Chevrolet and Geo Cars and Trucks For 1999
By Carey Russ
The three-phase introduction of the latest Corvette has been completed with the Corvette hardtop joining the coupe and convertible. The new, fixed-roof model is designed for serious performance in the finest Corvette tradition.
Purists who thought that the newest Corvette was perhaps emphasizing luxury comfort over raw performance can now be happy. The 1999 Corvette hardtop, the first fixed-roof model since the 'Sixties, not only has the lowest base price in the Corvette family, it comes with the Z51 sport suspension, a six-speed manual gearbox, and a limited-slip differential as standard equipment. The four-speed automatic that is standard in the coupe and convertible is not available in the hardtop, nor most comfort-oriented options. New options offered for the coupe and convertible including a "heads-up" projector instrument display, "Twilight Sentinel" automatic light control, and a power telescoping steering column are also unavailable to hardtop buyers, although the electronically-controlled "Active Handling System" is offered.
Performance is the name of the game for the hardtop, after all. It uses the same 345-hp 5.7-liter aluminum-alloy V8 as all Corvettes, and weighs less than the coupe or convertible for increased performance.
Chevy's muscle car has had some major refinements over the past few years, and the trend continues for 1999. As before, coupes and convertibles are offered with the 200-hp 3800 Series II V6 and in Z28 trim with a 305-hp version of the Corvette's 5.7-liter V8. A larger fuel tank for all models increases range. The V6 models now have electronic throttle control for increased responsiveness and available traction control. A "Torsen" limited-slip differential is standard on Z28s and part of the performance handling package for V6 models. The "Monsoon" premium audio system is now standard on both Z28 models and optional on the V6 Camaros.
The SS appearance and performance package, with an upgrade to 320 horsepower, is again available for the Z28 models.
Chevy's biggest sedan is again offered in standard and LS models powered by the 160-hp 3100 V6 and in sportier LTZ trim with a 200-hp version of the 3800 Series II V6. Only the color choices have changed this year.
Offered in LS trim with the 160-hp 3100 V6 and in sportier Z34 trim with a 200-hp version of the 3800 Series II V6, the Monte Carlo coupe is unchanged except for new color choices.
The well-equipped Malibu is the Chevrolet built to fight the mid-size imports. Two models are offered. The Malibu Sedan has the 150-hp 2.4-liter "Twin Cam" four-cylinder engine, and the Malibu LS has the torquier 3100 V6. Both are unchanged except for color choices.
The Cavalier series of sedans, coupes, and convertibles provides value-conscious buyers with a high degree of standard equipment for a reasonable price. New color choices, interior enhancements, and refinements to the 150-hp 2.4-liter "Twin Cam" four-cylinder engine used in sportier models are this year's highlights.
The Chevy Prizm, built at NUMMI in Fremont, California, has new color choices for 1999.
The smallest Chevrolet, the Metro is offered in three-door hatchback and four-door sedan styles. Both have new color choices for 1999.