When we brought you the Stingray reveal last year, we were flat-out amazed at how good the new C7 Corvette looked. It had the right styling and performance to bring an entirely new customer to Chevrolet’s flagship model. Where previous Corvettes were nice and the ZL1 has ridiculous amount of power, it just didn’t have the styling to compete with some of the other sports cars on the market. The Stingray, however, put supercar styling within reach for many more customers, so much so that the Stingray is the 2014 North American Car of the Year.
Within hours of seeing the Stingray, everyone was asking “what will the Z06 be like?” On Monday at the North American International Auto Show, we found out. Not only has the C7 Z06 been treated to some additional aerodynamic changes, but the brand new LT-series Gen V engine has a new member: the supercharged LT4. This svelte aluminum power plant boasts the smallest exterior package for any GM V8, while pumping out over 620 horsepower. While the final numbers have not been released, I would expect them to be somewhere north of 638, the number posted by the Mustang GT500. The Z06 makes similar power to the ZR1, leaving many of us asking- will there be a ZR1, and if so, how will it compare? Red Dirt Rodz had a chance to sit down with a few of the executives and engineers in charge of developing the Z06 and C7.R, which were developed side-by-side. Jordan Lee, the chief engineer and program manager for Gen 5 Small-block V8s told us that they are not done with the C7, there are more things in the works. This leads us to believe that there will be a ZR1 or something like it, in the next couple of years for the C7 platform. How much power will it make? The speculation from our meeting was somewhere in the 8,000 horsepower range…..
In terms of performance, the Z06 is so capable on the track, it beat the production ZR1 lap times at the GM test track in un-tuned prototype form, before all the fine tuning was completed. The car has been run at Nurburgring, but GM is still keeping those track times close to the vest. In the wind tunnel the Z06, according to Ed Welburn, Vice President of GM Design North America, showed the highest downforce numbers of any production car that has ever been tested at the GM wind tunnel, including all of the Z06′s competitors. This is a direct result of the being developed side by side with the C7.R race version.
The Z06 will begin rolling into dealers later this year, and we can’t wait to get some seat time in this bad boy. America, meet your new supercar.