The Corvette hit showrooms in 1953 with a 150-cubic-inch six-pot under its hood and a 10-plus-second 0-to-60-mph time. It was no speed demon, but it was the foundation that the greatness that is the Corvette was build upon. The C1 Corvette was also the last time we saw a production model without pop-up headlights before the C6 generation debuted in 2005. In 2014, the C7 and its wild, European styling hit the market, giving Ferrari and other premium brands a reason to check out what’s going on in America. Following that up was the Z06 in 2015 that made all the Euro supercars stand up and take notice.
With the new 2014 Corvette Stingray already in showrooms, we all knew that we were going to soon see a more powerful version. And now that has become a reality, as Chevrolet revealed the potent 2015 Corvette Z06 at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.
The Corvette Z06 will keep enthusiasts happy until the the new ZR1 model hits the market, if it ever finds its way onto the market.
Just like the previous Z06 , the 2015 model, will be offered with a more aggressive exterior look, a more powerful engine, sport suspension and a new, high-performance brake system. General Motors is also offering an optional Z07 kit that will transform the new Corvette Z06 will deliver unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce - in fact the best in any GM model ever.
Update 8/22/2014: GM has revealed the Corvette Z06’s base price of $78,995. See all of the details after the jump.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
Updated 12/04/2013: Chevrolet officially confirmed that the new 2015 Corvette Z06 will be unveiled at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show . According to GM, it will be "most track-capable Corvette ever, designed to deliver supercar levels of performance through unique powertrain, chassis and aerodynamic features." Along with this announcement comes the release of the first teaser image of the new Z06, which you can see above.
Updated 1/6/2014: GM has just revealed that it will stream the Detroit debut of the 2015 Corvette Z06 online. The launch starts with a special event on January 13th at 9:30 a.m. EST, and the press conference will start at 10 a.m. EST. You can watch the stream live HERE, or you can watch it after the jump.
Updated 01/07/2014: With one week until its official debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, Chevrolet is already building the Z06’s microsite. Well, a savvy reader over at Jalopnik found that if he Googled the term "2015 Corvette Z06 supercar reveal," the Meta Tag for the site was populated with some juicy details, including the fact that the Z06 will have 620 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. If this is true, then the Z06 is set to have monster performance numbers!
Updated 01/13/2014: With less than one hour since its official launch, the first images of the new Corvette Z06 leaked on the internet. Additionally, the live reveal is currently underway and we are just minutes away from hearing all there is to know about the new Z06.
10:22 a.m.: During the press conference, GM announced that the Z06 will have more than 625 horsepower and 635 pound-feet of torque, thanks to its supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine, dubbed the LT4. It will also feature an all-aluminum frame that is 60-percent stiffer than last year’s frame, a standard carbon-fiber removable top and two transmissions — a standard seven-speed manual with rev matching or an optional eight-speed auto.
Updated 06/06/2014: Chevrolet officially confirmed today that the 2015 Corvette Z06 is rated at 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque - which represents a 29 percent increase on the output level and 40 percent more torque. Also, the company confirmed that the Z06 goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2014. Full details on the engine after the jump.
Live Stream of 2015 Corvette Z06 Reveal
Updated 02/17/2014: Chevrolet unveiled a series of new images for its Z06 sports car. Check them out in the picture gallery.
The new Z06 takes the standard Corvette Stingray to a more extreme level.
"A second package called the "Z07" package adds larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use"
You will be surprised to hear that when designing the new version, Chevrolet’s design team started with updating the tires and all the other changes derived from here.
Chevrolet replaced the standard tires and wheels with a new set that better suits the performance requirements of the Z06’s. After installing the wider wheels and tires. the design team then had to widen both the front and the rear fenders, which also gave the Z06 a more powerful stance. The rear look was also updated, with the taillights being pushed approximately three inches farther apart.
As the new Z06 is considerably more powerful than the base Stingray, it needed some extra downforce to keep it planted on the race track. To achieve this, Chevrolet added a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent and a new rear spoiler.
Chevrolet also offers its clients the possibility to upgrade the look of the Z06 with an optional carbon-fiber aero package that adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon-fiber rocker panels and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill that helps increase downforce. A second package called the "Z07" package adds larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use.
