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2008 C6 Chevrolet Corvette Model Guide

Specifications, VIN, Options, Performance, Recalls, & More

2008 corvette
Corvette Of The Day: 2008 Chevrolet Corvette Wil Cooksey Special Edition
Model & Generation
2008 C6 Corvette
Body Type
2 Door Coupe & Convertible
VIN Range
1G1YY26W485100001 - 1G1YY36W085135284
Original Price
$45,995 (Coupe), $54,335 (Convertible), $59,090 (Indy 500 Pace Cpe.), $68,160 (Indy 500 Conv.), $71,000 (Z06 Coupe) $84,195 (427 Lim. Ed. Z06)
376 C.I. (6.2L) LS3 Engine (Coupe and Convertible), 427 C.I. (7.0L) LS7 Engine (Z06)
6 Speed Manual, 6 Speed Paddle Shift Automatic
Units Produced

2008 Corvette – The Ultimate Guide

The arrival of the 2008 Corvette was met by a volatile U.S. economy with a very uncertain future.  U.S. mortgage-backed securities, which were marketed around the world, carried hard to assess financial risks.  These risks proved to have an enormously adverse impact to lending institutions around the globe, as banks watched the securities they had tied to real estate begin to plummet. With loan losses mounting and the fall of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008, a major panic broke out on the inter-bank loan market.  Housing prices and stock shares declined, causing many large and well established investment and commercial banks in the United States and Europe to suffer huge financial losses – and others to face the real possibility of bankruptcy.

The financial crisis, which would become known as the “Great Recession,” would quickly spread beyond the housing and investment markets. In just a matter of months, the financial decline would begin to have an adverse impact on almost all consumer markets. It stood to reason that as housing market values plummeted and the strength of the dollar diminished, American consumers would understandably become increasingly reluctant to spend money.  This recessionary decline in spending would hurt commercial and retail businesses around the globe, and would cause a sharp drop in new car sales within the United States automotive markets.

Despite this rapidly approaching recession, management at Chevrolet persevered, even though sales and stock value were beginning to plummet.  The funding and development behind the Corvette persevered as well, even though the sales numbers for the 2008 Corvette would ultimately reflect the financial strain being experienced by General Motors, the nation and, indeed, the world.

The most notable advancement of the 2008 Corvette model year was the news that Chevrolet had developed another evolution of its legendary small-block engine.

The new engine was designated the LS3, and would become the standard engine for both the base coupe and convertible models.  The LS3 included a size increase from 364 cubic-inches (6.0L) of the LS2 to 376 cubic-inches (6.2L).  In addition to increased size and displacement, the engine also received a thirty-horsepower increase.

The LS2 featured high-flow fuel injectors and cylinder heads like those found on the Z06’s LS7 engine. They featured a large-valve, large port design with larger, straighter intake ports.  The engine’s intake valves featured hollow stems with nine-percent larger diameters.  The camshaft provided a five-percent increase in valve lift. Outwardly, the LS3’s beauty covers and composite intake manifolds had acoustically tuned sections that were used to dampen and tune valve train noise.

The LS3 engine was developed to operate at a slightly lower compression ratio than the LS2.  This ability to operate at a lower compression ratio was developed to accommodate GM’s interest in making all of the vehicles in their fleet capable of operating on E85 ethanol-blended fuel.  Despite this, the LS3 produced 430 brake horsepower and 424 foot-pounds of torque, both peaking at 5,900rpm, providing unprecedented performance numbers for an engine that was intended for the base model coupe and convertible.

An optional Dual Mode Exhaust System (RPO NPP) was also introduced for coupes and convertibles.  The system used vacuum-actuated outlet valves controlled by engine RPM and throttle position.  This system included 2.5-inch diameter pipes, and introduced a more aggressive sounding exhaust note.  When installed, the Dual Mode Exhaust System increased the LS3 engine output to 436-horsepower and 428 foot-pounds of torque.

Although the actual transmission designations remained the same, there were improvements made to both the manual and automatic transmissions used on the coupe and convertible models.  For the manual gearbox, the transmission linkage had shorter fore-aft travel.  The automatic transmission had hardware and software changes made to it that resulted in quicker manual paddle shifts.  Additionally, a 2.73:1 performance axle was provided (as an option) with automatic transmissions, and came included standard when the combination of an automatic transmission combined with the Z51 performance package were ordered.

The 2008 Corvette’s steering feel was improved through the use of more precise machining, a stiffer intermediate shaft, and revised controller calibrations. These improvements created a more enjoyable driving experience for consumers, especially when piloting the Corvette during extreme driving conditions.

