Comparison Test: 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 vs. 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR

2008 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

(7.0L V8 6-speed Manual)
  • 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Track Video

    Watch the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Track Video on Edmunds' Inside Line | October 14, 2009

2 Videos , 35 Photos

  • Comparison Test
  • Top 7 Features
  • Specifications and Performance
  • Final Rankings and Scoring Explanation

We're looking at the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR and 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, but we're imagining a '68 Shelby GT500KR staging next to a Corvette with one of the 427-cubic-inch V8s on the Connecting Highway in Queens, New York, probably sometime during the Nixon administration. We don't know how the cars are tuned or which driver has the better hole-shot technique, but we're calling our street race in favor of the Vette.

You see, there's no historical basis for a close Corvette-Mustang rivalry. A Corvette of any year is a little too fast and smart to be street racing ratty muscle cars. It's a real sports car, the kind of car that's still fun when you start going around corners.

But maybe it's a different story with this 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR and 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Each of these rear-wheel-drive coupes has a V8 rated for more than 500 horsepower at the flywheel. And with the release of the limited-edition 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR, Ford has moved in on Chevrolet's price territory. The GT500KR leaves the Ford factory as a $46,730 GT500 coupe and is shipped as a rolling chassis to Carroll Shelby's facility near the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Nevada. By the time the KR cruises out of Shelby's shop, it's an $82,395 Mustang.

As such, the King-of-the-Road Mustang must now contend with this $76,920 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. And though the Z06 is a few horsepower shy of the upcoming ZR1, it's not an easy mark. The GT500KR will have to play like a sports car just to keep up.

I'll See Your Live Axle and Raise You Two Leaf Springs
Glance underneath the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR and 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and you'll shake your head in disbelief at the $82K Mustang's solid-axle rear suspension and the $77K Corvette's transverse leaf springs. Alongside a technological marvel like the Nissan GT-R, these two look hopelessly geriatric.

But give the old men a chance. The Corvette Z06 and GT500KR are 10,000 times more capable than any 1960s forebear with similar hardware. In addition, whether you take a shine to them or not, they have 10,000 times more personality than the robotized GT-R. Most importantly, they have gargantuan torque, which they deliver to dramatic effect.

These V8s Couldn't Be More Different
Chevrolet isn't taking many new-school shortcuts here. This Z06 has a 428-cubic-inch V8. OK, so it's the modern, fuel-injected, all-aluminum 7.0-liter LS7 V8, but this is a lot of engine to find in any mass-produced 2008 passenger car. It also has a dry-sump oil system so you know it's hard-core.

The 7.0-liter is capable of 505 hp at 6,300 rpm and 470 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. Redline is marked at 7,000 rpm, and the LS7 makes the trip without strain. A six-speed manual gearbox drives the rear wheels through 3.42:1 rear gears.

All GT500s start with an off-the-shelf DOHC 5.4-liter V8 with an iron block and aluminum heads. A Roots-type supercharger capable of 8.5 psi of boost and an air-to-water intercooler are then fitted. Once the GT500KR gets to Vegas, Shelby replaces the standard hood with a heavily ducted carbon-fiber piece that feeds air to a conical filter provided by Ford Racing.

Shelby also recalibrates the 5.4-liter motor with more aggressive spark mapping and installs a less restrictive exhaust. The resulting soundtrack is highly unique. Imagine how Frank Bullitt's Mustang GT 390 would sound if he missed a turn, drove straight into San Francisco Bay and somehow kept the engine running. Then add supercharger whine.

With these upgrades, the blown Ford V8 makes 540 hp at 6,250 rpm and 510 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. A six-speed manual is standard. A 3.73:1 rear end is a mandatory $195 option for the KR; normal GT500s have a 3.31:1 rear gear.

Surprisingly, equipment varies widely between the Ford and Chevy, with every advantage going to the Z06 — that is, unless you really want a small backseat like the Mustang's. Whether you're talking amenities like automatic climate control and keyless start or peace of mind like stability control, the Z06 simply has more stuff.

The Blood-Letting Begins
A short list of interior convenience features is the least of the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR's issues, however. Its major problem is weight, as this pony car package weighs 3,895 pounds, some 702 pounds more than the Corvette Z06. And every extra pound holds back the Mustang in every imaginable test of performance.

