Surprise, surprise — Chevy’s all-new Corvette Z06 just couldn’t wait to make its debut. Thus, the leaked photos we managed to get a hold of a few days back. But some high-res images are no match for the real thing, live in the
flesh sheet metal.
Building on the news that the Chevrolet Corvette and Silverado swept the North American Car and Truck of the Year, Chevy raised the bar with this new ‘Vette. Putting to use a more powerful version of the Stingray’s 6.2-liter V8, the supercharged Z06 comes loaded with 625 horsepower on tap, a track-tested suspension, and a new set of wheels and tires. Of course, all this sits on top of a drop-dead-gorgeous new body.
Chevrolet says that this is the highest performing and most track-capable Corvette is has ever built. To learn more we spoke to Corvette Product Marketing Manager Harlan Charles.
“The Z06 is the ultimate Corvette,” said Charles, “It is the most track capable Corvette ever built, but without any compromise to achieve that performance.” According to Charles, the Corvette Z06 was developed alongside the all new C7.R racecar.
“When we developed the Stingray, before this Z06, the Corvette racing program taught us a lot.” said Charles, “The placement of vents and other tuning elements came form that program. With the Z06, we’re adding downforce– they have the power, they want the aerodynamics and cooling too.”
Charles says the Z06 will open the Corvette up to a new audience– once that desires world-class performance, but also wants world-class creature comforts.
“In the past, Corvette guys wanted performance and nothing else,” said Harlan, “But now you can have all things. You can have a car with amazing performance, but also with comfort features that are new for the Z06, like an 8-speed automatic and an available carbon fiber removable roof panel.” Because of the added body rigidity, the Corvette can have that removable roof panel– without that penalty to performance.
To emphasize the relationship between the road and race versions of the Corvette, GM decided to roll out the all-new race-spec C7.R at the same time as the Z06. The high-revving V8 was enough to make hair stand on end. It was a loud, bold statement– that the Corvette is bred from racing, and the close connection between the road and the track makes for one compelling sportscar.
Up front, the Z06 sports a menacing new face including a new front splitter, larger intake and hood vents, and a body that sits much lower to the ground. The rest of the body is much the same — a handsome rear wing, an aggressive rear diffuser, and aerodynamic features throughout. All derived from the racing program– and put there with a purpose.
According to GM, the first time out on the test track, the Z06 broke their own track record set with the ZR1. When asked what that does for future plans of a ZR1, Harlan simply stated that this vehicle is so good that there might not be a need for a future ZR1. It’s hard to argue with that.
Pricing is not out yet for the Corvette Z06, and you won’t see it in dealers for at least six to eight months, if not longer. You can see the C7.R racer when it debuts at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, January 25.
- Corvette Z06
- Chevrolet Corvette