The aggressive look continues on the interior where Chevrolet also worked on
"Under the hood, the new Corvette Z06 is powered by an all-new LT4 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 engine"
differentiate it from the Stingray. Customers can choose between two different seat versions — GT or Competition Sport seats — depending on the driver’s needs. Unlike the Stingray, on the new Z06, the frame structure for both seats are made of magnesium, for greater strength and lower weight.
Inside the new Corvette Z06, Chevrolet will offer premium, soft-touch materials, like Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede. The model will also be offered with a unique, flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Under the hood lurks a supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 dubbed the LT4. It shares much of the same underlying architecture with the standard Stingray’s 6.2-liter mill, but the LT4 has a whole slew of new internal parts designed for weight-reduction and to handle higher power outputs.
It took Chevrolet nearly six months to release the official horsepower and torque specifications on the LT4, but the news was worth the wait. While GM officials had been quoting “more than 625 horsepower,” the finalized numbers come in at 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.
The finalized numbers come in at 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque
Those numbers put the Z06 in a rather exclusive league of supercar. Not counting the hybrid hypercars from Ferrari , McLaren, and Porsche, only three exotics boast horsepower outputs higher than the Vette. The Ferrari F12 berlinetta tops the list at 730, the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 comes in at 700 horsepower, and the Ferrari FF barely squeaks by with 651 horsepower.
While those cars may have more horsepower, Chevrolet engineers insist the LT4 makes more power at lower revs, making it much more accessible. The small-block’s 650 pound-feet of torque peaks at 3,600 rpm. What’s more, 457 pound-feet are available just over idle and by 2,800 revs, the engine is making 625 pound-feet. The engine continues to make 90 percent of its peak torque, or 592 pound-feet, from 2,500 to 5,400 rpm.
At 6,400 is when the full 650 horsepower peaks, and judging from the line graph published from the official SAE testing, the engine is making 600 horsepower when the torque falls below 90 percent after 5,400 rpm.
Making all this possible are several enhancements made to the standard LT1 engine block, with the most obvious being the supercharger. The all-new unit displaces 1.7-liters and features a 20,000-rpm redline – 5,000 rpm more than the Corvette ZR1. The supercharger is smaller but spins faster, allowing for instantaneous power and is attributed to the LT4’s low rpm torque-production. Specially designed discharge ports increase airflow from the supercharger to the all-new aluminum cylinder heads.
In addition, the LT4’s internals are upgraded with lightweight titanium intake vales, machined and forged powder metal steel connecting rods, forged aluminum pistons, stainless steel exhaust manifolds, an aluminum engine balancer, and a dual-pressure-control oil pump fitted to the dry-sump oil system.
The LT4 comes mated with either the seven-speed manual transmission or the all-new eight-speed automatic unit. Though it might sound dull, the automatic is designed to compete with the quickest dual-clutch transmissions. It’s shifted via paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.
There are no estimates on 0-to-60-mph times or top speed, but we estimate that highway speeds will come in about 3.3 to 3.5 seconds and top speed will be a batshit crazy 205 mph... Murrica!
|Engine||Supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8|
|Horsepower (HP @ RPM)||650 @ 6,400|
|Torque (LB-FT @ RPM)||650 @ 3,600|
|Acceleration (0-60 MPH)||3.4 Sec, Est.|
|Top Speed||205 MPH, Est.|
Suspension and Brakes
The new Corvette Z06 will be offered with standard lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels, sized 19-by-10 inches up front and 20-by-12 inches on the rear. These large rollers are wrapped in Michelin tires sized P285/30ZR19 up front and 335/25ZR20 out back.
Behind the wheels are Brembo brakes that feature two-piece steel rotors, measuring 14.6-by-1.3 inches up front and 14.4-by-1 inches at the rear. Putting the squeeze on these rotors are aluminum six-piston calipers up front and four-piston fixed calipers out back.
The model is also offered with standard smart electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) that shifts torque based on a unique algorithm that factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position. With this new system, the Z06 will deliver improved steering feel, handling balance and traction.
