2011 CORVETTE Z06: AN INCOMPARABLE PERFORMER WITH NEW PERFORMANCE AND APPEARANCE PACKAGES
The Z06 is a Corvette like no other. With its racing-inspired powertrain and suspension features, along with an aluminum frame and carbon fiber fenders and floor panels, it delivers exceptional levels of capability and technology. And with a curb weight of only 3,175 pounds (1440 kg), it’s the lightest, best-balanced Corvette model and one of the most svelte supercars on the market.
Indeed, racing is in the Corvette Z06’s DNA and many owners’ cars see double duty as daily drivers and weekend road course warriors. It’s what the car was designed for and, compared to other sports cars that cost up to double – or more – the Z06 offers competitive levels of performance at a lower price.
Chevrolet brings significant updates to the Z06 for 2011, with special packages and new options that enhance performance and styling, while also offering greater personalization choices. They include:
- New standard Goodyear F1 Supercar Gen 2 tires and exhaust system tuning
- New Z07 Performance Package
- New CFZ Carbon Fiber Package
- Z06 Carbon limited-edition model
- Two new exterior colors: Inferno Orange and Supersonic Blue, bringing the total to 10 exterior color choices for all models
- Available contrasting-color headlamps, in Cyber Gray, Black or Blade Silver
- New interior custom color stitching option, in red, blue or yellow
- USB port and input jack included with the navigation radio.
The Z07 Performance Package brings greater handling and braking capability to the Z06, with:
- Brembo ceramic brakes, with gray metallic calipers, similar to those offered on the Corvette ZR1
- Magnetic Ride Control
- Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires
- Twenty-spoke wheels in competition gray (19 x 10-inch front, 20 x 12-inch rear).
The CFZ Carbon Fiber Package gives the Z06 lightweight aero enhancements similar to those found on the ZR1. Included in the optional package is a black-painted carbon fiber front splitter, rockers, roof panel and a body-color full-width rear spoiler.
The Z06 Carbon limited-edition model blends the performance features of the Z07 package and the styling cues of the Carbon Fiber package. In addition to the features included with both new packages, this sinister-looking Z06 also includes:
- A raised carbon fiber hood
- Black wheels, outside mirrors and headlamp housings
- A special engine cover
- A leather and suede interior with body-color stitching
- Special graphics commemorating 50 years of Le Mans racing (installation left to the customer’s discretion)
- Special vehicle identification number sequence.
The Z06 Carbon is designed to be the best Corvette for track events, with the chassis and aerodynamic features of the ZR1 complemented by the lower curb weight and balance of the naturally aspirated Z06.
Chevrolet will build no more than 500 examples of the Z06 Carbon; it is available in Supersonic Blue or Inferno Orange.
Corvette Z06 is propelled by the LS7 7.0L (427 cubic inches) engine that delivers 505 horsepower (377 kW). Unique features include a racing-style dry-sump oiling system that helps ensure adequate oil pressure during high-load cornering. The LS7 engine powers a 3,175-pound (1,440 kg) package to help deliver 0-60 performance of 3.7 seconds in first gear, quarter-mile times of 11.7 seconds at 125 mph and a top speed of 198 mph. A six-speed manual is the only transmission offered with the engine.
The Corvette Z06’s powertrain and drivetrain systems are matched to the LS7’s performance capability. The light, four-into-one headers discharge into close-coupled catalytic converters and through two-mode mufflers. The mufflers each feature a vacuum-actuated outlet valve, which controls exhaust noise during low-load operation but opens for maximum power.
At the rear of the LS7 engine, a single-mass flywheel and lightweight, high-capacity clutch channel torque to the rear transaxle. The six-speed manual transmission is strengthened to handle the LS7’s substantial torque load. It also incorporates a pump that sends transmission fluid to the front radiator for cooling. Upon its return, the fluid removes additional heat from the differential lube before returning to the transmission. The six-speed transmission connects to a limited-slip differential, with enlarged ring and pinion gears. Stronger axle half-shafts with tougher universal joints transmit power to the rear wheels.
