The New Corvette Z06 Coupe | Part Two

Corvette Z06 Rear

Corvette Z06 Rear End

Fine-tuned suspension, wheels, tyres and brakes

The Corvette Z06 builds on the traditional strengths of the overall Corvette design philosophy, with its low-weight, high-strength backbone structure, cored composite floors, enclosed centre transmission tunnel, rear-mounted gearbox and differential, cast-aluminium short-long arm (double wishbone) suspension and transverse leaf spring design.  These are combined with a unique rigid aluminium body structure, and exclusive wheels, tyres, brakes and rear anti-roll bar, to deliver race-bred handling.

The Z06 retains the 2686 mm wheelbase of other Corvette models, but features a wider track – increased by 30 mm at the front and 38 mm at the rear – for even greater high-speed handling potential.  Upgraded springs and optimised suspension and steering geometry, along with harder directional control arm bushings, increased castor angle and an added rear roll stabiliser, result in a faster car that is also easier to drive, with more body control, better traction and more stability in corners.

The Z06 is fitted with 10-spoke cast-spun aluminium wheels, 18-inch at the front and 19-inch at the rear.  Wide tyres (275/35 ZR18 front and 325/30 ZR19 rear) maximise the contact patch on the road for optimum grip and traction.  The Goodyear Extended Mobility run-flat tyres reduce the chance of a sudden ‘flat’, but still allow the vehicle to achieve lateral acceleration of more than 1 g.

Complementing the suspension system is an equally capable braking system with ventilated and cross-drilled discs at each corner.  The 355 mm front discs have six-piston calipers that use six individual brake pads, while the 340 mm rear discs have four-piston calipers, also with four individual brake pads.  These powerful brakes give exceptional stopping power.  With intelligent cooling thanks to the Z06’s bespoke air ducting, they provide excellent fade resistance and pad life, even on the track.

Four-channel ABS anti-lock braking, along with traction control and Active Handling (ESP) operate together to provide a strong, but unobtrusive safety net during spirited driving.

Aggressive exterior expresses performance credentials

The exterior styling of the Corvette Z06 combines the unmistakably distinctive design cues of the modern Corvette with an aggressively poised stance and a sprinkling of practical, modern refinements.  For example, the exposed front headlamps feature Xenon HID technology.  And the clean, low-drag lines are helped by the exclusion of mechanical door handles in favour of keyless electronic access and the integration of the radio antenna into the windscreen glass.

The Z06’s sharply defined front wings and short front overhang contribute to a taut, purposeful front-end design.  A wide front bumper, large grille opening, low-mounted splitter and ‘Gurney flaps’ along the sides provide aerodynamic downforce.

Meanwhile, the trailing edge of the front wheel arches are contoured to reduce drag and large air extractor vents are located behind the wheels.

Bold, simple rear-end styling emphasises the short rear overhang.  The Z06 has a subtle elevated spoiler which still provides sufficient downforce to balance that generated by the front splitter without adversely increasing aerodynamic drag.

Wide rear wings with flared wheel arches encompass the massive rear tyres.  A brake cooling air scoop in front of the wheel arch visually balances the rear bumper outlet, while four round tail lamps and four large circular stainless-steel exhaust tips, integrated into the rear diffuser, neatly complete the circular theme.

Corvette Z06 | Part Three
Published 3 March 2008 Melanie Carter

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