Corvette Z06: A Quick History of a Fast Car
DETROIT – The all-new 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is a many able in a story of a track-oriented model. The Z06 was initial offering as an choice package in 1963, destined during those who dictated to use their Corvettes on a track.
The Z06 given has been offering in 4 of a Corvette’s 7 prolongation generations, any elevating a Corvette’s lane capability:
- Second epoch (1963) – Developed underneath famed Corvette operative Zora Arkus-Duntov, a initial Z06 package offering extended doing and braking capability with an available, incomparable fuel tank that reduced a need for refueling during a race. Power came from a fuel-injected tiny retard V-8 engine, upheld by a four-speed primer delivery and Positraction back axle. Only 199 were built – 63 of them with a incomparable fuel tank.
- Fifth epoch (2001-2004) – Combining a revoke quell weight with aloft horsepower, a fifth-generation Corvette Z06 was one of a fastest prolongation cars on a lane – a capability reliable with a sub-8-minute path around a Nürburgring. It was built on a singular fixed-roof hardtop body, with several lightweighting elements, such as thinner glass, a titanium empty complement and more. Its singular LS6 tiny retard engine delivered adult to 405 horsepower by a six-speed primer delivery with specific, performance-optimized gearing. A sum of 28,388 were built.
- Sixth epoch (2006-2013) – The sixth-generation Corvette Z06 featured a own, bespoke aluminum support that was 136 pounds lighter than a steel support on customary Corvette models. Under a hood, a 505-horsepower LS7 7.0L tiny retard featured racing-derived technologies, including titanium joining rods and a dry-sump oiling system. The Z07 Performance Package total carbon-ceramic pattern brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, enabling a Z06 to run a Nürburgring in 7:22.68. A sum of 27,979 were built, including 740 with a Z07 opening package.
- Seventh epoch (2015) – The new 2015 Corvette Z06 is a many able prolongation Corvette ever. Developed in and with a Corvette C7.R competition car, it incorporates racing record to broach incomparable aerodynamic downforce, cornering hold and braking performance. With a accessible Z07 Performance Package – again propitious with Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires and extended braking capability with CO ceramic-matrix brakes – a new Z06 is faster on a lane than a Corvette ZR1, in rough testing.
1963 Z06: Duntov’s legacy
The initial Z06 was an choice package on a iconic 1963 “split-window” Corvette, grown by Corvette’s mythological operative and racing disciple Zora Arkus-Duntov. He successfully lobbied for a 1963 Corvette to offer a package for business who dictated to competition a new car.
For those in a know, checking a RPO Z06 box on a Corvette’s sequence piece total a thicker, 24mm (0.94-inch) front stabilizer bar, larger-diameter startle absorbers and springs that were scarcely twice as unbending as customary parts. The Z06 package also featured:
- upgraded stop components, including sintered-metal stop linings, that stood adult to feverishness and resisted wear improved than required material
- power-assisted brakes with singular Al Fin stop drums assembled of lightweight expel aluminum, with a steel centre section, and cooling fins around a perimeter
- a dual-circuit master cylinder and opening stop upholder to raise reserve and revoke braking effort
These components would turn attention standards though were still singular in regular-production vehicles of a era.
Possibly many poignant for racing, a Z06 choice could be total with a larger, 36.5-gallon fiberglass fuel tank that authorised racers to stay on a lane longer. Z06-equipped models fast became famous as “big tank” or “tanker” Corvettes and were creatively singular to coupe models since a incomparable tank wouldn’t fit convertibles. Later, Chevrolet revised a package, creation a unchanging 20-gallon fuel tank customary and a large tank an option. The change authorised a Z06 package to be systematic on a convertible. Only one is believed to have been built. The package creatively total some-more than 40 percent to a Corvette’s bottom price. Aluminum knock-off wheels were also partial of a initial package and separated from a list of customary calm to revoke a package price.
There was one engine accessible with a Z06 package – a 360-horsepower L48-code 327-cubic-inch tiny block, that featured an modernized involuntary fuel injection system. Corvette was a colonize in fuel injection, carrying introduced it in 1957. A four-speed primer delivery and Positraction back spindle were also customary equipment.
In that pre-Internet era, few Corvette business – even those with racing intentions – knew of a Z06 package. It wasn’t advertised, creation word of mouth a primary source of information. Only 199 were built and usually 63 of them were big-tank cars. Because many were purchased and used for racing, a rubbing rate was partially high. Remaining, documented examples – generally a big-tank cars – are rarely collectable.
2001-2004 Z06: Breaking a 8-minute Nürburgring lap
During a Corvette’s fifth generation, a Z06 name was reintroduced as a special 2001 indication that took Corvette opening over than it had ever been. Engineers started with a Corvette’s unique, limited-production hardtop body, that featured a fixed-roof pattern that was stiffer and lighter than a hatchback coupe. The automobile was serve lightened with a titanium empty system, thinner glass, lighter wheels, required tires – in place of a customary run-flat tires – reduction sound-deadening material, a bound radio receiver instead of a energy antenna, and even a smaller, lighter battery.
