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2009 Chevy Corvette Review

The 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 marks the return of an ultra-high-performance model to this American sports car icon. ZR1 represents a revival of a moniker that graced super-performance Corvettes from 1990-1995. ZR1 also differs from other Corvettes by its unique suspension tuning and use of lightweight carbon fiber on the hood, roof panel, roof bow, front fascia splitter, and rocker moldings. As for the rest of the Corvette lineup, base models are available as a coupe or convertible. All base Corvettes have a 430-hp 6.2-liter V8 engine. The high-performance Corvette Z06 is only available as a coupe and comes with a 505-hp 7.0-liter V8 and mandatory 6-speed manual transmission. Z06 models also have specific suspension tuning, tires, and brakes. Available safety features across the Corvette lineup include ABS, traction control, antiskid system, and front side airbags. Base models are available with GM's Magnetic Selective Ride Control that automatically adjusts suspension firmness within two driver-selectable modes.

2009 Chevrolet Corvette Detailed Review

The Corvette is the great American sports car. It's thrilling to drive, with breathtaking acceleration performance and excellent grip for hard braking and high-speed cornering. For the price of a midsize luxury sedan, the Corvette delivers supercar performance. 2009 brings an all-new V8 engine for the Corvette Coupe and Convertible. The new LS3 V8 is larger, at 6.2 liters versus the previous 6.0-liter LS2 engine. The standard Coupe is great, with either the manual or Paddle Shift automatic. The Corvette Z06 accelerates faster, grips better and stops shorter than European sports cars that cost twice as much.  The 2009 Chevrolet Corvette is available as a coupe or convertible, with either a manual or automatic transmission. The Corvette coupe and convertible are powered by a 6.2-liter V8 with 430 horsepower.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard; a six-speed Paddle Shift automatic is optional. The Corvette coupe features a one-piece removable roof panel in body color (standard) or transparent plastic. Standard features for the Corvette include leather seating surfaces, dual-zone automatic climate control with a pollen filter, power everything (including seats), cruise control, tilt leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote keyless entry and starting, AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary input jack, XM satellite radio, auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlights, alarm, fog lights, xenon headlights, OnStar telematics, and P245/40ZR18 front and P275/35ZR19 rear run-flat tires on alloy wheels. The Convertible adds sport seats with adjustable lumbar support and side bolsters. Two suspension options are offered for both coupe and convertible. The Corvette Z06 coupe comes with a 7.0-liter V8 producing 505 horsepower, with dry-sump lubrication and coolers for the power steering pump, gearbox and rear differential. Beyond the engine, the Z06 package includes a host of high-performance components, starting with hydro-formed aluminum frame rails (rather than the hydro-formed steel rails used in the standard Corvette). The 2LZ Preferred Equipment Group ($3,045) has side airbags, power telescoping steering column, steering wheel audio controls,  heated seats, the Bose audio system, universal garage door opener, cargo net, and cargo cover. The 3LZ Preferred Equipment Group ($6,545) has the 2LZ equipment plus the 4LT package items. Polished aluminum wheels are available ($1,495). Safety features that come standard on all models include dual-stage front airbag.

The Corvette is low and sleek. As a result, and despite a much heavier engine and drivetrain, the Z06 weighs 50 pounds less than a standard Corvette coupe. The Corvette cabin features premium soft surfaces, nice grain in the materials and elegant tailoring. The steering wheel is relatively small, measuring just 9.4 inches in diameter. For 2009, the Corvette is available with a special two-tone leather package that adds leather upholstery to the top of the instrument panel, upper door panels, and console cover. The convertible's five-layer fabric top is available in four colors, and it offers power operation. An easy-to-operate manual top is standard.

Driving the 2009 Chevy Corvette

The Chevrolet Corvette is a lot of fun to drive in any iteration. We haven't experienced 190 mph, but on a tight racing circuit we found the current Corvette much easier to drive than older models. Today's Corvette is easier to drive hard in the turns, braking hard, then powering out under hard acceleration. The Corvette is happy cruising around as well. It shifts easily and the clutch is easy to operate smoothly. If ever a sporting car were suited for an automatic transmission, it's the Corvette, with its big, torquey V8. The automatic does not sap all the fun out of driving the way automatics do in small sports cars with small engines. The coupe weighs a trim 3,217 pounds. In short, the cheapest, most basic Corvette is a great car. The Z51 package makes the Corvette even more fun on a race track.  Chevrolet Corvette is easy to live with, easy to drive and more fun than a Sony PlayStation 3.

Final Remarks about the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette

In summary, the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette is available as a two-seat coupe or convertible. Trim levels include the standard Corvette, Z06 and ZR1. The standard Corvette coupe comes with a removable body-color roof panel. Like Corvette roadsters before it, the convertible features a hide-away top. There are also suspension options for the standard Corvettes: the Magnetic Ride Control suspension (which automatically firms up and softens the suspension according to how the car is being driven) and the Z51 performance handling package (which adds extra cooling, stiffer suspension calibrations, bigger brakes, specific tires and shorter gearing for the six-speed manual). Also available are custom color and trim combinations, plus delivery to the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. All 2009 Chevrolet Corvettes have a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, while a six-speed paddle-shifted automatic is available for the base coupe and convertible. Regardless of which Corvette you choose, you'll get stunning performance. EPA fuel economy estimates stand at a laudable 16 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined for a manual-transmission Corvette.


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