2005 marked the introduction of the sixth-generation Chevrolet Corvette, known internally and within the automotive community as the C6. This all-new ‘Vette was a departure from past versions of America’s sports car in a few key areas. The overall shape smoothed out the design of the C5, but the biggest difference was the return to fixed headlights, replacing the flip-up design that had been a Corvette hallmark since 1962.
The 2005 C6 Corvette featured a more spacious cockpit with modern amenities, including an available DVD-based navigation system, OnStar, and SiriusXM satellite radio. The wheelbase was lengthened and the front and rear overhangs were reduced for a more aggressive stance. In many ways, though, the C6 was an evolution of the C5 platform, as a number of components are actually interchangeable between the two generations. This is helpful, as replacement components are plentiful.
The engine lineup was updated for 2006, including the base 6.0-liter (364 cid) V8 engine, making 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque sent through a 6-speed manual or available (and popular) four-speed automatic. The transmission is rear-mounted for a 50/50 weight distribution. With the manual transmission, the Corvette could return up to 28 miles per gallon (when new, your results may vary).
Three suspension setups were available. The base offers a blend of performance and comfort, while the Magnetic Ride Control was cutting-edge tech for the day and featured magneto-rheological dampers. The Z51 package offered beefed up dampers, larger stabilizer bars, and cross-drilled brake rotors.
Later in the 2005 model year, Chevrolet offered the C6 Corvette Convertible. The rear window is larger for improved visibility, and the whole cloth top assembly can raise or lower in 18 seconds. If you prefer the hardtop, the Corvette Coupe can also let in plenty of sun with the removable roof panel, which stows conveniently into the trunk area.