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Z06 takes Corvette to new heights. Image by Chevrolet.

Z06 takes Corvette to new heights
Chevrolet says the new Z06 is the fastest lapping 'Vette yet built.
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What's the news?

Hardly slow as standard, Chevrolet has announced the first high performance version of the C7 Corvette Stringray, the supercharged Z06. And if it's not mad enough for you already, Chevrolet will offer an additional, track-focused package called (confusingly) Z07 to further boost the car's ability.


The Z06 has a few changes that you might only spot when it's parked next to a regular Stingray. The front and rear wings are wider than the Stingray's, at 56- and 80mm respectively, to house the fatter Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres fitted as standard (295/30 ZR19 front, 335/25 ZR20 rear). Said rubber is wrapped around lightweight aluminium wheels designed to show off the Brembo brakes. Those blistered arches make the car wider, enhanced by the rear Stingray light clusters being pushed three inches further apart than on the entry-level 'Vette.

Elsewhere, the visual changes are for downforce and cooling. The standard Z06 has a front splitter, spats around the front wheelarches, a unique carbon fibre bonnet with larger vent and the rear spoiler from the Stingray's Z51 Performance Package. You can step up to a carbon aero package (carbon front splitter with winglets, rocker panels and a larger rear spoiler) or go for the full Z07 spec, which adds larger winglets again to the front splitter, along with an adjustable centre section on the rear spoiler for track use. In Z07 trim, it produces the most aerodynamic downforce of any GM production car yet built.

As for cooling, the front grille delivers the most possible airflow to the intercooler - so much so that if you removed it, there would apparently be less air flooding into the engine bay. It also features dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider, lower outlets to serve as air diffusers. The bonnet vent not only removes hot air from the engine, it also adds to downforce by allowing air driven through the grille to exit the car, rather than flowing underneath it and possibly creating lift. Additional cooling comes from larger front wing vents and air blades over the rear wing inlets for the transmission and diff coolers.


The Z06 has unique cabin colour schemes to distinguish it from the Stingray, plus it features a flat-bottomed steering wheel. There will be two seat options - a GT for comfort, and a Competition Sport with aggressive side bolsters for better on-track support. Like its sibling, the Z06 has high-performance driving details, like a steel-reinforced grab bar on the centre console for terrified passengers and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console where the driver braces during high-speed cornering. Of which there should be plenty in the Z06.


It's a 6.2-litre V8 under the hood but it's not the LT1 engine as found in the Stingray; this is an all-new unit codenamed LT4. This behemoth is targeted to make 625hp and a colossal 861Nm, while direct injection, Active Fuel Management - Chevy-speak for cylinder deactivation - and continuously variable valve timing aim to offer some semblance of economy. The new Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger and its attendant intercooler are mounted in the V of the eight cylinders, and overall the LT4 is just 25mm taller than the normally-aspirated LT1 of the Stingray, despite offering 37- and 40 per cent more power and torque respectively.

There are some drool-inducing technical highlights to the LT4, like aluminium cylinder heads, titanium intake valves and con rods, forged aluminium pistons, dry-sump oil feed and a 10.0:1 compression ratio, but for reasons of space we must leave it there for now. The unit will be paired to a choice of transmissions: a seven-speed manual as standard, with Active Rev Match, or a new eight-speed paddleshift auto, capable of full-bore upshifts that are claimed to be executed eight-hundredths of a second quicker than those of the PDK gearbox in a Porsche 911.

As standard, the Z06 gets steel brake discs of 371mm and 365mm diameter front and rear, with aluminium six-piston and four-piston callipers respectively. The Z07 adds carbon ceramic discs that are 10kg lighter overall than the steels, and which are a huge 394mm in diameter front and 388mm rear. The Z07 also adds Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tyres, as part of its track-focused remit.

Suspension-wise, the design is the same as the Stingray's but uniquely calibrated for the Z06, with third-generation Magnetic Selective Dampers fitted as standard. There are also various track-related electronic aids, plus an electronic limited slip differential. Finally, the Z06 has the same aluminium frame as the Stingray and it will be used unchanged for the C7.R race cars. It's so stiff that the Z06 can have a removable carbon roof panel, a first for the higher-performance derivative.

Anything else?

Pricing and performance data will be revealed closer to the car's 2015 launch, but as the 455hp Stingray can do 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds and 190mph flat out, the Z06 - if it can get its gargantuan power down cleanly enough - should be phenomenally fast; dare we say it, even 911 Turbo S fast. And that's with a possible ZR1 ultimate version of the 'Vette to come!

Matt Robinson - 15 Jan 2014

2014 Corvette Z06. Image by Chevrolet.2014 Corvette Z06. Image by Chevrolet.2014 Corvette Z06. Image by Chevrolet.2014 Corvette Z06. Image by Chevrolet.2014 Corvette Z06. Image by Chevrolet.

2014 Corvette Z06. Image by Chevrolet.2014 Corvette Z06. Image by Chevrolet.2014 Corvette Z06. Image by Chevrolet.2014 Corvette Z06. Image by Chevrolet.2014 Corvette Z06. Image by Chevrolet.

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