Corvette C5 Horsepower Specs

by James Rutter

The Chevy Corvette was a revolutionary car when it first debuted, and it spent many of the following years regularly redefining style and American performance. But, while wedge-bodied C3 and C4 'Vettes certainly had their fans, a new century called for a new standard in chassis construction, sophistication and performance. The C5 covered all bases not only with a new, hydroformed chassis and a rear-mounted transaxle that helped to balance it, but with the latest and greatest generation of GM V-8 engines.

C5 Corvette with the LS1 Engine, 1997 to 2000

The standard production option during the C5 model years equipped the Corvette with Chevrolet’s LS1 engine. This aluminum block V-8 had a displacement of 5.7 liters and used sequential multi-port fuel injection to feed gas through two valves per cylinder. Prospective buyers could purchase the C5 Corvette with a four-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Both drivetrains delivered 345 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 350 foot-pounds of torque at 4,400 rpm. "Motor Trend" reported that the LS1 could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, hit 109.3 mph in the quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 173.9 mph.

C5 Corvette Z06

In 2001, Chevrolet released the high-performance Z06 Corvette. The company equipped its flagship Z06 with a performance-enhanced version of the LS1 aluminum block V-8, referred to as the LS6. The LS6 engine utilized an overhead valve pushrod system and had a displacement of 5.7 liters and transmitted power through a six-speed Borg-Warner manual transmission. This drivetrain achieved an output of 385 hp at 6,000 rpm and 385 foot-pounds of torque at 4,800 rpm with a redline of 6,500 rpm and a compression ratio of 10.5-to-1. In terms of performance, the Z06 hit a top speed of 171 mph, could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and clock a speed of 114 mph in the quarter-mile with a time of 12.6 seconds.

C5 Corvette Performance Upgrades, 2001 to 2004

Starting in 2001, Chevrolet made performance modifications to the LS1 engine for the C5 Corvette. The company redesigned the fuel injection system to add five horsepower to the engine’s output for a total of 350 at 5,600 rpm and 360 foot-pounds at 4,400 rpm. Any Corvette from 2001 to 2004 equipped with the LS1 engine shared this performance upgrade. In 2002, Chevy also added performance enhancements of a higher-lift camshaft and airflow modifications to the Z06 engine. These changes boosted the output of the Z06 engine to 405 hp at 6,000 rpm and 400 foot-pounds of torque at 4,800 rpm. This enhanced power enabled the Z06 to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and hit a speed of 116 mph in the quarter-mile with a time of 12.4 seconds.

About the Author

Since 2005, James Rutter has worked as a freelance journalist for print and Internet publications, including the “News of Delaware County,” “Main Line Times” and Broad Street Review. As a former chemist, college professor and competitive weightlifter, he writes about science, education and exercise. Rutter earned a B.A. in philosophy and biology from Albright College and studied philosophy and cognitive science at Temple University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Bill Pugliano/Getty Images News/Getty Images