Our Z06 tester has a more cooperative shift linkage than the last one we tested, and after its P325/30ZR19 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar run-flat rear meats hook up, it shaves several tenths off its 0-60-mph time with a run in 3.9 seconds (or 3.6 seconds with 1 foot of rollout like on a dragstrip). It then blazes through the quarter-mile in 11.7 seconds at 123.2 mph.

This is marginally quicker than the Dodge Viper (11.8 seconds), though the Viper's trap speed is higher at 125.0 mph. It's also the same ET we got in the Nissan GT-R and Porsche 911 GT2, and compared to these two, the Vette carries more speed.

Meanwhile, the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR is besieged on the starting line by wheelspin. Its skinnier P285/40ZR18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar rear tires (a different compound than that of the Vette's tires, plus they're not run-flats) struggle to find grip out of the hole, and it takes a deliberate 1-2 upshift to avoid smoking them again in 2nd. Our best numbers are 4.9 seconds to 60 mph (or 4.5 seconds with rollout) and 12.8 seconds at 114.6 mph for the quarter-mile.

This is hardly the pace of a despot. In addition to the ZR1, Z06, Viper, GT2 and GT-R, the King of the Road is liable to have its ass handed to it by any number of AMG Benzes.

We Want To Be Scared
Forget the numbers, though. The pudge factor keeps the Shelby Mustang from feeling satisfyingly explosive when you wood it on public roads. It's quick all right, but if it didn't make such cool sounds, you'd be bored within a week. "It almost sounds better when it's off-throttle than on," one passenger observes.

Lay the pedal down in the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and you feel and hear the anger all around you. Chevy didn't have to tune the exhaust to hit your ears a certain way. This is just how a 428 V8 sounds at wide-open throttle.

You also sense the Z06 gathering speed in bigger chunks than the GT500KR, and there's less muscle-car flab to insulate you from the brutality of it.

There's also less protection from the heat. It stays cool in the Mustang cockpit no matter what you're up to, but run the Corvette hard and the transmission tunnel incinerates your jeans while the flimsy driver seat radiates enough heat to marinate your backside.

You see, the Z06 Vette is not a safe plaything like the 2008 Shelby GT500KR. It will still scare you. And frankly, a 500-hp car should scare you a little.

Then the Z06 Gets Spooky
Actually, though, you're going to be a lot scared if you take a 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 through corners at a good clip. In spite of its apparently unwieldy dimensions, the lightweight Vette has high handling limits. It generates big grip on the skid pad at 0.97g and goes through the slalom at 69.2 mph. Yet for all its capability, the Z06 refuses to communicate with you, even if you're close to crossing the line.

You can squeeze the big steering wheel until your hands bleed and still not learn a thing about tire grip. The chassis is similarly incommunicado with your butt, and you have to manhandle the car before you see anything resembling body roll.

While the Z06 is busy not speaking to you, its back end is moving around. This enhances its renegade character, but also leaves you wondering if death is waiting at the bottom of the next cliff.

And the KR Loses Its Cool
In contrast, the GT500KR is more benign than the Z06 but less capable. It has a lower ride height than other GT500s, and Shelby's crew has swapped in new springs, dampers and antiroll bars. The Mustang has decent balance through tight turns, but it's too heavy to feel truly at home. At least its steering is slightly more talkative than the Corvette's, so you're more in tune with its limits.

As you'd expect, the Shelby Mustang's solid axle is a major disadvantage. Everything can be going well as you enter a turn, but if there's a midcorner bump, the KR simply can't hold your intended line.

It's also a problem in the slalom. Surface imperfections at our testing facility limit the GT500KR to 65.5 mph — much slower than the softly sprung GT500 convertible (69.2 mph) we tested on a smoother surface last winter. The KR fares better on the skid pad, although its 0.92g performance is well off the Vette's pace.

The Shelby Mustang's brake pedal also softens up more than the Z06's during our back-road runs. This is consistent with our results at the test track, where the KR feels less confident and stops from 60 mph in 115 feet compared to the Corvette's 108 feet.