2008 Corvette Rims
The 2008 Corvette Coupes and Convertibles featured a new split-spoke wheel as the standard wheel option for that year. (Image courtesy of GM Media.

Outwardly, there were few notable cosmetic changes to the exterior of the car.  However, the wheels offered with the 2008 Corvette received some notable improvements.  New for the model year was a split-spoke wheel that came standard on all coupes and convertibles.   This base wheel was painted Sparkle Silver (a color which debuted with the 2007 Indy Pace Car replica), though it could also be optioned in Competition Gray.  A five-spoke forged wheel was also optional for 2008, and it could be ordered in either a polished or chrome finish.  The wheels on the Z06 model remained the same as the previous model year, except for those that were offered on the 427- Limited Edition Z06.

The 427-Limited Edition Z06 Corvette Coupe was created in commemoration of retiring Bowling Green Corvette Plant Manager Wil Cooksey.  The car came in a Crystal Red exterior paint, and featured a Dark Titanium customer interior, “spider” chrome wheels and special trim and graphics.  All 505 units produced were autographed by Wil Cooksey, making the car more collectible than other Z06 Corvettes built that year because of the unique signature each of the Limited Edition Z06’s possessed.

05 Wil Cooksey 427-Limited Edition Z06 Corvettes
Each of the 505 Wil Cooksey 427-Limited Edition Z06 Corvettes were hand autographed by Wil Cooksey himself.

Although the interiors were still very much a carryover from the 2007 model, the 2008 Corvette interior did receive some updated appointments worth noting.  One notable revision to the 2008 model was that the interiors were revised with a new wrapped “cyber” graphic pattern console trim plate, along with bright surrounds for the cupholder and manual shifter, and a brushed aluminum shifter and door release trim.  Metal door sill plates were introduced (though they first made their appearance in the middle of the 2007 production run.)  The floor mat retainers were simplified.  While not strictly a feature of the interior, the 2008 Corvette’s remote key fob now included a concealed door key with a small, sliding compartment.

In addition to these refinements, the 2008 Corvette also offered consumers a greater level of standard options including OnStar, XM Radio, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with built-in compass.  All radios, except those equipped with a navigation system, also included an MP3 audio jack.

DID YOU KNOW: Wilmer “Wil” Cooksey was named manager of the world’s only Corvette plant in February, 1993. As a lifelong fan of the  amazing sports car, it was a dream job come true. Cooksey’s General Motors career began with his first job as an assistant professor in industrial engineering at GMI in Flint, Michigan. Wil Cooksey retired from General Motors in 2008, and in celebration of his tenure there, GM honored him by manufacturing 505 427-Limited Edition Corvettes. Mr. Cooksey will be celebrated by Corvette enthusiasts the world over for his contributions to this amazing sports car and community. In his free time, Mr. Cooksey likes excitement. His hobbies include drag racing and flying airplanes. He resides in Bowling Green with his wife, Elizabeth, a teacher at Western Kentucky University. They have two children, David and Crissy. Wil’s passion is working on and racing his Corvette race car.

For Corvettes equipped with the 3LZ and 4LT convenience packages, the Corvette interiors received additional refinements including a leather-wrapped instrument panel, door panels, and console.  The console trim featured a unique bias-graphic pattern.  The 4LT package also included cross-flag headrest embroidery on both the driver and passenger seats.  The leather wrap options was offered to all models built with either Linen, Sienna, or Ebony interior color options.

2008 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Corvettes
The first of two unique Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Corvettes manufactured as part of the 2008 model year. (Image courtesy of GM Media.)

In addition to the 427-Limited Edition Z06 listed above, there were a couple of other special edition Corvettes that made their appearance as part of the 2008 lineup.  As with the 2007 model year, GM once again offered a special edition Indy Pace Car model, though for the first time, the car – available as both a coupe and convertible – could be ordered in one of two special paint schemes.  The first design was based on the actual 2008 Indy 500 pace car.

This special Z06 Corvette was unique in that it paced the Indianapolis 500 while running on E85 (ethanol) fuel.   The second pace car design featured a special silver/black paint scheme in commemoration of the famous 1978 Corvette Pace Car model.   Both pace car variations included special Titanium seats and Z06 spoilers.  All of the pace cars were specially numbered and signed by Emerson Fittipaldi.

2008 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Corvettes
The second of two unique Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Corvettes manufactured as part of the 2008 model year. (Image courtesy of GM Media.)

In addition the Indy Pace Car models, GM also created a special edition Corvette for the Hertz car rental company.  Known as the ZHZ Coupe (RPO ZHZ), 500 special edition Corvettes were produced exclusively for the Hertz Fun Club rental program.

