintaining a safety net.
Interior Design and Special Features
Compared to the earlier pre-2005 Corvette ("C5"), the latest version's cabin is much improved in terms of its materials and build quality. Functionally, it's blessed with large gauges, intuitive controls, usable cupholders and massive cargo capacity (22.4 cubic feet in coupes and 11 cubes in the convertible). The optional navigation system is likewise easy to use. Although this year brings the option of snazzy two-tone leather seating with embroidered accents, the 2007 Corvette's interior quality and seat comfort are still a step behind its European sports car rivals.
Endless power from either snarling V8 combined with a tight suspension results in a sports car that never ceases to put a smile on your face. All three of the suspension packages deliver a compliant ride along with white-knuckled handling abilities. The 2007 Chevrolet Corvette can serve equally well as a comfortable touring car or world-class performance machine. The Z06 version is an unforgettable monster on the street that is still docile enough to serve as one's daily driver.