We figure it can't get any worse for the Shelby GT500KR; that is, until the $82K Mustang overheats after less than five minutes of being run near its 6,250-rpm redline in 80-degree weather. This happens twice more, and two out of the three times, the cabin also fills with gasoline fumes.

Our best guess is that this KR's cooling system wasn't burped properly during its stay in Vegas. We never find evidence of a gas leak, but in the interest of self-preservation, a fire extinguisher goes in the car.

It Starts To Make Sense on the Dry Lake
Between the Vette's spookiness and the Mustang's fever, we're starting to get too serious. Granted, each of these cars has a serious price tag, but if you're going to buy a rear-drive American car with a 500-horse V8, you're not looking for a truly serious car. You're looking for a hooligan.

So we take the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR to El Mirage Dry Lake, some 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles. All you'll find out here is space, and that means freedom to do powerslides and donuts. It also means you can accelerate into triple digits without hitting anything, even when a bumpy patch of sand punts the cars sideways at 130 mph.

And it's out here in the desert glare that we can imagine someone taking a shine to the 2008 Shelby GT500KR. Its acceleration and handling deficiencies aren't a problem here. It just sounds good and looks good, especially coated in silt.

Ah, but then it overheats again during an intense round of powersliding. So maybe this is the $82K Mustang that you garage for the next 20 years until it's old enough to be welcome at Donut Derelicts.

The 2008 Corvette Z06 wins this test against the 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR by 28.6 points, and when you drive the Vette, you immediately understand why. This isn't a cobbled-together collector's special. It's a real sports car with a phenomenal engine that will give you terminal cottonmouth when you open it up, and yet still provide the reliable operation and decent fuel economy expected from a modern car. Chevrolet's on pace to sell almost 30,000 Corvettes in 2008, and 20 percent of them will be Z06s.

At the same time, the flaws in the Corvette Z06's handling dynamics become more obvious each time we drive it. Some day the Z06 will have to answer to the GT-R, just not today.

The manufacturers provided Edmunds these vehicles for the purposes of evaluation.

Second Opinion

Senior Road Test Editor Josh Jacquot says:
If you're going to spend $80 grand on an American sports car, then there has never been a more compelling reason to buy a Corvette Z06 than the existence of the Shelby Mustang GT500KR. There's a reason this comparison test has an overwhelming victor and it's not that the Corvette Z06 is the end-all be-all of sports cars.

The Z06 is very, very fast, but it's far from the greatest driver's car on the planet. It's unnerving in a way no 505-horsepower car should be. Its limits remain vague until we fear they might suddenly and comprehensively define themselves against a solid object on, say, your favorite on-ramp. Or, even worse, a 90-mph sweeper on your local back road.

Go ahead, call us wimps, but then go drive a Z06 at 90 mph around a corner lined with concrete. Or trees. You'll see what we mean. The Vette's ass jumps around more than Beyoncé on the MTV video awards. Inside the cabin, there's that noodley-ass seatback adjustment lever that reeks of the cheapness that GM is trying desperately to eliminate elsewhere its lineup. This is embarrassing stuff for the pride of the GM fleet and America's greatest sports car.

Thing is, even with these faults, the Z06 is still infinitely better finished and more capable than the GT500KR. If you already survived the shock of the Shelby's $82,395 sticker, then the fact that the Vette whoops its ass at every performance test should be an easier pill to swallow. Within reason, no amount of tuning, tweaking or lightening will make the Mustang's bargain-price live-axle chassis compete with the Vette's finely tuned platform. Honestly, the GT500KR is a machine sold on its name alone. There's nothing here that justifies this kind of asking price — a fact that should be more embarrassing to Ford than any fault we found with the Vette will be to GM.

GT500KR buyers, we imagine, will take a great deal of pride in the Shelby's legacy. But that pride won't find much traction when they pull up to a signal next to a Z06.

Since the 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR are marketed as pure performance cars, we weren't looking for cutting-edge electronic entertainment packages. We were, however, looking for sufficient feature content to justify an $80,000 price tag.

