Style and Grace were Abundant in the 1999 Corvette
The 1999 Corvette C5 was the last Vette that would grace the 90s and the twentieth century. In order to make the car a special one the engineering department at GM came out with an all new hard top that was meant to signify all that Corvette was and all that is would become.
The hardtop was received with much acclaim as the structure of the hardtop actually made the 1999 Corvette a more rigid ride than the standard coupe and also weighed in at 92 pounds lighter. Best of all, the hardtop version of the 1999 Corvette retained the trunk of the convertible. All this and $394 less than the coupe to boot.
Under the hood of the 1999 Corvette was the LS1 small block engine that was capable of pumping out 345 bhp and 350 foot pounds of torque. The main difference with the hardtop and the coupe is that the hardtop was only available with a six speed manual transmission. This may have helped explain why Car and Driver reported that the hardtop actually beat out the coupe in 0 to 60 miles per hour test times. The coupe was stated as doing the feat in 4.9 seconds while the hardtop edged that number out by doing the run in 4.8 seconds. Though hardly noticeable it was still faster.
New technology that was added to the 1999 Chevy Corvette was something straight out of Top Gun. A heads up display system was implemented for the 1999 model year that would display readings in the lower left hand corner of the Vette’s windshield thus allowing the driver to keep their eyes more focus on the road and not the gauges. The display was customizable and let the driver choose what they did and didn’t want to see in the heads up display.
Another addition in 1999, which was limited to coupes and convertibles, was the power telescoping steering column. At only an additional $350 the driver of the 1999 Chevy Corvette who opted for this addition gained a 20 millimeter plus or minus travel allowance over the fixed shaft version.
Airbags were made safer for the 1999 Corvette as well. Using special technology the engineering department at GM made it so that the airbags would deploy with less of a violent percussion that could prove harmful in certain instances. This would help reduce the injuries that were associated with airbags being deployed and ultimately keep drivers safer.
Again only being offered on the coupes and convertibles was a $3,000 set of optional magnesium wheels. While the wheels had been in recent hiatus they quickly regained the popularity they had always enjoyed.
When the century was over the Corvette would once again boost its sales numbers and the 1999 Corvette sold 33,270 units thanks in large part to the popularity of the hardtop. This was a sure sign of things to come for the Corvette in the 21st century and beyond. With the advent of the 50th year anniversary in sight the excitement of the Corvette was near an all time high and left Chevy with much to look forward to in the years that would follow.