The optional Z07 package adds in extra aero components for added downforce, Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires for grip and Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that not only reduce braking distances but also lower unsprung weight.
The 2015 Corvette Z06 starts out at a relatively affordable $78,995 — that’s only about $3k more than the 2013 model, which had "only" 505 horsepower — and it has three trim levels available: 1LZ, 2LZ and 3LZ. for another $2,995 buyers can add in the Carbon Fiber Ground Effects Package, which includes a functional carbon-fiber front splitter, carbon-fiber rocker panels and a large rear spoiler. For another $7,995, buyers can add in the Z07 Package, which includes Brembo carbon-ceramic matrix rotors, adjustable aero components and Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires.
|Corvette Z06 1LZ||$78,995|
|Corvette Z06 2LZ||TBA|
|Corvette Z06 3LZ||TBA|
|Carbon Fiber Ground Effects Package||$2,995|
Well, sans the "Z07" badges — turns out that was simply a package and not the actual name — our rendering of the Z06 wasn’t too far off of the mark. We missed the black highlight on the hood and the air intakes integrated into the grille, but that’s about it. Then again, piecing together the Z06 was no problem once we saw the C7 Corvette.
Just as Chevrolet will do with its Corvette, SRT will also unveil a higher-performance version of the new Viper. The 2015 SRT Viper ACR will offer a more aggressive exterior look, bigger brakes, adjustable dampers and a set of low-weight wheels with ultra-high-performance tires.
Under its hood, the model will offer the same 8.4-liter, all-aluminum V-10 engine found in the standard Viper, but tricked to deliver at least an extra 100 horsepower.
A model closer to the upcoming Corvette Stingray Z07, in terms of base specifications, is the recently launched 458 Speciale. The Italian supercar features the same 4.5-liter, V-8 powerplant from the base 458 Italia, but tricked to deliver a total of 596 horsepower. With the extra power, the 458 Special will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in only three seconds and up to a top speed of 202 mph.
Gallery Ferrari 458 Speciale
The 2015 Corvette Z06 puts all supercar manufacturers on notice, that the 625-plus-horsepower mark is not reserved for those carrying a quarter-million dollar price tag. This new monster form the U.S. will certainly open up a lot of eyes.
- More powerful engine
- Supercar-like output
- New technology features
- Surprisingly inexpensive
- No performance data yet
- Lower price may negatively impact its exclusivity
The "Z06" name made its first appearance in the Corvette lineup in 1963, but not in the way we know it today. This was actually the RPO Z06 package, which included a large front anti-roll bar, a vacuum brake booster with dual master cylinders, sintered — powder-based — metallic brake pads, a 36.5-gallon fuel tank, power rear drum brakes with vented backing plates and updated shocks and springs.
Only 199 of these Z06 models were produced, and Chevy built them specifically for SCCA competition.It included a 360-horsepower, 327-cubic-inch, V-8 engine.
The Z06 returned in 2001 with a 5.7-liter, V-8 powerplant that pumps out 385 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque — a 35-horsepower and 25-pound-feet bump over the base 2001 Corvette. Chevy tweaked the 5.7-liter to 405 ponies and 400 pound-feet of twist the following year, and it carried that setup through its final year — 2004.
Gallery Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (C5)
Along with the debut of the C6 corvette in 2006 came an all-new Z06 with a 7.0-liter, V-8 engine with 505 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The follwing year brought the introduction of the 427 Limited Edition Z06 that featured special graphics and exclusive, titanium-colored leather interior. In its final year — 2013 — the Z06 had an optional, 427 Collector Edition.
Chevrolet today introduced the most track-capable Corvette in the brand’s history – the 2015 Corvette Z06. It stretches the performance envelope for Corvette with unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, at least 625 horsepower from an all-new supercharged engine, and an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission – all building on the advanced driver technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray.
“The new Z06 delivers levels of performance, technology and design that rival the most exotic supercars in the world,” said Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America. “And the Z06 leverages the engineering expertise of GM, offering the choice of two world-class transmissions, supercar performance without supercar fuel consumption and technologies that make it easier to fully enjoy the incredible experience of driving it.”