Features

Features
2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR
Automatic climate control S N/A
Independent rear suspension S N/A
Keyless start S N/A
Rear seat N/A S
Stability control S N/A
Telescoping steering wheel O N/A
Xenon HID headlights S O

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

Automatic climate control: For this kind of money, we don't want to be guessing about the temperature in the cabin. We want to set it and forget it, and let the front passenger do the same. In the GT500KR, we have no more control than a Focus owner.

Independent rear suspension: The Shelby Mustang still has a solid axle in back, and it does the car no favors, adding weight and reducing handling precision.

Keyless start: If we can get keyless start in a $20,000 car, we shouldn't have to beg for it in an $82K car. Thanks, Chevy, for indulging our laziness.

Rear seat: OK, here's where the GT500KR has an advantage. You can bring the kids along to the dry lake and teach them the art of doing donuts.

Stability control: Maybe you'd just as soon not have another electronic guardian in the car, but for $82K, it should be your choice, not Ford's.

Telescoping steering wheel: You're probably not going to be comfortable in the driver seat if you can't adjust the steering wheel for reach. This should be standard in both cars.

Xenon HID headlights: You never know what time of day or night the urge to do a burnout will strike. These are standard on the Z06, but Ford nicks you for an additional $525.

Vehicle 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06  Top
Model Year: 2008
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Corvette
Style: Z06 2dr Hatchback (7.0L 8cyl 6M)
Base Price: $72,125
Price as Tested: $76,920
Options on Test Vehicle: 2LZ Preferred Equipment Group ($3,045 -- includes seven-speaker Bose stereo with steering-wheel controls, power telescoping steering wheel, heated seats, driver memory settings and side airbags), Navigation System ($1,750).
Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 6-speed manual
Transmission and Axle Ratios (x:1): I = 2.66, II = 1.78, III = 1.30, IV = 1.00, V = 0.74, VI = 0.50, R = 2.90, Final Drive = 3.42
Engine Type: V8
Displacement (cc / cu-in): 7,008cc (428 cu-in)
Block/Head Material: Aluminum/Aluminum
Valvetrain: Overhead valve, 2 valves per cylinder
Compression Ratio: 11.0:1
Redline (rpm): 7,000
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 505 @ 6,300
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 470 @ 4,800
Brake Type (front): 14.0-inch cross-drilled disc, six-piston calipers
Brake Type (rear): 13.4-inch cross-drilled disc, four-piston calipers
Steering System: Speed-proportional power steering
Steering Ratio: 17.2:1
Suspension Type (front): Double wishbone with transverse leaf spring
Suspension Type (rear): Double wishbone with transverse leaf spring
Tire Size (front): P275/35ZR18 87Y TPC Spec 1213
Tire Size (rear): P325/30ZR19 94Y TPC Spec 1214
Tire Brand: Goodyear
Tire Model: Eagle F1 Supercar
Tire Type: Performance run-flat
Wheel Size: 18-by-9.5 inches front -- 19-by-12.0 inches rear
Wheel Material (front/rear): Painted alloy
Manufacturer Curb Weight (lb): 3,162
Curb Weight As Tested (lb): 3,193
Weight Distribution, F/R (%): 51/49
Recommended Fuel: Premium unleaded (required)
Fuel Tank Capacity (gal): 18.0
EPA Fuel Economy (mpg): 15 city/24 highway
Edmunds Observed (mpg): 13.9

Conditions for Testing Top
Temperature (Fahrenheit): 77.3
Humidity: 51%
Elevation (ft): 1,121
Wind: 1.0

Performance Top
0 - 30 (sec): 1.9
0 - 45 (sec): 2.9
0 - 60 (sec): 3.9
0 - 75 (sec): 5.3
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 11.7 @ 123.2
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 3.6
30 - 0 (ft): 28
60 - 0 (ft): 108
Braking Rating (Excellent, Good, Average, Poor or Very Poor): Good
Slalom (mph): 69.2
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.97
Handling Rating (Excellent, Good, Average, Poor or Very Poor): Good
Db @ Idle: 57.0
Db @ Full Throttle: 90.5
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 73.4
Acceleration Comments: Our best launch came with only a chirp of wheelspin. The rest is all on the motor (not the clutch). It's easy to shift fast compared to the last Z06 we tested. Man, what a motor!
Handling Comments: Slalom: Feels unpredictable. Difficult to sense limits, which is frightening in a car with limits this high. Confidence suffers as a result. Rear end moves around too much -- also disconcerting. Skid pad: Lots of grip, but very little communication. Lacks steering buildup/weight and feel. Must be manhandled to power oversteer.
Braking Comments: One hundred eight feet is OK, but pedal was not consistent through all seven runs, nor were the car's stopping distances, the longest of which was 118 feet. This is frustrating inconsistency for a top-rung Vette.