The formula shaved about 100 pounds off a weight of a required coupe model. The automobile also introduced rear-brake cooling ducts integrated in a back fenders, that would turn a signature styling cue.
On a other side of a power-to-weight equation is horsepower and to that end, a 2001 Z06 used an disdainful LS6 chronicle of a Gen III tiny retard engine. If featured singular inner parts, including a “hotter” camshaft and higher-compression pistons, and an extended cylinder retard pattern for incomparable bay-to-bay breathing, assisting it furnish 385 horsepower. Further enhancements contributed to an boost to 405 horsepower in 2002. The engine was corroborated by a six-speed primer delivery with Z06-specific rigging ratios.
Like a strange 1963 Z06, a fifth-generation automobile enclosed framework and cessation components optimized for a track. Its disdainful FE4 cessation package featured larger-diameter, vale stabilizer bars that also had thicker walls for incomparable stiffness; larger-diameter startle absorbers compared to customary models, quicker steering – 2.46 turns close to close vs. 2.66 on other models – and a incomparable wheel-and-tire package, featuring Goodyear Eagle F1 SC tires mounted on lighter, stiffer fake aluminum wheels.
By a finish of a prolongation run, a fifth-generation-based Corvette Z06 was already benefitting from record used on a successful Corvette Racing program, including lightweight CO fiber. A special 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans Commemorative Edition – acknowledging Corvette Racing’s ancestral 1-2 category finish during a famous 24-hour continuation competition – used a CO fiber hood to trim 10 pounds off a nose of a car, enhancing a balance.
The 2004 Corvette Z06 valid a capability on a tellurian stage, when it became one of a initial prolongation cars during a time to run Germany’s famous Nürburgring road march in reduction than 8 mins (7:56).
2006-2013 Z06: A substructure for success
The groundbreaking sixth-generation Corvette Z06 towering Corvette to contest with a world’s most-capable supercars. A power-to-weight ratio of 6.2:1 was one of a best in a world, assisting it run from 0 to 60 mph in about 3.7 seconds, by a quarter-mile in a low-11-second operation and grasp a tip speed of some-more than 190 mph.
The substructure of a Z06 was a own, dedicated aluminum framework – a initial singular support for a special indication Corvette.
The Z06’s aluminum support was 136 pounds lighter than a allied steel support used in customary models and even incorporated a magnesium engine cradle, contributing to a quell weight of usually 3,130 pounds. Mounted on that cradle was another jump in technology: The LS7 tiny retard engine. Displacing 7.0L (427 cubic inches), it was a largest engine offering in a Corvette in some-more than 30 years – and a many absolute engine in Corvette’s story until a introduction of a Corvette ZR1.
The LS7 used airflow and lightweight technology, including titanium joining rods and a dry-sump oiling system, subsequent from a Corvette Racing module to furnish 505 horsepower.
Along with a singular support and LS7 engine, a sixth-generation Corvette Z06 also featured:
- More firm fixed-roof physique style
- Wider front and back fenders – including CO fiber front fenders
- Unique back spoiler and front splitter
- Front and back brake-cooling ducts – including signature integrated rear-fender inlets
- Specific, lightweight 18-inch front and 19-inch back wheels, with 275/35ZR18 front tires and 325/30ZR19 back tires
- Large 14-inch (355 mm) front stop rotors with six-piston calipers and 13.4-inch (340 mm) back rotors with four-piston calipers
- Unique stabilizer bars, open rates and shocks.
The ultimate Corvette Z06 with a Z07 Performance Package incorporated a array of components used on a 205-mph Corvette ZR1, including CO ceramic-matrix stop rotors, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, additional CO fiber extraneous components and Magnetic Selective Ride Control. In 2012, a Z07-equipped Corvette lapped a Nürburgring in 7:22.68.
2015 Z06: The many able ever
The new 2015 Corvette Z06 is a initial Z06 to offer a supercharged engine, an involuntary delivery and, interjection to a stiffer aluminum frame, a removable roof panel. It is also a many track-capable Corvette, ever.
It was grown in and with a Corvette C7.R competition automobile with record proven by Corvette Racing, a many successful module in a Tudor United Sports Car Challenge series, before a American Le Mans Series.
A new, supercharged 6.2L engine, rated during an estimated 625 horsepower (466 kW), powers a Z06. It is also one of a industry’s usually supercars to offer a choice of dual transmissions – a seven-speed primer and an all-new eight-speed involuntary transmission. Developed by General Motors, a paddle-shift eight-speed offers full primer control, delivering quick, seamless shifts that opposition a world’s best dual-clutch/semi-automatic transmissions.
An available, CO fiber aero package adds a CO fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, CO fiber rocker panels and a incomparable back spoiler with a bound wickerbill – a small, straight add-on during a corner of a spoiler that significantly increases downforce.
The accessible Z07 package adds incomparable winglets, an adjustable, see-through centre territory on a back spoiler, Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires and CO ceramic-matrix brakes. With this package, a Corvette Z06 will broach a many aerodynamic downforce of any GM prolongation car.
The 2015 Corvette Z06 goes on sale in early 2015.
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