The 2015 model is the first Corvette Z06 to offer a supercharged engine, an automatic transmission and, thanks to a stronger aluminum frame, a removable roof panel. The new, supercharged 6.2L engine is expected to deliver at least 625 horsepower (466 kW), and can be matched with either a seven-speed manual or an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for manual control. The aluminum frame carries over from the Corvette Stingray and will be used essentially unchanged for the Corvette Racing C7.R.
A track-focused Z07 Performance Package adds unique components for true aerodynamic downforce, Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires for enhanced grip, and Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that improve braking performance and contribute to greater handling through reduced unsprung weight. Although development testing is ongoing, the Z07 package has already recorded some of the fastest lap times ever for a Corvette, surpassing even the ZR1.
“The Corvette Z06 is a great example of the technology transfer between racing and production Corvettes,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “First, we took what we learned on the Corvette Racing C6.R and applied that to the all-new Corvette Stingray. Then, using the Stingray as a foundation, the Z06 and C7.R were developed to push the envelope of performance on the street and the track.”
Supercharged, efficient performance
The heart of the 2015 Corvette Z06 is the all-new LT4 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine, expected to deliver an estimated 625 horsepower (466 kW) and 635 lb-ft of torque (861 Nm). To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray: Direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing.
These technologies – combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction – help make the new Z06 surprisingly fuel efficient.
“The supercharged LT4 engine delivers the greatest balance of performance and efficiency ever in the Corvette,” said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for Small-Block engines. “It is one of the world’s only supercharged engines to incorporate cylinder deactivation technology, enabling it to cruise efficiently on the highway with reduced fuel consumption, but offer more than 600 horsepower whenever the driver calls up its tremendous power reserve.”
To maintain the Z06’s mass and performance targets, the LT4 engine was designed with a more-efficient, more-compact supercharger. Even with its integrated supercharger/intercooler assembly mounted in the valley between the cylinder heads, the engine is only about one inch (25 mm) taller than the Corvette Stingray’s LT1 engine – while delivering nearly 37 percent more horsepower and 40 percent more torque.
The new 1.7L Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger spins at up to 20,000 rpm – 5,000 rpm more than the supercharger on the Corvette ZR1’s LS9. The rotors are shorter in length, too, which contributes to their higher-rpm capability – and enables them to get up to speed quicker, producing power-enhancing boost earlier in the rpm band. That boost is achieved more efficiently, thanks to a new, more direct discharge port that creates less turbulence, reducing heat and speeding airflow into the engine.
The LT4 engine also has several unique features designed to support its higher output and the greater cylinder pressures created by forced induction, including:
Rotocast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads that are stronger and handle heat better than conventional heads
Lightweight titanium intake valves and machined connecting rods for reduced reciprocating mass
High 10.0:1 compression ratio – for a forced-induction engine – enhances performance and efficiency and is enabled by direct injection
Forged aluminum pistons with unique, stronger structure to ensure strength under high cylinder pressures
Stainless steel exhaust headers and an aluminum balancer that are lighter than their LT1 counterparts
Standard dry-sump oiling system with larger cooler capacity than Z51; used with dual-pressure-control oil pump.
The LT4 will be built in Tonawanda, N.Y., and at the new Performance Build Center in Bowling Green, Ky.
Eight speeds, no waiting
The supercharged LT4 is offered with a standard seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match, or an all-new 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission designed to enhance both performance and efficiency.
“Unlike most ultra-performance cars, the Corvette Z06 offers customers the choice between two transmissions to suit their driving styles,” said Juechter. “The seven-speed gives the driver the control of a true three-pedal manual transmission with perfect shifts enabled by Active Rev Matching. The new eight-speed automatic offers drivers the comfort and drivability of a true automatic transmission, as well as lightning-fast shifts and manual control for track driving.”
The seven-speed manual incorporates rev-matching technology for upshifts and downshifts. This driver-selectable feature can be easily engaged or disengaged via paddles on the steering wheel. The seven-speed is used with a new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch, which deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia.
The eight-speed automatic is tuned for world-class shift-response times, and smaller steps between gears keep the LT4 within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of the output of the supercharged engine for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency.
