By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/12/2012
The 2013 Chevrolet Corvette is more than just a performance coupe; it's an icon of American automotive engineering and a legend to countless generations. Entering its 60th year in production, the Corvette continues to obliterate its competitors both foreign and domestic by offering up the best horsepower-to-dollar ratio of any 2-seat sports car. Whether it's the base Coupe that offers an impressive 430-horsepower V8 or the awe-inspiring ZR1 with its 638-horsepower supercharged engine, there is a Corvette to fit just about every need and budget. Not as light or agile as a Porsche 911, the Corvette nonetheless is pure driver's car with excellent cornering, blistering speed and undeniable good looks.
Whether you've dreamed of a Corvette ever since you were old enough to see over the steering wheel, or you just desire a bona fide performance car that doesn't require a millionaire's checkbook to purchase, the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette won't steer you wrong.You May Not Like This Car If...
Those who have grown up with the highly polished interiors of Porsche, Audi and BMW performance cars will likely find the Corvette's interior a bit too rudimentary, with too much plastic and a rather snug set of seats.
To celebrate the Corvette's 60th anniversary and the final year for this production C6 car, Chevy is offering a number of unique options including a 60th Anniversary Design Package, black-painted aluminum wheels and a special 427 Convertible Collector Edition complete with 7.0-liter V8, Magnetic Ride Control and carbon-fiber hood, fenders and floor.
The 2013 Chevrolet Corvette is a genuine driver's car. Thanks to a host of high-tech electronic performance enhancements, the C6 Corvette rounds corners and responds quicker than any previous Corvette. The 6.2-liter V8 engine is never short on power, requiring only a slight tap of the accelerator to release its fury. You don't need to have muscle to handle this muscle car because the 2013 Chevy Corvette coupe's power-assisted steering turns with little effort yet returns excellent on-center feel and guidance. All three of the suspension packages – a base system, Magnetic Ride Control and the Z07 Performance package – are designed to satisfy a wide range of driving styles, from the casual weekend cruiser to the hard-core track enthusiast. In the sport mode the Corvette grabs the pavement with tenacity, and in touring mode it soaks up road harshness like a large luxury sedan.
Chevrolet's latest short-throw 6-speed manual transmission makes the shifter in past Corvette models feel like something pulled out of a 1966 Chevy pickup.
KEYLESS ACCESS WITH PUSH-BUTTON START
Keep your keys in your purse or pocket. When you approach the car, you simply reach for a touch-panel in the door handle and the vehicle starts up with the press of a button.
While we are certain that the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette can compete on almost any racetrack with almost any competitor, its interior does not compete as well. It's not a horrible interior, but it does speak to the Corvette's Chevrolet roots. A handsome Custom Leather-Wrapped Interior Package (part of the 4LT Package) is well worth the extra cost, adding a dash of elegance to Chevrolet's road warrior. The newly designed front seats add additional side support and remain fairly comfortable even on long drives. One must remember, however, that this is a V8-powered performance car, so don't expect Lexus-like quiet in the cabin.Exterior
The 2013 Chevrolet Corvette coupe is unlike any Corvette before it, yet it retains a familiar look. The Corvette Grand Sport model borrows many of the design elements from the Corvette Z06, creating a thrilling-looking coupe for around $55,000. A traditional feature that is standard on the Corvette coupe is the removable body-colored roof panel, which is also available in tinted glass. There is even a package that offers one of each. The ultimate in Corvette design is the Corvette ZR1, a super-car edition that adds its own unique body panels, and a combination of 19-inch front wheels and 20-inch rears, among other features.Notable Standard Equipment
The 2013 Chevrolet Corvette coupe features a 430-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 engine, 6-speed manual transmission, traction control, limited-slip rear differential, xenon headlights, color-keyed removable roof panel, dual-zone air conditioning, keyless access with push-button starter, leather seats and 18- and 19-inch front and rear alloy wheels, respectively. The Corvette Grand Sport adds wider fenders, special wheels and styling cues from the Z06. The Z06 adds a race-inspired 505-horsepower, 7.0-liter V8, revised front end, wider rear fenders, 18-inch front and 19-inch rear 10-spoke wheels and a track-inspired suspension. The ZR1 brings a 638-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8 and a 205-mph top speed.
Options include a paddle-shift 6-speed automatic transmission, Head-Up Display (HUD), Bose audio, navigation, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, Magnetic Selective Ride Control, dual-mode exhaust system, transparent roof panels and polished alloy wheels. The Corvette Z06 offers a number of performance enhancement options including the Z07 Performance Package that adds Brembo ceramic brakes, Magnetic Ride Control, larger Michelin Pilot Sport Cup Zero Pressure track-ready tires, Performance Traction Management and 20-spoke wheels (19-inch front and 20-inch rear). The CFZ Carbon Fiber Package includes a black carbon-fiber splitter and a ZR1-style full-width rear spoiler.Under the Hood
Although there is no denying the pleasure a 430-horsepower (436 horsepower with the optional dual-mode exhaust) V8 delivers, the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette has a certain lack of refinement. The 6.2-liter LS3 small-block V8 feels gruff at idle and roars loudly when pressed into action. It's a purely American feel that instantly takes one back to the late 1960s' muscle-car era. Porsche and Jaguar lovers will probably never like this engine, but they can't easily overlook its tremendous performance potential, either. The Z06's 7.0-liter V8 pushes the level of performance and refinement into the realm of the European supercars. The Corvette ZR1's supercharger allows its 6.2-liter V8 to produce an incredible 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque.
430/436* horsepower @ 5,900 rpm
424/428* lb-ft of torque @ 4,600 rpm
* with optional exhaust
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/26 mpg (manual), 15/25 mpg (automatic)
505 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
470 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/24 mpg
6.2-liter supercharged V8
638 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
604 lb-ft of torque @ 3,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/21 mpg
The 2013 Chevrolet Corvette coupe's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts just under $51,000, while the Corvette convertible's price is closer to $55,500. The Corvette Grand Sport starts around $57,000, while the Corvette Z06 begins closer to $76,500. The ZR1's price exceeds $113,000. A wide range of competitors with similar performance and horsepower figures include the Porsche 911 Carrera S, priced at about $97,500; the Nissan GT-R, with an MSRP of about $97,000; and the 650-horsepower Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, priced right around $55,000. Be sure to visit KBB.com to see our Fair Purchase Price which shows what others in your area paying. Even if you find yourself paying full retail for your Corvette, you can take solace in the fact that over a 5-year period the 2013 Chevy Corvette rivals the Porsche 911 Carrera S in projected residual values.