The New Corvette Z06 Coupe

Corvette Z06

Corvette Z06

The Corvette Z06 was developed alongside the Le Mans GT1 class-winning Corvette C6.R race car and benefits directly from an extensive transfer of motorsport technologies, engineering know-how and advanced materials to deliver blistering performance.

Under the bonnet, the hand-built 512ps 7.0-litre V8 power plant features unique components fashioned from advanced lightweight titanium and a dry-sump lubrication system.  The lightweight yet exceptionally strong aluminium backbone chassis provides outstanding rigidity, while carbon fibre body and floor panels keep weight to an absolute minimum.  A dual mode exhaust balances the needs of quietness and power, while large, powerful cross-drilled brakes provide immense stopping power.

The interior features a number of unique elements that accentuate this Corvette’s performance credentials, but also ensure a luxurious and comfortable driving experience.  Drivers benefit from a head-up display and cruise control and both occupants can enjoy the premium Bose sound system and heated leather seats embroidered with the Z06 logo.

Corvette Z06 Engine and Transmission

With a maximum output of 512 ps at 6300 rpm (up from 505 ps in 2007) and maximum torque of 637 Nm at 4800 rpm (up from 635 Nm), the 7.0-litre LS7 V8 powering the 2008 Corvette Z06 is the most powerful passenger car engine available from GM in Europe.  With that immense power available, the 1418 kg Z06 catapults from a standing start to 62 mph in just 3.9 seconds and to a top speed of 198 mph.

The LS7 engine is painstakingly assembled by hand at GM Powertrain’s Performance Build Centre in Wixom, Michigan, using manufacturing techniques associated with the building of racing engines.

Although sharing the same basic V8 architecture as the Corvette C6’s LS3 6.2-litre engine, the LS7 incorporates a number of unique components with race car origins.  Bespoke cylinder block, exhaust manifold and aluminium cylinder head designs and lightweight titanium connecting rods, intake valves, pushrods and valve springs are each carefully engineered to reduce weight while increasing performance and durability.

A dry sump system keeps the engine fully lubricated during the highest cornering loads.  And the exhaust silencers each feature a vacuum-actuated outlet valve that controls exhaust noise during low load operations, but which opens for maximum power when required.

At the rear of the engine a single-mass flywheel and lightweight, high-capacity clutch transmit torque to the rear-mounted ‘transaxle’.  The six-speed short-throw manual transmission is rear-mounted integrally with the limited-slip differential for optimum weight distribution and traction.

Corvette Z06 | Part Two
Published 3 March 2008 Melanie Carter

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