For performance driving, the transmission offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles, and unique algorithms to deliver shift performance that rivals the dual-clutch/semi-automatic transmissions found in many supercars – but with the smoothness and refinement that comes with a conventional automatic fitted with a torque converter.
In fact, the 8L90’s controller analyzes and executes commands 160 times per second, and wide-open throttle upshifts are executed up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than those of the dual-clutch transmission offered in the Porsche 911.
“There’s no trade-off in drivability with the new 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission – it was designed to deliver performance on par with dual-clutch designs, but without sacrificing refinement,” said Bill Goodrich, assistant chief engineer for eight-speed automatic transmissions. “It is also the highest-capacity automatic transmission ever offered in a Chevrolet car.”
Featuring four gearsets and five clutches, creative packaging enables the GM-developed eight-speed automatic to fit the same space as the six-speed automatic used in the Corvette Stingray. Extensive use of aluminum and magnesium make it more than eight pounds (4 kg) lighter than the six-speed. Along with design features that reduce friction, the 8L90 is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared with a six-speed automatic.
The eight-speed automatic will be built at GM’s Toledo, Ohio, transmission facility.
Designed for downforce
The performance targets of the Z06 also posed a challenge for the design team, which had to create a striking design that also contributed to increased capabilities.
“Practically every exterior change served a functional purpose, as this beast needed more of everything,” said Tom Peters, Corvette design director, “The flared fenders accommodate larger, wider wheels and tires for more grip. The larger vents provide more cooling air to the engine, brakes, transmission and differential for increased track capability. The more aggressive aerodynamic package generates true downforce for more cornering grip and high-speed stability.”
The design changes began not with the exterior panels, but the tires.
To deliver the levels of grip needed for the Z06’s performance targets, the Z06 was fitted with larger Michelin tires (Pilot Super Sport tires for the Z06; Sport Cup 2 tires with the Z07 package). The P285/30ZR19 front tires are 1.5 inches wider than the tires on the Stingray, while the 335/25ZR20 rear tires are two inches wider.
To cover the wider tire tread, the fenders of the Z06 were extended by 2.2 inches (56 mm) at the front, and 3.15 inches (80 mm) at the rear. These extensions give the Corvette Z06 a wider, lower appearance further emphasized by a unique rear fascia. It incorporates the same taillamp assemblies as the Stingray, but on the Z06 the taillamps are pushed approximately three inches farther apart, toward to edges of the body.
The tires are mounted on lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels that are also wider than the Stingray (19 x 10 inches in front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear). Their open, ultralight design showcases the massive Brembo brakes, which are part of the design aesthetic:
The Z06 features two-piece steel rotors, measuring 14.6 x 1.3-inch (371 x 33 mm) front and 14.4 x 1-inch (365 x 25 mm) rear, with aluminum six-piston and four-piston fixed calipers, respectively
The Z07 package adds larger, 15.5 x 1.4-inch (394 x 36 mm) front and 15.3 x 1.3-inch (388 x 33 mm) carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors for consistent performance lap after lap, and collectively save 23 pounds over the standard Z06 rotors.
To harness the cornering and braking grip afforded by the larger tires and brakes, the exterior of the Corvette Z06 is tailored to produce aerodynamic downforce that presses the tires to the ground at high speeds.
The Z06 will offer three, increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce:
The standard Z06 features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and the rear spoiler from the Corvette Stingray’s Z51 Performance Package
An available carbon-fiber aero package - in either black or a visible carbon-fiber finish - adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce
The available Z07 package add larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use. With this package, the Corvette Z06 delivers the most aerodynamic downforce of any production car that GM has tested.
The exterior design also reflects the increased cooling required for the new Corvette Z06. For example, the mesh pattern on the front fascia was painstakingly designed to deliver the most possible airflow to the supercharger’s intercooler heat exchanger, so much that the mesh grill directs more air into the engine bay than if the grille was removed.
The unique grille also features dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom serve as air diffusers. The grille is complemented with a larger hood vent, which vents hot air from the engine compartment and contributes to downforce by allowing air driven through the grille to exit through the hood rather than being forced under the car, which could create lift.
