If you enjoy taking advantage of unsuspecting supercar drivers, the C7 Corvette Z06 is a force to be reckoned with. Z06 began as a hardcore race-prepped Corvette in 1963. It had big brakes, beefy sway bars, and no amenities. Times have changed, but the latest Z06 is still aimed at a driver who demands the very best.
The C7 Corvette Z06 engine shocked the world in 2015. It was the first car to offer a supercharged version of Chevrolet’s 5th Generation V8. The 6.2L LT4 supercharged V8 is only an inch taller than the base-model Stingray, but it offers 190 more horsepower. The camshaft is constantly in motion, being able to move 10 degrees plus or minus its centerline to maximize torque and minimize pollution. Each piston is cooled by an oil squirt nozzle at the base of the cast-iron cylinders. Fed by the camshaft oil gallery, they allow for more ignition timing along with more boost from the supercharger.
C7 Corvette Z06 Engine
Working with Eaton, Chevrolet engineers built a 1.7-liter supercharger that is 20 lbs lighter than its predecessor. A pair of 4-lobe rotors are both smaller and lighter than previous blowers, which gives the supercharged Z06 the ability to make boost from idle to redline. The intercoolers ride side-saddle to the blower. This offers 10% more cooling with 23% less volume, and a straight shot to the intake valve.
Speaking of those valves, the computer can collapse their lifters to operate as a 4-cylinder on the highway. This offers better fuel economy at the expense of the exhaust sounding like a helicopter when cruising. Since the engine makes 457 lb-ft of torque at 1,500 rpm, who needs a transmission?
C7 Corvette Z06 Transmission
Chevrolet’s latest automatic transmissions are the best in the industry. So we weren’t surprised that 2015 was the first Z06 to offer an automatic. The 8-speed GM 8L90 automatic is engineered to handle track day abuse in the Camaro and the Corvette, with shift times comparable with the best European dual-clutch gearboxes. If you like to do your own shifting, the C7 Corvette Z06 specs also include a 7-speed Tremec TR-6070 manual transmission.
Because the engine makes so much power on the low end, first gear was reduced to 2.29. Fourth gear is 1:1, and it is followed by 3 overdrives. The differential is 3.42 to keep you idling at 90 mph. The most polarizing feature on the manual gearbox is the blip shift. When the clutch is pressed, the computer revs the engine to anticipate a downshift. But it lacks the ability to match a 4th to 2nd or 3rd to 1st effectively.
C7 Corvette Z06 Review
Chevrolet reverse-engineered many European supercars to build the seventh generation Z06. Working with Dana automotive, the hydro-formed aluminum chassis is several times stronger than the steel chassis shared by C5 and C6. It is the first Z06 to be designed as a convertible, achieving 1.0 G of lateral grip with a soft top. Every previous Z06 had a fixed roof, without the option for a targa top or convertible.
2018 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Specs
Engine: 6.2-liter Supercharged V8
Torque: 650 lb-ft
0-60: 2.95 seconds
Top Speed: 200 mph
Transmission: 8-speed automatic or 7-speed manual
Being orders of magnitude stronger than the C6, driving a Z06 is not the brutal experience it once was. Previous Z06 shocks and springs were optimized for the Nurburgring, and are quite abrasive on public roads. But the C7 Corvette Z06 specs are based on magnetic suspension. While it has been an option on base model Corvettes since 2003, the 3rd generation MagneRide has dual coils on each shock.
This allows the car to go from Cadillac to Maniac in an instant. The differences between touring, sport, wet, and track are dynamic, and you feel them in the steering along with the seat of your pants. Track mode also opens the exhaust, completely bypassing the mufflers. It sounds like a 427 with open headers, so who needs a radio?
C7 Corvette Z06 Interior
Although the pillars are immense, your seating position is optimal. Visibility is great thanks to a transparent window in the rear spoiler. The 8-speed auto is quick to respond, from 8th to 4th to scare your passenger. With the 7-speed stick, you can skip gears Ad Nauseum. Starting in 2nd or even 3rd gear hardly strains this beast. Both seat Sport Seats and the Competition seats have magnesium frames.
Even with the
C7 Corvette Z06 Brakes
Going fast is nice, stopping faster is very satisfying. Corvette Z06 customers can choose between steel or carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes. The front rotors are 14.5” and they are punished by 6-piston calipers. Each piston has cooling vents to prevent fade, an innovation that will allow the pads to last longer. Not only are the rotors and pads easily swapped from track to street, and they are also compatible with older Chevys, putting a stop to expensive aftermarket kits. The C7 Z06 is among a handful of cars that have this option, but we wish it would be more common.
C7 Corvette Z06 Design
While the C6 was essentially a chiseled C5, GM’s Design Boss Ed Wellburn knew he needed something revolutionary. Tom Peters was responsible for the retro-looks of the 2010 Camaro and he made the 2005 Corvette futuristic, but without much innovation. Wellburn asked him to start from a clean slate. What emerged is a Stingray on steroids. Form meets function equally. It can be seen in the intakes for brake cooling at every coner, along with scoops for the transmission and differential coolers.
Heat extractors on the hood solve the problem of front-end lift. This was a feature previewed in the 1963 Z06, but GM would not approve such a bold move, and the hood vents on the ’63 are simply decals over a solid hood. Even the subtle contours in the rocker panels serve to straighten the airflow into the rear brake intakes. Several choices for aerodynamics allow you to be subtle or stellar depending on your mood. The Z07 Performance Pack has the most aggressive rear spoiler. The center section is clear polycarbonate to preserve your rear view, and it is adjustable for track days. As a 2-door convertible, the power top operates below 30 mph and it has good sound insulation. The 2-door
C7 Corvette Z06 Price
Chevrolet advertises a new C7 Corvette Z06 coupe at $79,495. This is a bargain considering anything else making this much horsepower and torque. Standard equipment includes a Heads Up Display, Performance Data Recorder, and the Cosworth tuning toolbox. It allows you to play back every engine and performance parameter to keep your laps consistent. Other included goodies are heated & ventilated seats, and passenger climate control. Adjusted for inflation, it is cheaper than the C5 or C6 Z06 models, and it can be had for 0% interest from many of our dealers. The C7 Corvette Z06 convertible is only $84,590, which makes it the most affordable soft top supercar in the world. It is also nice to see an automatic transmission add $1,300 to the price, save the manuals!
C7 Corvette Z06 Standout Features
When you consider all other supercharged V8 cars, engineers kept weight in check. The Corvette z06 weight of 3,523 lbs includes the primary cooling, intercoolers, and radiators for transmission and differential fluids. Magnesium was incorporated into the engine cradle to keep the center of weight as low as possible. It allows the Corvette Z06 top speed to be 205 mph. If you like drop-tops, the convertible Corvette Z06 is 200 mph. This has been verified by the Performance Data Recorder. It records your laps with an HD camera, along with lateral G-forces, gear, throttle & brake percentage.