All 500 units produced in 2008 were targa-topped coupes that came finished in Velocity Yellow with a broad, black stripe that ran the length of the hood and roof.  Mechanically, the car came equipped with the LS3 engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters), vacuum actuated valve exhaust, the F55 suspension package and unique, 7-spoke chrome wheels.

2008 "Ethanol" Pace Car
The “Ethanol” Pace Car (left) was capable of running on E85 Ethanol gasoline. The Siver/Black Pace Car (right) was built to pay tribute to the 1978 Corvette Pace Car’s black and silver paint scheme. (Image courtesy of GM Media.)

Motor Trend test drove a 2008 Corvette Z51 Coupe in September, 2007, and produced some impressive performance numbers, though perhaps not quite as impressive as might have been expected given the LS3’s increase in horsepower from the previous year’s LS2.  In short, Motor Trend clocked the Z51 coupe with a 0-60 time of 4.1 seconds, a 0-100 time of 9.5 seconds, and an impressive 12.5-second quarter-mile at 115 miles per hour.

Per Motor Trend’s article on the 2008 Corvette, these performance numbers “line up almost perfectly with those of (the) best 2002 C5-generation Z06.  No surprise, really – that car made, ahem, ‘only’ 405 horsepower and 400 pounds-feet of torque.”  Adding to the impressive performance numbers recorded by Motor Trend, reported that the 2008 Corvette coupe – the base model – could now reach a top speed of 190 miles per hour!

 special edition ZHZ Corvette
This special edition ZHZ Corvette was built specifically for the Hertz automotive rental plans

Unfortunately, not even the most impressive performance numbers in the world could outweigh the critical reality of the U.S. economy.  By the end of 2008, unemployment was soaring, and consumer spending continued to diminish as millions lost their homes and credit dried up for both individuals and businesses.

The “Great Recession” had taken hold, and its effects were felt in every market.  This was very evident in Corvette’s dwindling sales numbers.  For 2008, Chevrolet sold 20,030 coupes, 7,731 Z06 Coupes, and a mere 7,549 Convertibles, bringing the total units that year to 35,310 cars – a decline of more than 5,000 units from the previous model year.

Compuware Corvette C6.R
Compuware Corvette C6.R

Still, while the 2008 model year suffered because of a global economic downturn, the engineers and designers at Corvette were continuing to work closely with the Corvette Racing program to develop some of the most innovative and exciting technology ever seen in the history of the car.  The results of this effort were clearly demonstrated when Corvette Racing ended its final full season in the GT1 class of the American Le Mans Series with a drivers championship – won by drivers Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R.  Although the 2008 ALMS season marked the end of Corvette Racing’s 10th year in GT1 category, both the No. 3 of Magnussen and O’ Connell, along with the No. 4 driven by Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta would transition to the GT2 category following the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Similarly, the development of the ZR1 would continue in earnest throughout 2008, giving rise to some criticism against GM for developing what was assured to be the costliest, and the most powerful, Corvette of all time.  The “Blue Devil” was about to emerge – but many were questioning if its arrival would coincide with the financial collapse of General Motors – leading some to speculate that the Corvette program might be in serious jeopardy.  Little did anyone realize, for how could they, that GM was on a track that would catapult the Corvette to levels of performance and popularity even greater than anything seen in its now fifty-five year history.

2008 Corvette Specifications & Performance

See the complete breakdown of technical specifications for the 2008 Corvette, including engine, suspension, brakes, body dimensions, and power. Read more: 2008 Corvette Specifications.

Engine & Transmission

The big news for 2008 was under the hood: Engine displacement was increased to 6.2 liters (376 cubic inches) via a bore increase. Output was upped to 430 hp (424 ft lbs of torque) and a new engine designation – LS3 – announced the good news. Credit for the increase went to revised a camshaft / valvetrain, a high flow intake and the use of the Z06’s fuel injectors. A new item for 2008 was the dual mode exhaust (RPO NPP; $1195) which bypasses the muffler for a very aggressive sound. A similar system has been used on the Z06; the difference being that the Z06 used 3 inch pipes and the LS3 uses 2.5 inch pipes. The manual transmission shifter, which already worked amazingly well, was refined via shorter shifts. Upgrades in the automatic transmission resulted in quicker shifting. Read more about 2008 Corvette Performance.


When Car and Driver tested the 2008 Corvette, they said “the new Vette runs from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and clears the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds at 116 mph, compared with 4.3 seconds and 12.8 seconds at 109 mph for the 911. We tested three of the last-gen Vette coupes, and the quickest did the 60-mph run in 4.1 seconds and the quarter in 12.6 seconds at 114 mph”.

