We have all been waiting in anticipation (hands clasped and drooling) for the specs of the new C7 Z06, and oh my!…Just looking at it gives me the giddiness! Since there is a lot to talk about, lets start with POWER!
The Z06 will be powered by a new 6.2L Supercharged V8 designated ‘LT4’,will be churning an estimated 625 horsepower and 635 lb-ft of torque – that’s huge jump from the C7 Stingray’s 465hp and the last C6 Z06’s 505hp. Despite the added supercharger sitting on top, the engine is only 1 inch taller than the non force-fed LT1 engine. The New Eaton Supercharger spins 5000rpm faster than the supercharger found on the Corvette ZR1’s LS9, making it deliver boost more efficiently at lower rpm. LT4 also features a dry-sump oiling system with larger cooler capacity than Z51 stingray. GM’s goal was to also develop one of the most fuel-efficient cars producing over 600hp so fuel-saver technologies like Direct Injection, Cylinder deactivation and Variable valve timing will be part of the LT4. Looking at the interior picture, the redline will be at 6500rpm – 500rpm less than the last Z06’s LS7.
So what kind of transmission does it have?….this is where it gets controversial. Yes, most hardcore guys will welcome the 7-speed manual gearbox taken from the Stingray-including myself, but what will be easily overlooked is the optional brand new 8-speed ‘8L90’ automatic with paddle shifter. A Z06 with a ‘Torque Converter’?! well its no slush-box according to the folks at GM, claiming to have shifting times up to eight-hundredths of a second faster than a PDK Gearbox offered in the Porsche 911. That is quite an engineering achievement for a torque-converter automatic, and its 4kgs lighter than 6-speed auto found in the regular Stingray. This may be the best compromise between the responsiveness of a Dual-Clutch and the refinement of an automatic. I can already smell the comment wars comparing auto and dual-clutch, but I am very intrigued by how fast the auto-box would be.
The Aluminium Frame found on the Z06 is the same found on the newly developed C7.R racecar. The frame itself is so stiff that the Z06 is now offered with a removable Targa roof – A first for a Z06. Even with the roof removed, the chassis is 20-percent stiffer than the last C6 Z06 and 60-percent stiffer with the roof fixed. The Electronic Limited-slip Differential seen in the Stingray also comes standard in the Z06, along with Driver-Selectable drive modes which tailor the car, depending on whether you are just cruising along on the highway or smashing a lap-record on the track. GM has also claimed that the Z06 has beaten the ZR1’s Lap Record on the Nurburgring during its first outing.
Now lets move onto looks, shall we?..This looks like a Z06 alright. Wider wheels, wider fenders, aero bits everywhere and larger vents for more cooling. Interestingly the front grill flows more air than it would without the grill. The Z06 will offer 3 increasing levels of downforce, the highest one being the ‘Z07’ package – This is what GM claims to be the Most Aerodynamic vehicle ever tested in GM’s wind tunnel. This will add larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use. Z07 package will also include Pilot Sport Cup tires if you want to destroy your face while cornering and Brembo Carbon Ceramic brakes to shave of speed very quickly. All of the Z06 trim levels will have Magnetic Ride suspension which will be a tuned version of the ones found on the Stingray. To fit the insanely wider wheels and tires, the front fenders were widened by 2.2 inches and the rear by 3.15 inches. The Tail-lamps were also pushed 3 inches away from each other to actuate the added width in the rear.
The same 2 Seating options will be offered, Touring seats and the Competition seats. Flat-Bottomed steering is also newly added in the Z06.
So the regular Corvette Stingray is a fine piece of kit. especially when you consider the kind of performance, tech and refinement you get for the price compared to the likes of a Porsche 911(Base Carrera) or any other European rivals. However capable the stingray was, we knew the Z06 was going to be the big bad bruiser, especially for track use. 635lb-ft going to just the rear wheels?..Yes it isnt’ GT500 power but its got wider and stickier rubber to deal with that kind of torque. Although there are no official weight figures, I’m hoping the fuel-saving tech and added supercharger does not affect the weight all that much. C6 Z06’s High-Revving 7 litre LS7 will surely be missed, but the LT4 engine may be the best thing to make the car more accessible and fuel-efficient. Just thinking if there will be a ZR1 after this, and how mental would that be!.
On the track?……I would love to see a 3-way battle between the C7 Z06, the GTR Nismo and the upcoming 911 GT3-RS. Let the Comment wars begin, Ding Ding Ding!
Source : GM