Additional cooling elements include larger front fender vents and unique air blades over the inlets on the rear fenders, which force about 50 percent more air into the cooling ducts for the transmission and differential coolers than those on the Stingray. To cope with the additional airflow, the Z06 has also has larger rear-fascia openings than the Stingray.
Standard front and rear brake-cooling ducts, including Z06-signature rear ducts integrated in front of the rear fender openings, are also part of the functional design changes.
Inside, the Corvette Z06 is distinguished from the Corvette Stingray by unique color schemes that emphasize the driver-focused cockpit, and a unique, flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Like the Stingray, the Z06 will be offered with two seating choices: a GT seat, for all-around comfort, and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering, which provides greater support on the track. The frame structure for both seats is made of magnesium, for greater strength and less weight than comparable steel frames. They’re also more rigid, contributing to the enhanced feeling of support during performance driving.
The Z06 also benefits from interior details designed for high-performance driving, first introduced on the Stingray, including a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console, where the driver naturally braces during high-load cornering.
The performance-supporting elements inside the new Corvette Z06 are complemented by unprecedented attention to detail and build quality. All models feature a fully wrapped interior, where every surface is covered with premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede.
The 2015 Corvette Z06 leverages the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, including the strategic use of lightweight materials and advanced driver technologies, with unique features and calibrations tailored for its capabilities.
“Our mission with the seventh-generation Corvette was to make the performance levels more accessible, enabling drivers to exploit every pound-foot of torque, every “g” of grip and every pound of downforce,” said Juechter. “It’s a philosophy we introduced with the 460-horsepower Corvette Stingray – and one that’s even more relevant with an estimated 625 horsepower at your beck and call.”
For the first time ever, the Corvette Z06’s aluminum frame will be produced in-house at General Motors’ Bowling Green assembly plant. It’s the same robust, lightweight frame used on the Corvette Stingray and it will be used essentially unchanged for the C7.R race cars.
The stiffer design of the aluminum frame allows the Corvette Z06 to be offered with a removable roof panel for the first time. With the lightweight, carbon fiber roof panel removed, the new Corvette Z06 offers 20 percent more structural rigidity than the previous model’s fixed-roof design. It is 60 percent stiffer than the previous model with the roof panel installed.
The new Z06 retains the SLA-type front and rear suspension design of the Corvette Stingray but uniquely calibrated for the higher performance threshold. The third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers are standard on Z06. They can be adjusted for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector.
Like the Stingray, the Driver Mode Selector tailors up to a dozen features of the Z06 to suit the driver’s environment, including:
Launch control: Available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration
Active handling (StabiliTrak electronic stability control): A “competitive” setting is available in Track mode and is more suited for on-track conditions. It can also be disabled, giving the driver complete control
Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions
Performance Traction Management: Available in Track mode and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving
Electronic Limited Slip Differential: Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions with more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes.
The smart electronic limited-slip differential, or eLSD, is standard on the Z06 to make the most of the torque split between the rear wheels. The system features a hydraulically actuated clutch that can infinitely vary clutch engagement and can respond from open to full engagement in tenths of a second. It shifts torque based on a unique algorithm that factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance and traction.
The eLSD is fully integrated with Electronic Stability Control and Performance Traction Management systems. Its calibrations vary among three modes, based on the Drive Mode Selector setting:
Mode 1 is the default setting for normal driving and emphasizes vehicle stability
Mode 2 is engaged when electronic stability control is turned off in the Sport or Track modes. This calibration enables more nimble turn-in and traction while accelerating out of a corner
Mode 3 is automatically selected when Performance Traction Management is engaged. This calibration has the same function as Mode 2, but is fine-tuned to work with Performance Traction Management.
The new Corvette Z06 will be available in early 2015. Performance data and pricing will be announced closer to the start of production.
The all-new 2015 Corvette Z06 is the most powerful production car ever from General Motors and one of a few production cars available in the United States that delivers more than 600 horsepower.
The Z06’s LT4 supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine is SAE-certified at 650 horsepower (485 kW) at 6,400 rpm and 650 lb-ft of torque (881 Nm) at 3,600 rpm.