Specifications Top
Length (in): 175.6
Width (in): 75.9
Height (in): 49.0
Wheelbase (in): 105.7
Front Track (in): 63.5
Rear Track (in): 62.5
Turning Circle: 39.0
Legroom, front (in): 43.1
Headroom, front (in): 37.9
Shoulder room, front (in): 55.2
Maximum Seating Capacity: 2
Cargo Volume (cu-ft): 22.4
Maximum Cargo Volume, rear seats down (cu-ft): 22.4

Warranty Information Top
Bumper-to-Bumper: 3 years/36,000 miles
Power Train: 5 years/100,000 miles
Corrosion: 6 years/100,000 miles
Roadside Assistance: 5 years/100,000 miles
Scheduled Maintenance: Not available

Safety Information Top
Front Airbags: Standard
Side Airbags: Optional side airbags
Head Airbags: Not available
Knee Airbags: Not available
Antilock Brakes: 4-wheel ABS
Electronic Brake Enhancements: Electronic brakeforce distribution
Traction Control: Standard
Stability Control: Standard
Rollover Protection: Not available
Tire Pressure Monitoring System: Tire-pressure monitoring
Emergency Assistance System: Not Available
NHTSA Crash Test Driver: Not tested
NHTSA Crash Test Passenger: Not tested
NHTSA Crash Test Side Front: Not tested
NHTSA Crash Test Side Rear: Not tested
NHTSA Rollover: Not tested
IIHS Offset: Not tested


Vehicle 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR  Top
Model Year: 2008
Make: Ford
Model: Shelby GT500
Style: 2dr Coupe (5.4L 8cyl S/C 6M)
Base Price: $43,125
Price as Tested: $82,395
Options on Test Vehicle: Shelby GT500KR Package, Navigation System, GT500 Premium Interior Trim Package, Ambient Lighting, HID Headlamps, 3.73 Ratio Limited Slip Axle
Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 6-speed manual
Transmission and Axle Ratios (x:1): I: 2.73; II: 1.78; III: 1.30; IV: 1.00; V: 0.80; VI: 0.63; FD: 3.73
Engine Type: V8
Displacement (cc / cu-in): 5,409cc (330 cu-in)
Block/Head Material: Iron/aluminum
Valvetrain: DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Compression Ratio: 8.4:1
Redline (rpm): 6,250
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 540 @ 6,250
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 510 @ 4,500
Brake Type (front): 14-inch ventilated disc, four-piston aluminum calipers, cooling ducts
Brake Type (rear): 11.8-inch ventilated disc, two-piston calipers
Steering System: Rack-and-pinion with power assist
Steering Ratio: 15.7:1
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson strut, 34mm tubular stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Solid axle, Panhard rod, 24mm solid stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): P255/45ZR18 99W
Tire Size (rear): P285/40ZR18 96W
Tire Brand: Goodyear
Tire Model: Eagle F1 Supercar
Tire Type: Summer
Wheel Size: 18 by 9.5 inches front -- 18 by 9.5 inches rear
Wheel Material (front/rear): Forged aluminum
Manufacturer Curb Weight (lb): 3,920
Curb Weight As Tested (lb): 3,895
Weight Distribution, F/R (%): 57.7/42.3
Recommended Fuel: Premium unleaded (required)
Fuel Tank Capacity (gal): 16.0
EPA Fuel Economy (mpg): 12 city/19 highway
Edmunds Observed (mpg): 13.6

Conditions for Testing Top
Temperature (Fahrenheit): 74.6
Humidity: 55.6
Elevation (ft): 1,121

