There is no denying that the Corvette is an impressive sports car. With a powerful 400-horsepower V8 engine, classic styling, comfortable interior and excellent handling, what more could one want in an American sports car? So if you had a Corvette with even better handling, more aggressive styling and 105 more horses on tap, would it be any better? Absolutely!!!
That, of course, would be the all-new Corvette Z06. At first glance, it looks like any other Corvette, however those in the know will recognize it immediately. It has an air intake just ahead of the hood, larger rear fender flares with additional air scoops, and unique alloy wheels, and larger exhaust. Of course, there’s also the Z06 badge on the side that has red text on it telling the most important part of the story – 505 HP.
Yes, under the hood is Chevrolet’s LS7 7.0-liter V8 engine that pumps out 505 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. This in a car that weighs just 3,000 lbs. 60 mph comes up in just 3.6 seconds; top speed is close to 200 mph. This is the fastest production ‘Vette ever.
But unlike the Viper, which has similar performance numbers, the Z06 is a civilized ride. It doesn’t cook you like the Viper, although after a long drive, the center console did get pretty toasty. The clutch is not heavy – your leg doesn’t hurt after sitting in traffic. Seats are very comfortable, and it drives smoothly at 40 or 140.
I had the opportunity to drive the Z06 from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA – about 190 miles. Even with some stop and go traffic, I averaged an impressive 22 mpg. This is from a 505 horsepower supercar! This is primarily because at 80 mph in 6th gear, the engine is only turning about 1800 rpm. Although, I have to say it’s really hard to cruise along at 80 when you know the car can go twice that speed.
But cruising down the highway at 80 is not what this car is about, even if it does it well. This car is about shifting into 2nd gear at 30 mph, flooring it and having the rear wheels break loose. The V8 sounds fantastic, and acceleration is incredible. It has excellent grip, and when the wheels break free, it’s still controllable. I’ve never driven this car at the track, but it must be phenomenal.
Where the Viper would make a great 3rd or 4th car, the Corvette Z06 could easily be a daily driver. It has a good amount of cargo space, storage pockets in the doors, plenty of room for every day stuff.
And with a starting price around $70,000, this car is an incredible deal. Especially when you compare it to Viper ($83,000) or Porsche 911 Turbo ($123.000). Definitely one of the more impressive cars I’ve driven.