The C5 Corvette (1997-2004)

Posted by Carlos on 5/15/2013 to About Corvettes
The fifth generation Corvette featured major design changes that set it apart from the C4 Corvette. The resulting models of the 1997-2004 are considered by many Corvette fans to be among the best ever produced. Here’s a look at the design of the C5 Corvette and how it set the new standard for excellence and performance.

The Bones of a Convertible

The fifth-generation Corvette was produced in coupe, convertible and hardtop models, but it was designed with the convertible in mind. In other words, the basic integrity of the car’s structure was the same with or without a top. This contrasted with previous generation Corvettes that had been designed as coupes only to have the structure weakened when the top was removed to produce a convertible. This structural strength was achieved through the use tubular hydroforming (THF) to produce a unibody box frame.

New Transmission in a New Location

The C5 featured a rear transmission as part of a rear-mounted transaxle connected to the engine using a torque tube. One advantage of the new setup was a weight distribution in the vehicle of roughly 50% in the front half and 50% in the rear half, a balance that helps produce optimal performance and handling on the road or track. The previous manual transmission was replaced by the T-56 6-speed built by Borg-Warner. It combined with the new LS1 engine to produce a top-end speed for the C5 Corvette or 175 mph. The automatic transmission in the fifth-generation Corvettes, the 4L60-E, was a continuation of the one used in the C4 Corvette near the end of its run.

The Return of the Curves

The C3 Corvette was a fastback, and the C4 simplified the fastback design. Many Corvette lovers were thrilled to see the C5 Corvette with a more rounded body, especially in the rear of the car. The result was the retention of outstanding aerodynamics, but a body style with a softer, sexier appearance.

Muscles Made of Aluminum

Under the hood, the C5 Corvette sported GM’s totally-new LS1 V8 small block. This all-aluminum 5.7L engine made 345hp (257 kW) and 350lb-ft of torque. The power was boosted slightly for the 2001 model year to 350hp (261 kW).

Fifty Years of Automotive Leadership

The C5 Corvette, 1997-2004, was in production when year 50 of the ‘Vette rolled around in 2003. Chevrolet pulled out all the stops for the 50th Anniversary Special Edition Corvette. It featured Magnetic Selective Ride Control said to be the car industry’s first suspension with semi-active technology that responded quickly and automatically to road conditions. The car came in Anniversary Red, a beautiful burgundy red with Xirallic aluminum-oxide flakes topped by a tinted clear coat. The 50th Anniversary Special Edition Corvette featured shale interior trim along with anniversary badges inside and out. The seats and floor mats came with special 50th Anniversary embroidering.
Add Comment
Corvette C5 C6 News & Current Events

 Recent News
 About Corvettes

 The Rise and Fall of the C3 Corvette
 Easy and Affordable Vette Modifications
 Seat Belt Options to Keep Your Corvette Safe and Legal
 Cool Apparel for the Hardcore Corvette Lover
 Keeping Your Paint Job Looking Perfect
 LED Taillights and Other Modern Options for Classic Cars
 Corvettes Through the Ages: Restoring a Vintage Car
 Why a Car Cover Is an Essential Accessory
 Why the 2014 Corvette Stingray Is the Readers' Choice Favorite
 Ramp up Your Vette With Interior Accessories
 Unique Gift Ideas for the Corvette Enthusiast
 Choosing a Spoiler Kit for Your Corvette
 Upgrading the Look of Your Engine
 Famous Corvette Lovers and Their Cars
 What to Expect in the 2014 Corvette
 Choosing a Corvette Cover That Meets Your Style and Conditions
 Refine Your Ride
 Preserving a Piece of History
 Popular Modifications for Classic Cars
 Gift Ideas for the Corvette Enthusiast in Your Life
 Past and Present: The C6 Corvette Earns Fans Again
 The Original Corvette: The C1
 '53 Corvette: The Birth of A Classic
 The 1963 Corvette: A Year of Remarkable Styling Firsts
 Corvettes Through Time

 June 2014
 March 2014
 February 2014
 January 2014
 December 2013
 October 2013
 September 2013
 July 2013
 June 2013
 May 2013
 August 2012
 July 2012
 June 2012