1998 Corvette: America’s Sports Car Now Offered in a True Convertible Version
GM Media Press Release August 1, 1997
WARREN, Mich. – In January of 1997, the all-new fifth generation of America’s premier production sports coupe debuted in Detroit … and within one week, more than 500 media reports were filed around the world! And now, in its 45th year, there’s even more exciting news. For 1998, Chevy Corvette is once again available as a convertible.
Anticipating the future, Corvette engineers back in 1997 designed that year’s Corvette as a “topless” vehicle, thus making sure that when the all-new 1998 convertible debuted, it was indeed a “topless” vehicle.
The integral structure of this new convertible design is more than just a styling “knockout.” It also provides Corvette with a solid and functional structure that virtually eliminates squeaks and rattles traditionally associated with convertibles. Another characteristic of the new convertible is the easy operation of the manual top, complete with a heated glass rear window.
The top can be taken down in just a few moments to provide the occupants with an exciting, open-air driving experience.
“We’re talking about seconds to take the top down,” said Dick Almond, Corvette Brand Manager, “… about the same amount of time you’d spend at your average stoplight. But, the real key to the new Corvette convertible is its head-turning good looks and specific convertible design. This is one convertible that will look dynamite for years to come and stay rigid and tight over the lifetime of the vehicle. Those were two very important considerations for our convertible buyers.”
The convertible top is also easy to raise. With the standard Express-Down feature, the tonneau cover is released, and the windows automatically lower part-way at the push of a button. The convertible top features a black headliner and is available with a Light Oak, Black or White exterior.
There’s news throughout the Corvette lineup for 1998. Corvette buyers have a new magnesium wheel option for 1998. Available on both the coupe and convertible models, these lightweight wheels feature a unique bronze tone, for eye-catching appeal. Also new are two exterior colors: Medium Purple Pearl Metallic and Light PewterMetallic. The Corvette interior features Light Oak leather as a new color option.
Under the hood, Corvette features the power of the LS1 5.7 Liter V8 engine, the latest in a long line of legendary small-block V8 engines. Cranking out a full 345 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft of torque, the LS1 enables Corvette to reach a top speed of 175 miles per hour and record 0 to 60 in about 4.7 seconds (with the optional 6-speed manual transmission).
Of course, the powertrain isn’t the only impressive aspect of this sports car. On the inside, Corvette offers an array of standard comfort and convenience features, including air conditioning, a 6-way power driver’s seat and power windows and door locks. And, the Corvette convertible features a sizable trunk that offers more cargo room than its sleek, two-seat body design lets on. In fact, the Corvette trunk has more luggage capacity than many midsize sedans and can hold two sets of golf clubs.
On the outside, a low, wide stance gives Corvette a confident, performance-oriented appearance. In fact, the rear of the car measures identically in width to the legendary ZR-1. Wheels measure 17 inches in front, 18 inches in the rear, with performance tires that provide outstanding handling and traction. Also, for added security and convenience, Corvette features standard Extended Mobility Tires (EMT) that provide excellent performance, even without air pressure. In the event of loss of air pressure, the reinforced sidewalls of the EMT will continue to support the car and keep it rolling up to 200 miles while the vehicle’s Low Tire-Pressure Warning System alerts the driver to the problem. Other exterior features include a standard, aluminized, stainless-steel exhaust system for corrosion resistance, dual heated electric remote breakaway rearview mirrors, and 5-mph front and rear bumpers.
Helping protect Corvette occupants are standard driver and passenger airbags. These two items work together to help provide excellent occupant-injury reduction capability. In addition, safety-cage construction and a high-strength perimeter frame with hydroformed side rails help provide outstanding structural rigidity with the added benefit of a smooth ride. Corvette also has built-in accident avoidance features. Standard Daytime Running Lamps (DRL) make it easier for others to see Corvette during the day, and a 4-wheel Bosch anti-lock disc brake system helps reduce wheel lockup and helps the driver maintain steering control while braking, even on slippery surfaces.
Mindful of the typical owner’s active lifestyle, Corvette offers a number of features that make it easy to own. For example, there is the new-for-1998 engine air filter and extended-life engine coolant with a replacement interval of 5 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first.* Also, Corvette has a 10,000-mile recommended oil-change interval.*
The 1998 Corvette, available as both a coupe and a new convertible, continues the 45 years of the American sports car legacy that came before it. No other car provides Corvette style and performance for anywhere near the price. No other two-seat sports car has ever sold as many models – more than one million at last count. Corvette is such an American icon it even has its own exclusive museum dedicated to it.
No other car is Corvette.
*Maintenance needs vary with different uses and driving conditions. See the owner’s manual for more information.
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