Performance Top
0 - 30 (sec): 2.3
0 - 45 (sec): 3.6
0 - 60 (sec): 4.9
0 - 75 (sec): 6.7
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 12.8 @ 114.6
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.5
30 - 0 (ft): 28
60 - 0 (ft): 115
Slalom (mph): 65.5
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.92
Db @ Idle: 49.8
Db @ Full Throttle: 84.9
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 72.8
Acceleration Comments: Very difficult to hook up off the line. Must nurse this car out of the hole and then carefully shift to 2nd gear, else massive wheelspin is the result.
Handling Comments: Skid pad: Very easily modulated balance. Can be driven with the throttle around the skid pad. Slalom: Quick turn-in, but low limits in this test. Can feel axle moving in midcorner bumps. Reasonably well-damped, but at the limits of this chassis' capabilities.
Braking Comments: Even with big Brembos, this car lacks the brakes necessary to handle its weight. Marginal fade in this test. More obviously deficient on the road.

Specifications Top
Length (in): 187.6
Width (in): 73.9
Height (in): 54.5
Wheelbase (in): 107.1
Front Track (in): 61.9
Rear Track (in): 62.5
Turning Circle: 37.0
Legroom, front (in): 42.7
Legroom, rear (in): 31.0
Headroom, front (in): 38.6
Headroom, rear (in): 35.0
Shoulder room, front (in): 55.4
Shoulder room, rear (in): 53.3
Maximum Seating Capacity: 4
Cargo Volume (cu-ft): 12.3

Warranty Information Top
Bumper-to-Bumper: 3 years/36,000 miles
Power Train: 5 years/60,000 miles
Corrosion: 5 years/Unlimited miles
Roadside Assistance: 5 years/60,000 miles
Scheduled Maintenance: Not available

Safety Information Top
Front Airbags: Standard
Side Airbags: Standard dual front with head protection chambers
Head Airbags: Not available
Knee Airbags: Not available
Antilock Brakes: 4-wheel ABS
Electronic Brake Enhancements: Electronic brakeforce distribution
Traction Control: Standard
Stability Control: Not available
Tire Pressure Monitoring System: Tire-pressure monitoring
Emergency Assistance System: Not available
NHTSA Crash Test Driver: Not tested
NHTSA Crash Test Passenger: Not tested
NHTSA Crash Test Side Front: Not tested
NHTSA Crash Test Side Rear: Not tested
NHTSA Rollover: Not tested
IIHS Offset: Not tested

Final Rankings

Final Rankings
Item Weight 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2008 Ford Shelby GT500KR
Personal Rating 5% 100.0 50.0
Recommended Rating 5% 100.0 50.0
Evaluation Score 20% 73.2 69.2
Feature Content 15% 81.0 23.8
Performance 40% 100.0 67.3
Price 15% 100.0 92.9
Total Score 100.0% 91.8 63.2
Final Ranking 1 2

Personal Rating (5%): Purely subjective. After the test, each participating editor was asked to rank the cars in order of preference based on which he or she would buy if money were no object.

Recommended Rating (5%): After the test, each participating editor was asked to rank the cars in order of preference based on which he or she thought would be best for the average consumer shopping in this segment.

27-Point Evaluation (20%): Each participating editor ranked each car based on a comprehensive 27-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.

Feature Content (15%): For this category, the editors picked the top 7 features they thought would be most desirable to someone shopping for a rear-drive V8 performance car. For each car, the score was based on the number of actual features it had versus the total possible (seven). Standard and optional equipment were taken into consideration.

Performance Testing (40%): Both cars were put through a comprehensive battery of instrumented tests, including 0-60-mph acceleration, quarter-mile runs and panic stops from 60 mph. They were also run through a 600-foot slalom course to test transitional handling, and around a skid pad to determine ultimate grip. Each car was awarded points based on how close it came to the better-performing car's score in each category.

Price (15%): The numbers listed were the result of a simple percentage calculation based on the less expensive of the two cars. Using the "as-tested" prices of the actual evaluation vehicles, the less expensive car received a score of 100, with the more expensive car receiving a lesser score.

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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2008 Chevrolet Corvette in VA is:

$131 per month*
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