Faster just got better
Originally conceived as a lightweight, track-oriented version for hardcore Corvette enthusiasts, the 2015 Z06 version of the new Stingray will not only satisfy that core audience, but also add features and performance that is sure to appeal to a broader spectrum of buyers.
Among the firsts for the 2015 Corvette Stingray Z06 are an 8-speed automatic transmission option, a standard removable roof panel and a supercharged engine that offers nearly the same output as the previous range-topping Corvette ZR1.
The Z06 has aggressive looks inspired by the Corvette Racing C7.R, which is expected to make its debut later this month at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. While the basic shape is similar to the standard Corvette, the Z06 has a wider track with flared front and rear fenders to accommodate the wider stance. The car is fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport tires measuring P285/30ZR19 at the front and P335/25ZR20 at the rear. The tires are a respective 1.5 and 2.0 inches wider than stock Stingray rubber. The front air intakes and hood vents are larger, along with wider sill extensions, and redesigned rear scoops both ahead of the rear wheel and atop the fender provide cooling for the brakes and rear-mounted transmission.
Beneath the hood is a supercharged version of the all-new 6.2-liter LT4 V8, which produces 625 horsepower and 635 lb.-ft. of torque. That's just 13 horsepower shy of the supercharged ZR1. The engine is mated to a 7-speed manual transmission or an optional 8-speed automatic with sequential paddle shifters. The engine, which is one inch taller than the standard LT1 V8 in the base Corvette Stingray, required that the hood be reconfigured to provide clearance.
The aero kit and body cladding on the Z06 are offered in three levels. The standard package includes a carbon-fiber front splitter, spats around the front wheel housing and full-length rear spoiler from the Stingray's Z51 package. An available carbon-fiber aero package adds a front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon-fiber rocker sills and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill, a small vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler. The track-oriented Z07 package adds larger, removable winglets on the front splitter as well as a see-through adjustable center section on the rear spoiler to further increase downforce. The Z07 package also includes more aggressive Michelin Sport Cup tires as well as larger carbon-ceramic disc brakes.
The stiff aluminum structure also allows the Z06 to be offered with a removable carbon-fiber roof panel, which when removed, has a body that is 20 percent stiffer than the previous fixed-roof model and 60 percent stiffer when the panel is in place.
The Corvette Z06's cabin features a leather-wrapped interior, racing-inspired sport steering wheel with a squared-off bottom and a choice of a standard GT seating or a new Competition Sport bucket with more aggressive side bolsters for more lateral support.
The 2015 Corvette Stingray Z06 is still almost a year away from going on sale, but was introduced now in order to homologate the new Corvette Stingray C7.R racer. That car, though looking similar to the Z06, features a normally aspirated 5.5-liter V8 dictated by the GT class rules in both the Tudor United SportsCar Championship racing series and Le Mans. Pricing and production figures for the Z06 have not been announced.
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