1997-2004 C5 Chevrolet Corvette: Z06, LS1 Engine, Performance, and Features

Brand Development, Growth & Expansion
The 5th generation Chevrolet Corvette C5 was produced from 1997 through 2004. Chevrolet drastically changed the C5, which was considered an improvement from the C4 models. A newly redesigned LS1 small-block engine was introduced with the 5th generation Vette. The C5 was originally intended to be manufactured as a convertible and was designed as such. The Corvette C5 was only offered as a 2-door hatchback coupe from 1997 until 2004, a 2-door convertible from 1998 through 2004, and as a 2-door hardtop coupe from 1999 through 2000.


There were a total of 248,715 Corvette C5s manufactured between 1997
and 2004 and they were assembled at the Corvette plant in Bowling
Green, Kentucky.

Design & Technology

The Corvette C5 was offered with a 5.7L, LS1 V8 engine with 350 hp and
350 pound-feet of torque. The new C5 was offered as a 4-speed automatic
or 6-speed manual transmission. The C5 achieved weight distribution
through the transmission being moved to the rear end of the Corvette to
form a rear-mounted transaxle that was connected to the engine by a
torque tube. The Corvette C5 was more rounded that the previous
generation C4 models. It was somewhat fashioned after the C3 generation
while sustaining the superior aerodynamics of the C4. The Corvette C5
achieves 18 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway with the automatic
transmission and 19 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway with the
manual transmission.

Standard features of the Corvette C5 included new high-tech advances
like the head-up display (HUD) and the Active Handling System.

In 1998 Corvette re-debuted the first convertible with a trunk since
1962. In addition to the convertible an Indianapolis 500 Pace Car was
offered. In 1999 Corvette manufactured a hardtop coupe base model that
was less expensive than previous models. Corvette sported new alloy
wheels on the 2000 C5 model. In 2001 Corvette manufactured the
top-performance Z06 with the new LS6 V8 engine and 6-speed manual
transmission which was offered as an option for the base model. The C5
2002 model had a 20 hp increase. The Corvette 50th Anniversary Special
Edition package was offered for base models. In 2004 Corvette offered
the 24 Hours of Le Mans Commemorative Edition package for all three
models.