A high-velocity tribute to the 50th anniversary of its first appearance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition represents the latest embodiment of its historic track-to-street technology transfer. Chevrolet plans to build just 500 of these dual-use road ragers, which will be available in late summer.

The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition will be available in two exterior colors, Inferno Orange and Supersonic Blue; but all will come with black headlamps and mirrors, a ZR1-style body-color spoiler, body-color door handles, a carbon-fiber raised hood, and black carbon fiber rockers and splitter to reduce mass and trim aerodynamic lift. For dedicated tracktoids, the package also includes Euro-styled racing numbers. Inside, the Limited Editions will be trimmed in ebony leather and suede with contrasting blue or orange stitching and carry unique emblems and logos.

Its distinctive appearance aside, the soul of the Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition lies in enhanced dynamics. To that end, the car is fitted with ultra-grippy Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires on Competition Grey 19-inch front/20-inch rear 20-spoke alloy wheels, and Magnetic Selective Ride Control -- the first use on any Z06 -- as well as Brembo carbon ceramic brakes. Even the cooling system has been enhanced. So how effective are these upgrades? According to Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer, "For track use, the Z06 Carbon is the best balanced Corvette yet. It combines the lightweight and naturally-aspirated Z06 engine with the road-holding and braking of the ZR1. For technical tracks like Laguna Seca, the Z06 Carbon could shave up to three seconds off the Z06 lap time."

There's good news for Corvette fans that won't be among the lucky 500 to snare an as-yet-unpriced 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition, as Chevy will offer Z06 buyers two new option groups that can provide the next best thing. The Z07 Performance Package includes all of the mechanical upgrades found on the Carbon Limited Edition, including the trick wheels, chassis and cooling system tweaks. For the even harder-core, the CFZ Z06 Carbon Fiber Package nets black carbon fiber rockers, front splitter and roof panel plus a full-width body-color spoiler and can be ordered separately or in combination with the Z07 goodies.

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