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2008 Chevy Corvette

2008 Chevy Corvette

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The first thing that we will pick up on with the new 2008 Chevy Corvette is the sexy upgrade it had received in the engine department; the LS3 is a 6.2 liter with 430 hp.

One of the biggest and best-deserved beefs brought by the stringback-gloved set against the Vette is that its interior was too rent-a-Chevy, its pleasing design marred by downscale grains, textures, and gaps. All Corvettes get metal sill plates and classier looking new center-console trim, in either a carbon-fiber or metal-screen type finish, with brightwork around the shifter and cupholder. But to lure the Eurosnobs, there's a new Custom Leather Wrapped Interior package.

The base Corvette automatic can now run with the C5 Z06, sprinting from 0-to-60 mph in 4.3 seconds enroute to a claimed top speed of 190 mph. Impatient automatic drivers can spring for a new, shorter 2.73:1 axle ratio for even sprightlier passing (it's standard on Z51 automatics).

Here again, it's not just the overall performance (of about 10 percent), but the finesse with which it achieves it that impresses. The new intake manifold, resonator, and acoustic helmet manage to quell the high-order frequencies that applied an unwelcome layer of slightly agricultural-grade noise over the trademark V-8 burble and growl.

Want even more of the same? Ante up for option code NPP ($1,200). This two-mode exhaust, like the one on the Z06, adds six horsepower and four pound-feet. When it opens up at around 3500 rpm, backpressure is reduced 80 percent, and you get what sounds and feels like a VTEC transition with a nicely sharpened snarl (it stays open briefly on overrun, too, providing some lovely crackles and pops).

The heads have been made larger and there is a new high-flow cylinder.

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