Learn About the Z06 Corvette In Dallas TX!
By the time Zora Arkus-Duntov scaled the wildly narrow passes of Pikes Peak in a covert and highly classified concept car, breaking yet another record for Corvette, he had his mind made up. It was now time to convince the GM executives that his vision of a racing-inspired Corvette was one that would be widely adopted among a large, younger, speed-thirsty group of customers. To know of “The Corvette Godfather” who is Big Z, one would determine that it took approximately 5.8 seconds for the upper management to get on the Z Train.
The idea was this: There are those Corvette fans who want the lightest and fastest Corvette that they could get their hands on. So in the year 1963, with the C2 Corvette, Arkus-Duntov set out to deliver the Z06 package, which would go on to become a legendary move for GM. The Z06 package came with a stiffer suspension, larger brakes and a boost to 360 horses. The car came lighter than the regular C2 Corvette being that it lacked a heater, radio, and air conditioning. The result was a high-performance sports car that could hold its weight against cars such as the Ferrari F430 and the Porsche 911 Turbo.
The Z06 package was originally offered as a Regular Production Option or RPO code which could be optioned for the Corvette Sting Ray. The 1963 Z06 Corvette held the “Fuelie” 327 cubic-inch V8 with Rochester mechanical fuel injection. It was also equipped with a 36.5 gallon fuel tank to those embracing
endurance, track heavy runs. This was in compliment to the four-speed manual transmission and Positraction rear axle. There were in total 199 Corvette Z06s built in ’63 which today would make that version of Corvette one of the most rare American sports cars.
And then… nothing. For two entire generations, the Z06 program went dark. The demands of the market and regulatory changes in those years put restraints on certain niche programs.
Check out more info about the earlier generations of Corvettes where we explore an in depth history, here!
During the C3 era, there was an implementation of strenuous emission regulations impacting car performance. Even the shift of greater demand in the market for better handling, more luxury and interior comforts.
Even though the Z06 performance package went dark, there was a light that shone bright in the C4 generation for those missing out on a speedier track-hugging ‘Vette. The ZR-1 was introduced as a high-performace version of the stock Corvette. This model was equipped with the LT5 engine which was developed with input from Lotus. At 375 horses, the ZR1 was born to compete with supercars of the time. Though the ZR1 gave amateur speedsters the fix that they needed in the absence of the Z06 Corvette, the next generation brought back the highly coveted performace package.
The C5 Corvette arrived in 2001 with, to the delight of Corvette racing junkies and history buffs, Z06 performance. This revival featured a naturally aspirated 5.7 liter LS6 V8 engine bearing 385 fire-breathing ponies and matching lb-ft of torque all thanks to a hotter cam and higher compression ratio. This Z06 came with a 6-speed manual transmission, a super-lightweight titanium exhaust and new track-ready suspension. The legend was back and the thirst for a high performance Corvette was so widely accepted that Chevrolet finally realized the necessity to provide the market with what it truly wanted; more juice.
The C6 launch in 2005 brought forth an even higher intensity of deliverables in the Z06 Corvette. There was warranted necessity; the Dodge Viper and resurrected Ford GT500 were two untamed beasts that gave the stock ‘Vette a run. Thus the Z06 came back yet again, and out for blood. It featured wider wheels with 6-piston Brembo brakes. Donned a wider body, a firstie for the Z06, oh and 505 horsepower and 470lb-ft of torque from the 7.0-liter LS7 V8. This form factor was the beginning to become what Father Zora was meaning when he said, “This is the most beautiful car I have ever seen.”
The C6 Z06 featured a light-weight aluminum frame and carbon fiber components shaving off over 140 pounds from the stock C6’s steel frame. The result, 0-60 at around 3.4 seconds and at that time, the quickest Chevrolet Corvette ever produced. Other notable improvements; built-in navigation system, improved climate control, heated seats and advanced technologies like Magnetic Selective Ride Control for optimized handling. The C6 Z brought forth a new standard set by Chevrolet, an affordable supercar that was unmatched in style, power, and comfort. This was an experience that the Corvette brought to the table and only one that could be outdone by the next generation.
The C7 Corvette Z06 made it’s debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan, in January 2014. Onlookers oogled over the new body, the powerful engine, and still had no idea what was to happen next.
For the first time, Chevy had given the world a legit, street -legal race car that had more power than most people would know what to do with. This was the kind of car that Arkus-Duntov would get giddy about being a mass-marketed release.
