2004 Chevrolet Z06 Commemorative Edition

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The Chevrolet Corvette maintains its well-earned status as the automotive and cultural icon that has been admired and sought after for a generation. For the 2004 model year, commemorative editions for each Corvette model are available so enthusiasts can celebrate the racing success of the Chevy flagship.

Also, the top-of-the-line Corvette Z06 - already hailed by enthusiast magazines as the best combination of performance, comfort and value in the automotive world - gets even better for 2004 with revised shock valving based on testing at the legendary Nürburgring race track in Germany.

Corvette also has earned two consecutive quality awards from J.D. Power and Associates and continues to win accolades for its surprising interior room, cargo space, comfort and fuel economy in a high-performance sports car.

Only a handful of cars in the history of the industry have shown the Corvette's ability to capture the fancy of so many consumers and hold it for so long. As the golden anniversary celebration continues, it is a testament to the ability of Corvette's engineers to keep the car as fresh and cutting edge as it was in 1953.

Corvette has remained relevant because it continued to embrace new designs and technologies such as those featured on the current line: Magnetic Selective Ride Control, Goodyear EMT "run-flat" tires (coupe and convertible), active handling and a rear transaxle.

Commemorative Editions

The commemorative editions recognize the success of the C5-R racing program. In 2002, the Corvette C5 continued to dominate the field with nine wins in 10 American Le Mans Series races, also nabbing the 2002 GTS Manufacturer Champion and GTS Team Champion awards. Combined with a second consecutive victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Corvette continued to make history.

The Commemorative Edition Coupe and Convertible include new Le Mans Blue paint with Shale interior, special badges and polished wheels. The convertible's top also is Shale to match the interior.

The Commemorative Edition Z06 also is Le Mans Blue and also includes a C5-R Le Mans stripe scheme, special badges, polished Z06 wheels and a lightweight carbon fiber hood.

Z06 Ride Tempered at Nürburgring

Over the period of a month in 2002, engineers put the Z06 through its paces at Germany's fabled Nürburgring racetrack to give the definitive street-legal sports car an even better ride. Since it was completed in 1927, the 12.8-mile (20.6 km) Nürburgring circuit has been the ultimate challenge for vehicle dynamics. The course has 177 corners, and in between them is every conceivable combination of radius, camber and gradient - not to mention altitude that varies by nearly 1,000 feet (305 m). No other track in the world places such extreme demands on a vehicle's suspension, brakes and powertrain, which is why Nürburgring is where the world's finest sports cars are regularly tested.

After a month in Germany, it was back to General Motors Milford Proving Grounds, where new shock absorber valving was "dialed in" and balanced for optimum performance on American roads.

The result is a suspension that feels "more tied down, more glued to the road," said Harlan Charles, product manager for the Corvette.

Magnetic Selective Ride Control

The suspensions of the 2004 Corvette coupe and convertible continue to feature Magnetic Selective Ride Control, which debuted in 2003. It uses a revolutionary damper design that controls wheel and body motion with magneto-rheological fluid in the shocks. By controlling the current to an electromagnetic coil inside the piston of the damper, the MR fluid's consistency can be changed, resulting in continuously variable real-time damping. As a result, drivers feel a greater sense of security, a quieter, flatter ride and more precise, responsive handling, particularly during sudden, high-speed maneuvers.

The system isolates and smoothes the action of each tire, resulting in less bouncing, vibration and noise. On bumpy or slick surfaces, the system integrates with traction control to assure maximum stability. It also works with ABS to keep the vehicle balanced and poised. It is the only system without electro-mechanical values and no small moving parts. It consists of MR fluid-based, monotube shock absorbers, a sensor set and on-board controller.