2008 Corvette Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN)

The last six digits begin at 100001 and run through 135284. Ending VIN (135284) did not match the total quantity of Corvettes built because 2008 production included non-salable pilot and prototype builds. Each Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is unique to an individual car. For all 2008 Corvettes, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) was stamped on a plate on the inner vertical surface of the left windshield pillar visible through the windshield. Get more 2008 VIN Details here.

2008 Corvette Price & Options

Core Features & Factory Options

Detailed refinements to the interior made the Corvette even more inviting. There were no changes to the Z06 for 2008.


Two colors, Jetstream Blue Metallic Tintcoat and Crystal Red Metallic Tintcoat were added and the Le Mans Blue Metallic and Monterey Red Metallic Tintcoat were discontinued. There were eight colors for the 2008 model year Corvette and the production breakdown was as follows: Arctic White 1,974 (5.59%), Black 9,380 (26.56%), Velocity Yellow 3,264 (9.24%), Machine Silver Metallic 3,660 (10.37%), Victory Red 5,638 (15.97%), Atomic Orange Tintcoat 2,246 (6.36%), Jetstream Blue 3,728 (10.56%), Crystal Red 5,420 (15.35%). Black was the most popular color with almost 27% of the production total while Crystal Red was just over 15% of the total production. More 2008 color information.

Pricing & Options

The Base Corvette Coupe with 6.2L 376 cu. in. 430 hp engine and six speed manual transmission starts at $45,995, while the Base Corvette Convertible with 6.2L 376 cu. in. 430 hp engine and six speed manual transmission comes in at $52,335. The Base Corvette Z06 Coupe with 427 cu. in. 505 hp engine and six speed manual transmission is almost $20,000 more expensive than the base coupe, coming in at a starting price of $65,800. More pricing and options information here.

1YY07 Base Corvette Coupe 19,796 $45,995
1YY67 Base Corvette Convertible 7,283 $54,335
1YY07 Indy 500 Pace Convertible (Z4Z) 234 $59,090
1YY67 Indy 500 Pace Convertible (Z4Z) 266 $68,160
1YY87 Z06 Corvette 7,226 $71,000
1YY87 427 Limited Edition Z06 (Z44) 505 $84,195
2LT Equipment Group – Coupe 3,089 $1,495
2LZ Equipment Group – Z06 4,929 $3,045
3LT Equipment Group – Coupe 9,201 $4,505
3LT Equipment Group – Convertible 5,879 $5,100
3LZ Equipment Group – Z06 1,460 6,545
4LT Equipment Group – Convertible 528 $8,600
4LT Equipment Group – Coupe 834 8,005
C2L Dual Removable Roof Panels (coupe) 2,773 $1,400
CC3 Removable Roof Panel, transparent (coupe) 3,251 $750
D30 Non-recommended color/trim/top combo 189 $590
F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control 4,666 $1,995
GU2 Rear Axle 2.73 Ratio (w/auto trans) 8,839 $395
MX0 Six-Speed Paddle Auto Trans (coupe/convertible) 19,136 $1,250
NPP Dual Mode Exhaust System (coupe/convertible) 13,454 $1,195
Q44 Competition Gray Aluminum Wheels (Z06) 395 $395
Q76 Chrome Aluminum Wheels (Z06) 5,101 $1,995
Q9V Chrome Forged Aluminum Wheels (coupe/convertible) 2,932 $1,850
QG7 Polished Forged Aluminum Wheels (coupe/convertible) 5,412 $1,295
QL9 Polished Aluminum Wheels (Z06) 970 $1,495
QX1 Competition Gray Aluminum Wheels (coupe/convertible) 1,781 $395
QX3 Original Design Chrome Wheels (coupe/convertible) 9,626 $1,850
R8C Corvette Museum Delivery 954 $490
U3U AM/FM, CD, Navigation, Bose 16,807 $1,750
Z51 Performance Package (coupe/convertible) 10,706 $1,695
45U Velocity Yellow exterior paint 3,264 $750
83U Atomic Orange exterior paint 2,246 $300
85U Jetstream Blue exterior paint 3,728 $750
Crystal Red exterior paint 5,420 $750
**6 Modified Two-Tone Seats (2LT&3LT) 5,807 $695

Read more: 2008 Corvette pricing and factory options.

See full 2008 Corvette Image Gallery

2008 Corvette Videos

We found  great reviews by both Top Gear and Car & Driver. We have way more videos too, just see our full 2008 Corvette Videos section.