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Chevy Corvette gets big handling improvements for the C5 years

A stronger chassis and rear-mounted transmission help improved the fifth-generation Chevrolet Corvette's handling chops.

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jonwong.jpg

Jon Wong

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Compared to its predecessor, the C5 Corvette that hit dealers for 1997 featured a more rigid hydroformed box frame.

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To help achieve better weight distribution, the Corvette's transmission was moved to the rear of the car.

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And by 1999, the Corvette was available in three body styles including a convertible, targa top and fixed-roof coupe.

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A view of the C5 Corvette's bones.

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Motivating base versions of the 1997 Corvette was a 5.7-liter V8 producing 345 horsepower that worked with either a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions.

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The 5.7-liter V8's output would inch up slightly to 350 in 2001.

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On the tech front, an optional head-up display was made available as an option in 2000.

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For customers looking for even more performance, Chevy brought a Z06 model to showrooms in 2001.

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The 5.7-liter engine was tuned to deliver 385 horsepower and paired exclusively with a six-speed manual.

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To help control all the power, the Z06 received suspension refinements, bigger tires and brake cooling ducts.

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1998 Chevrolet Corvette.

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1998 Corvette convertible.

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1998 Corvette convertible (3/4 front).

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1998 Corvette convertible.

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The 1998 Chevrolet Corvette C5 and earlier Corvette pace cars gathered for a photo at the 82nd Indy 500 race.

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1999 Chevrolet Corvette.

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1999 Chevrolet Corvette.

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1999 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R race car.

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2001 Chevrolet Corvette lineup. 

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2001 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
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2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Commemorative Edition. 

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2001 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. 

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2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

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2003 Chevrolet Corvette 50th Anniversary Edition.

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The 2003 50th Anniversary Chevrolet Corvette C5 was the official pace car of the Indy 500 in 2002.

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2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

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2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

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2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

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