The specs; a 6.2 L supercharged and intercooled LT4 V8 producing 650HP and 650 lb-ft of torque. A first for Z06, a convertible option and this was the last year that the Corvette came with a true manual option. The exact manual was a seven-speed with rev-matching technology, but one could opt for the Hydramatic 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The latter, a super quick 0-60 In 3 seconds flat.
To fit in line with the engine of a track car, the body was redesigned with three things in mind: Aerodynamic sufficiency, less weight, and dramatic sex-appeal. The C7 Z06 featured a removable carbon fiber roof panel, a front splitter, a carbon fiber hood with a super-sized vent, larger front fender vents, unique rear-fascia openings, and who could miss the insanely large and cool looking rear spoiler. This car looked like the kinda car you would find circling the Nascar track but instead it’s going down your neighborhood street. And Chevy didn’t hold back with the interior for the C7 Z06. After all, it was a known fact that the interior of Corvettes were in serious need of the kind of modern luxury coming in high-performance vehicles especially ones from overseas.
The seats were sporty, yet comfortable with heating and ventilation, and the available GT or Competition seats which featured more aggressive side bolstering. Soft touch materials lacing the console with a driver-centric styled cockpit. The Infotainment system touted Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a mobile hotspot giving the best in connectivity. Opt for the leather-wrapped edition, and you’d have the most luxurious, cost-conscious supercar around. With a price tag of 78,995, you’re not only getting a great value, you’re getting a steal. So, why not add the Z07 package and get an even more track-ready Corvette?
Today, we have yet again been served our slice of the Corvette dream. The eighth-gen, C8 Z06 is a wild-child combining a hand-built, high-revving, naturally aspirated LT6 5.5 liter V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft.The latter giving it the signature growl of 670 “hellhorses” screaming to the tune of 2.6 seconds from 0-60. At a redline of 8600rpm, it sets a precedent for what a Corvette can sound like giving fans everywhere a new status symbol. The C8 Corvette Z06 is the most powerful naturally-aspirated production car ever made, taking on the fastest supercars of our time.
The interior: An all enveloping cockpit that is fully customizable with over 11,000 possible combinations. It feels like a cockpit with the sttering wheel shape that gives unobstructed view to the dash. Leather is everywhere, the steering wheel leather-wrapped of course, but can be optioned with a beautiful high-gloss carbon fiber that looks sophisticated and extremely stylish. As you turn your head to the rear, you will find the visible mid-engine through the rear window. If you opt for the convertible, this engine is tucked away nicely as you ride in the wind. If you opt for the z07 package, you’ll get carbon fiber aerodynamic enhancements and there’s even an option for carbon fiber wheels which not only look stunning, but give an even more precise steering ability.
The Z06 started off as an idea. What does the Corvette driver view as the ultimate Corvette? Faster, sleeker, louder, and overall, higher performance that what the other guys got. That last part is what is so powerful about the Z06. As humans, and in this case the ones that have an affinity cars, we love features. In fact, we adore features, options, anything that gives us one more reason to say, “I want it.”. Zora Arkus-Duntov understood this before anyone and this brings the point that big Z wasn’t just Chief Engineer for Chevrolet, who just so happened to be a race car driver, or just an “idea guy”. He was also a marketing wizard who could look into the future and see exactly what you and I today would call the car of our dreams. It wasn’t so much about “what could a Corvette be” but more of “what is the Corvette not?” Some have said it’s not comfortable, or it’s not a real-supercar, and it is the focus on the market, the gripes and lashings the car receives from mostly euro-exotic addicts that drive the next iteration of the Corvette. Always improving, always a gift to American muscle and performance lovers. To be exact, the Corvette is the longest-running, continuously produced passenger car ever made in the USA. And with the reputation for being there for generations of car enthusiasts, there could only be one way to give icing on this kind of car-cake, and that is what the Z06 is…
The 2023 Corvette Z06 is sets a new standard, however don’t make the assumption that brand new Corvettes is the only Z06 to buy. Of course, if your budget allows, the latest and greatest will be just that. But there are innumerable options when it comes to the Z06. Going with a C7 or C6 Z06 can give you some of the greatest value that you can find in a used sports car, bearing in mind, the previous generations broke records.
Here at Corvette Warehouse, we keep a hefty stock of Corvettes and will always have options for Z06 packages. We’ve just moved to a much larger showroom at 2432 Walnut Ridge St. Dallas TX 75229 and are here to help you find the car that speaks to your inner-racer. Come and check out our new location and our current stock of Z06 Corvettes and see for yourself why it is the pinnacle of Corvette performance.
Check out our latest Corvette Inventory here.
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