“The LT4 Small Block sets a new benchmark for power and torque at GM,” said Steve Kiefer, vice president, GM Powertrain Engineering. “The engine also puts the new Corvette Z06 on par with the most powerful supercars offered in America, while delivering performance with impeccable manners that make it suitable for daily driving.”
Compared with other supercar engines, the LT4 is a veritable fountain of low-end torque, producing 457 lb-ft (619 Nm) just off idle and 625 lb-ft (847 Nm) by only 2,800 rpm. The V-12-powered Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, for example, produces about 28 percent less torque than the Z06, despite offering about 12 percent more horsepower – and its peak torque isn’t achieved until 6,000 rpm. The LT4 maintains 90 percent of its peak torque, or 592 lb-ft (802 Nm), from 2,500 to 5,400 rpm.
The new LT4 engine eclipses the Porsche 911 Turbo S engine’s peak power levels by 90 horsepower (67 kW) and 134 lb-ft of torque (182 Nm).
“Torque is the pulling power of an engine and the LT4’s abundance of it at every rpm in the engine’s speed range helps the 2015 Corvette Z06 accelerate quicker and respond nearly instantaneously,” said Jordan Lee, chief engineer for Small Block engines. “It’s the very definition of power on demand.”
The new Z06 engine produces 40 percent more peak torque (180 lb-ft / 244 Nm) than the previous-generation’s 7.0L LS7 engine – and 7.5 percent more than the supercharged 2013 Corvette ZR1’s 604 lb-ft (819 Nm). At 3,200 rpm, the new LT4 surpasses the LS7 by 208 lb-ft of torque (252 Nm). On the horsepower side of the graph, the LT4’s 650-hp rating is 29 percent greater than the LS7’s 505 horsepower (376 kW), and 12 horses more than the ZR1’s LS9 engine.
“The new LT4 engine builds on the design strengths of our previous supercharged engine and leverages the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray – direct injection, cylinder deactivation and continuously variable valve timing – to take Corvette performance to an all-new plateau,” said Lee. “Our new, very compact supercharger also helps the engine make power more quickly, and perhaps more importantly, it helps produce more torque earlier in the rpm band.”
“It’s also worth mentioning that the LT4’s supercar performance numbers are achieved with an engine that is nearly the same size as the very compact LT1 engine introduced in the 2014 Corvette Stingray,” Lee said. “The power density of the LT4 makes it one of the smallest and lightest 650-hp engines in the industry.”
The new LT4 engine is based on the same Gen 5 small block foundation as the Corvette Stingray’s LT1 6.2L naturally aspirated engine, incorporating several unique features designed to support its higher output and the greater cylinder pressures created by forced induction, including:
Rotocast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads that are stronger and handle heat better than conventional aluminum heads
Lightweight titanium intake valves
Machined, forged powder metal steel connecting rods for reduced reciprocating mass
High 10.0:1 compression ratio – for a forced-induction engine – enhances performance and efficiency and is enabled by direct injection
Forged aluminum pistons with unique, stronger structure to ensure strength under high cylinder pressures
Stainless steel exhaust manifolds and an aluminum balancer that are lighter than their LT1 counterparts
Standard dry-sump oiling system with a dual-pressure-control oil pump.
A new 1.7L supercharger spins at up to 20,000 rpm – 5,000 rpm more than the supercharger on the Corvette ZR1’s engine. The rotors are smaller in diameter, which contributes to their higher-rpm capability – and enables them to produce power-enhancing boost earlier in the rpm band. That boost is achieved more efficiently via a more direct discharge port that creates less turbulence, reducing heat and speeding airflow into the engine.
“The Small Block’s cam-in-block design heritage has always enabled very high performance and responsiveness in a small, compact package – an attribute amplified by the performance of our new supercharger’s design,” said Lee.
The LT4 is assembled at the new Performance Build Center at GM’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant and at GM’s Tonawanda engine plant in New York. It is matched with a standard seven-speed manual transmission or an all-new, paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission built in Toledo, Ohio.
Designed to deliver shift responses on par with the world’s best dual-clutch transmissions, it is the first automatic offered in a Z06. It also makes the Z06 one of the few cars this powerful to offer the choice of a conventional manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic.
The 2015 Corvette Z06 goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2014.