Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

After a bright-yellow false start, here is the real thing: the fourth-generation, 2015 Corvette Z06. If Chevrolet makes a ZR1 version of the C7 Corvette, it's going to be absolutely mega, because the Z06 is just about everything we got in the last ZR1, but better.
The Z06 is just about everything we got in the last ZR1, but better.
The new Z06 engine is just an inch taller than the LT1 in the Corvette Stingray, and there are few more powerful inches in the world: the LT4 is a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 producing "at least" 625 horsepower and 635 pound-feet of torque. The integrated 1.7-liter Eaton supercharger and intercooler sit in the engine's vee, that blower spinning beyond the ZR1's supercharger limit of 15,000 up to 20,000 rpm and utilizing shorter rotors to get up to speed more quickly. To keep gas mileage in check, you'll still benefit from Chevy's Active Fuel Management, as well as direct injection and variable valve timing. It's also been fitted with a dry-sump oil system that has a larger capacity than on the Stingray's Z51 package.
The Z06 will shift through either a seven-speed manual or the all-new 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission that we thought was going into the Corvette and not into the Z06. It's a conventional automatic with a torque converter overseeing four gearsets and five clutches, and it's lighter than the six-speed in the Stingray while fitting in the same space. Chevrolet says there's no performance sacrifice, declaring that "wide-open-throttle upshifts executed up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than the dual-clutch in thePorsche 911." Naturally, it will come with paddle shifters. Those who prefer three pedals will find their seven-speed manual fitted with a new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch.
The aluminum frame of the Z06 is "essentially unchanged" from that used in the Corvette Racing C7.R, and for the first time will be built in the Bowling Green, Kentucky assembly plant. No one will miss a Z06 coming down the road, its cooling needs dictating flared fenders, larger vents and wider wheels and tires. The mesh grille in front delivers more airflow to the LT4 than if there were no grille, those gulps of air exiting through a larger vent in the carbon fiber hood and larger front fender vents. Brake cooling ducts send air to huge Brembos, and a new inlet design on the rear fenders pushes air to the transmission and differential coolers and out through larger vents on the rear fascia.
Wider, lightweight aluminum wheels are shod with tires that are 1.5-inches wider in front and 2.0-inches wider in back than those on the Stingray, the Z06 gets wider by 2.2 inches in front and 3.15 inches in back. Accentuating the width in back, the taillights have been pushed three inches further apart. The standard Z06 comes with P285/30 ZR 19 Michelin Pilot Sport rubber in front, hiding 14.6-inch steel rotors clamped by six-pot Brembos. In back is 335/25 ZR 20 rubber hiding four-pot calipers. Climb up to the Z07 package and you'll get Pilot Sport Cup tires with Brembo's carbon ceramic rotors that shave 23 pounds compared to the steel units and are 15.5 inches in front, 15.3 inches in back. The suspension on all Z06 trims is a tuned version of that on the Stingray, with Magnetic Ride Control and the electronic limited-slip differential coming standard.
The 2014 Corvette Stingray is a triumph of design and engineering. But Chevrolet didn’t stop there. With advanced technologies, a race-proven bloodline and a supercharged engine, the all-new 2015 Corvette Z06 launches Stingray into supercar territory.
Dominant on legendary race tracks around the world, Corvette was the most-awarded racing nameplate in the American Le Mans Series and a seven-time winner at 24 Hours of Le Mans. The next generation C7.R race car will debut this season in the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Series. The C7.R and the 2015 Corvette Z06 share unprecedented levels of engineering and components including chassis architecture, engine technologies and aerodynamic strategies.
The all-new Z06 is the best example yet of the technology transfer between racing and production Corvettes. First, engineers took what they learned on the Corvette Racing C6.R and applied that knowledge to the 2014 Corvette Stingray. Then, using the Stingray as a foundation, the Z06 and C7.R were co-developed to push the envelope of performance on the street and the track.
Powerful, efficient performance
The 2015 Corvette Z06 is powered by an LT4 supercharged 6.2L aluminum V8 engine delivering at least 625 horsepower† and 635 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine incorporates a more efficient, more compact next-generation supercharger†, as well as a dry sump oil system, lightweight titanium intake valves and connecting rods for reduced reciprocating mass. And while advanced engine technologies enable supercar performance, Corvette engineers have managed to increase LT4 fuel efficiency by leveraging the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray powertrain: Direct Injection, Active Fuel Management™ and continuously Variable Valve Timing.
The first rendering with the 2015 Corvette Z06 Cabrio has recently hit the web and it might provide us with a first look into a possible future production version.
The brand new 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 may have been officially unveiled just a couple of weeks ago, during the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, but that didn’t stop rendering artists from creating a drop top version of the model. The image posted above represents a rendering made by Hansen Art and we must admit that the “final product” looks more than appealing. Hopefully Chevy will decide to give it the green light and so the model will be hitting the market shortly after its solid roof brother.
No price yet, but if we consider the performance potential of this new Z06 in comparison with the pricing of other supercars, I’m guessing the Z06 will end up looking like an absolute bargain when numbers are announced.