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Corvette C6 news - Chip off the old block - 2008

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We get it. Things are bigger in America. Bigger mountains, bigger meals, bigger people. But we have to confess that we wince a bit when Chevrolet describes the 6.2-litre V8 out of its revised Corvette C6 as ‘small-block’.

Yes, we know the venerable history of Chevy V8s, and that back in the 1950s a six-litre engine was considered pretty dinky. But you can’t escape the fact that, in today’s carbon-conscious climate, six-and-a-bit litres of engine is in no way small. It is, in fact, rather large.

Large and quick. The 6.2-litre V8 - which replaces the unnecessarily modest 6.0-litre unit in the current C6 - develops 431bhp and 424lb ft of torque, enough to see the C6 to 62mph in 4.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 186mph.

Impressive figures, but just remember that the Caterham RS we saw yesterday manages more than 500bhp from its 2.4-litre supercharged V8.

The C6 is, however, a fair bit cheaper than the Caterham: prices start at a small-block £45,995 - not bad for the sort of road presence normally only enjoyed by Italian supercars or escaped rhinos.

Away from the yet-bigger engine, it’s a familiar Corvette-ish story from the revised C6: 1980s styling, leaf spring suspension, steering wheel staying resolutely on the left-hand side.

Actually, there are a couple of surprising tech touches: you can now opt for Ferrari 599-style magnetorheological shock absorbers and a paddle-shift auto gearbox, if the mood so takes you.

But if, even in bigger-engined form, the C6 sounds just a little too modest for you, you could always go for the Z06, with its seven-litre V8 and 505bhp. Or the truly loony ZR1. Yes, we’ll have one of those, please.

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