2009 Chevrolet Corvette

2009 Chevrolet Corvette

There aren't a lot of changes for the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette family, but in the eyes of many enthusiasts, that's a good thing. Already a competent sports car, the Corvette doesn't need much help - but a few small upgrades will help solidify its legacy.

In the powertrain corner, there's precious little that isn't carryover. The 430-hp 6.2-liter LS3 V-8, launched in the 2008 model, makes its way to the current car, coupled through either a six-speed manual or automatic (with shift paddles on the steering wheel). For 2009, the ABS, Magnetic Ride Control, and traction control systems all receive minor tweaks.

Most of the Corvette's change for 2009 is cosmetic. Buyers can now choose from two additional paint hues (Cyber Grey metallic and Blade Silver Metallic), contrasting against new Dark Titatnium and Ebony leather interior trims.

A new LT1 trim for the convertible lowers the cover charge for drop-top fun, while the LT2 convertible gleans a power-folding top. Steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a power rear hatch are standard; a new Bluetooth connectivity system is optional, but we'd strongly recommend it for those who row their own gears.

Corvette Z06 owners can distinguish a 2009 Z06 from the 2008 model by new 10-spoke wheels, sporting finishes ranging from chrome to competition gray. The ZO6 interior receives gray stitching on the Ebony leather seats, door sill plates with the Z06 logo, and a revamped acoustic package as standard fare. Those changes won't improve performance figures, but buyers interested in more performance from a 'Vette may opt for the ZR1 (if they can catch one).

One hand-me-down from the ZR1 to the Z06 is the 10.5-quart oil capacity, up from eight quarts in previous iterations of the 7.0-liter LS7 V-8. The extra lubricant may not reduce your quarter-mile time or top end, but it will help keep the LS7 running smoothly, especially in high-performance situations.

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