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Automotive Editor -

America's most enduring sports car, the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette enters its 65th year of production with no intention of settling down. Glorious performance and envious attention are guaranteed to anyone who takes one home.

What's New for 2018

The base Corvette Stingray gains larger tires and standard HD radio. A commemorative Carbon 65 Edition trim package debuts on Grand Sport and Z06 models. An all-new Corvette is allegedly in the works for 2019.

Chevrolet Corvette

Choosing Your Chevrolet Corvette

Available as two-seat coupe or convertible, the rear-drive Corvette starts out with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that delivers 455 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. That's enough to take it from zero to 60 mph in as little as 3.7 seconds.

A seven-speed manual transmission with automatic rev-matching comes standard, and an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters is available for $1,750. With either transmission, the Corvette is EPA-rated at 19 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. The Corvette Grand Sport uses this engine, as well.

The line-topping Z06 model carries a supercharged 6.2-liter that makes an astonishing 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. The EPA rates the Z06 at 18 mpg combined with the manual, and 16 mpg combined with the automatic.

The Corvette's deep model lineup consists of the base Stingray, track-oriented Grand Sport, and supercharged Z06. Each comes in three trim levels:

Stingray

1LT

($56,490 couple/$60,490 convertible, including destination): Comes with leather seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, keyless ignition, a rearview camera, a nine-speaker Bose sound system, and Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system. Performance features include Brembo brakes, summer performance tires, and 19-inch front/20-inch rear wheels. Coupes get a removable roof panel, while convertibles carry a power soft top.

2LT

($60,945/$64,945): Gets front parking cameras, auto-dimming mirrors, heated and ventilated front seats with driver memory, color-keyed interior trim, a head-up display, and an upgraded Bose audio system.

3LT

($66,245/$70,235): Tops off the Stingray line with premium leather seats, suede-like interior trim, navigation, and a performance data recorder.

The Z51 Performance Package ($5,000) is optional on all three Stingray trims and adds a limited-slip rear differential with cooler, a dry-sump engine oiling system (to prevent engine oil starvation during high-g track driving), larger brakes, more aggressive suspension tuning, and a sport exhaust system that adds five hp and five lb-ft of torque. Magnetic ride control ($1,795) is also a worthwhile performance option. Competition bucket seats, complete with lightweight magnesium frames, are available for $1,995. Note that the 3LT's performance data recorder is available on the other trims as a standalone $1,795 option.

If performance isn't as important as looks, though, it's worth mentioning the huge array of available aesthetic tweaks. There are 12 total stripe packages with prices ranging from $500 for a small hood stripe to $950 for a more traditional pair of twin Cunningham-like stripes. Painted brake calipers (in red or yellow) are available, as are colored seat belts. And as usual, the Corvette has a huge range of dealer-installed accessories to consider.

Grand Sport

Think of the Corvette Grand Sport as a Z06 without the supercharged V8. It's a track weapon, lighter and harder than a standard Corvette Stingray, but without demanding an insane premium for its performance. But despite its much more serious attitude, it retains the same basic packaging as the Stingray.

1LT

($66,490/$70,490): Includes all of the Z51 upgrades, plus an adaptive suspension, a heavy-duty cooling system, wider fenders and tires, and specific exterior graphics.

2LT

($70,945/$74,950): Carries the same comfort and convenience upgrades as the Stingray 2LT.

3LT

($76,235/$80,235): Adds the Stingray 3LT equipment.

The Z07 Performance Package ($7,995) tacks on magnetic ride control, carbon-ceramic brakes, and upgraded tires. Exclusive to the Grand Sport is a Heritage Package ($795) featuring fender hash marks and a center stripe (both in your choice of six colors), plus aluminum hash marks and signature floormats for the interior. Other options are shared with the Stingray.

Z06

The big daddy. With 650 horsepower, the Corvette Z06 sits at the top of the heap, offering supercar-like performance without reaching into six figures.

1LZ

($80,490/$85,485): Packs the supercharged engine, along with exclusive suspension and braking systems, a carbon fiber hood, aerodynamic body components, and a standard head-up display.

2LZ

($84,055/$89,050): Equipped like the 2LT models (just the name is different).

3LZ

($89,435/$94,430): Gets the same luxury goodies as the 3LT.

The Z07 Performance Package continues as an option on the Z06, along with the competition seats and large selection of appearance items.

The Carbon 65 Edition ($15,000) carries carbon fiber trim throughout and exclusive Ceramic Matrix Gray paint. Available on the Grand Sport 3LT and Z06 3LZ, this package will be limited to 650 numbered installations.

CarsDirect Tip

The Corvette can perform well beyond the nerve of most drivers, not to mention any conceivable speed limit. Unless you intend to hit the track regularly, your options budget will be better spent on conveniences than performance upgrades, as temping as they may be.

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