The Commemorative Edition emphasizes visual punch rather than power upgrades. Most notable is a special Le Mans Blue paint, the same hue used on the two C5-R contenders that returned to Le Mans this year and narrowly missed a three-peat class win at the famed endurance race. The Commemorative package includes a special Shale-colored interior; the seats incorporate Corvette cross-flags embroidered into the headrests. Also part of the mix are exterior badges acknowledging Corvette's Le Mans success.
The fifth-generation Corvette, or C5, made its debut in 1997; it was the first complete Corvette redesign since 1984. While the basic concept is the same as it was back in 1953 -- a two-seat plastic-bodied all-American sports car -- the C5 shares almost nothing with previous-generation Corvettes. The wheelbase is longer, the track is wider, structural rigidity is far higher, and there are far fewer pieces in the whole assembly, which improves rigidity and quality. It offers vastly improved ride quality -- and performance -- over the fourth-generation Corvette.
Corvettes come with comfortable cabins, something that wasn't always true with previous-generation models. Low door sills and narrow side rails make getting in and out easier than before and there's more room for driver and passenger. There's also a real trunk; big enough to cram two huge duffel bags into a coupe. The other major improvement is the elimination of the rattles and stress squeaks that have haunted Corvettes for so long. Its handsome analog gauges are easier to use and more satisfying than digital displays.
The LS1 V8 engine is potent. It produces 350 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque (with the six-speed, 360 pound-feet with the automatic; that's a significant increase in torque over 2000 models (345 and 350, respectively). Automatic or stick, the Corvette is fast traffic. It's quick at the starting gate, beautifully balanced, surprisingly comfortable, and built to a far higher standard than any Corvette in history.
Even with the basic suspension package, responses are surgically precise, if you can imagine a surgical instrument with 350 horsepower and great gobs of torque. The Corvette offered sharp reflexes while driving down rural roads. It provides a superb blend of muscle and finesse, with a much higher tolerance for mistakes of the enthusiastic variety, complemented by brakes that are nothing short of raceworthy.
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Exterior: The exterior of this unit is in excellent shape with no major flaws.
Interior: The interior is in excellent condition.
Mechanical: This vehicle is "Insight Certified" with no known mechanical defects after completing a 144 point mechanical inspection with required maintenance performed.
Tires: The tires are in excellent health with plenty of tread life remaining.
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