Architecture and suspension
The Z06 has an aluminum body structure for optimum stiffness and light weight for the fixed-roof body style. Perimeter rails are one-piece hydroformed aluminum members featuring cast suspension nodes, which replace many welded steel components on other Corvette models. Advanced structural composites featuring carbon-fiber are bonded to the aluminum structure. The wider front wheelhouses, for example, are carbon composites, and the passenger compartment floors combine carbon-fiber skins with an ultra-lightweight balsa wood core.
The Z06 has a magnesium cradle that serves as the attachment point for the engine and some front suspension components. Magnesium is lighter than aluminum, yet incredibly strong. The magnesium cradle helps improve the front-to-rear weight distribution, as do carbon-fiber front fenders and wheelhouses. Engineers also moved the battery from underhood to a position in the rear cargo area, behind one of the rear wheels.
The Z06 retains the 105.7-inch (2,686-mm) wheelbase of other Corvette models, as well as the short-long arm suspension and transverse spring design, but it rides on all-new wheels, tires and brakes, as well as its own rear spring and roll stabilizer. It’s a firmer suspension that works harmoniously with large 18 x 9.5-inch cast-spun aluminum wheels and 275/35ZR18 tires in the front, and 19 x 12-inch cast-spun aluminum wheels with 325/30ZR19 tires in the rear. New Goodyear F1 Supercar Gen 2 tires are standard.
Complementing the suspension system and large rolling stock is an equally capable four-wheel disc brake system, consisting of 14-inch (355 mm) vented and cross-drilled front rotors and 13.4-inch (340 mm) vented and cross-drilled rear rotors.
The front rotors are acted upon by large, red-painted six-piston calipers that use six individual brake pads. Individual brake pads are used because they deliver more equalized wear compared to what would otherwise be a pair of very long single-piece pads. The rear brakes use four-piston calipers with four individual brake pads. A four-channel ABS system is standard, as is a very competent active handling system – complete with a Competitive Driving mode.
Aggressive is the best way to describe the Z06’s design, with a wide-body, hunkered-down stance that is as functional as it is attractive. Highlights include:
- Wide front fascia with a large, forward-facing grille opening, a splitter along the bottom and wheel opening extensions along the sides to provide aerodynamic downforce
- Cold-air scoop in front of the hood that integrates an air inlet system for the engine
- Trailing edge of the front wheel opening is radiused to achieve improved drag, but protects the body finish with a tough molding, and a large air extractor is behind the wheel
- Fixed-roof body style optimizes body rigidity and mass
- Wide rear fenders with flares cover the massive rear tires and a brake cooling scoop in front of the wheels visually balances the fender extractor
- Tall rear spoiler houses the CHMSL on the top of the rear fascia
- Ten-spoke spider-design wheels (18-inch front; 19-inch rear)
- Four large stainless steel exhaust outlets
- Z06 badging on the carbon-fiber front fenders.
The aerodynamics of the Z06’s exterior were shaped by the experiences of the Corvette racing program, where high-speed stability and cornering capability are paramount. While the race cars use large rear wings, the Z06’s elevated spoiler provides sufficient downforce to balance the road-worthy front splitter without adversely affecting aerodynamic drag.
For all of its race-inspired functionality, the Z06 is designed to be a daily-drivable, high-performance vehicle. To that end, comfort and convenience are held to a very high standard. Standard features include High-Intensity Discharge lighting, fog lamps, leather seating, dual-zone air conditioning, cabin air filtration and head-up display (HUD) with track mode and g-meter.
The Z06 gauge cluster displays the Z06 logo on the 7000-redline tachometer, and has a readout on the oil pressure gauge to reflect the higher standard pressure of the dry-sump oiling system. The seats feature two-tone leather surfaces with Z06-logo embroidery and contrasting stitching.