With a redline north of 7,000 rpm, a six-speed manual transmission, three-inch diameter exhaust pipes, and a curb weight of 3,130 pounds, the 2006 Chevy Corvette Z06 is equipped with plenty of firepower to produce sprints to 60 mph in a blistering 3.7 seconds, making it directly competitive with not only the Dodge Viper SRT-10 Coupe but a variety of exotic machinery priced well into triple digits. Chevrolet predicts that 100 mph will arrive before the eight-second mark, and that the Z06 will cover the quarter-mile in little more than 11 seconds on the way to a top speed that exceeds 190 mph. A dry-sump oiling system ensures vital fluid flow even at cornering forces exceeding 1 g.
Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar run-flat tires are two inches wider in back at 325/30ZR19, tucked beneath quarter panels flared an extra 1.5 inches so that they'll fit. The Z06's butt is three inches wider than standard, an undesirable attribute on American bodies but a damn sexy feature on this American sports car. Helping the tires to keep the Z06's power from overwhelming its driver are Sachs monotube shock absorbers that replace the standard Corvette's available Magnetic Ride Control Suspension dampers, stiffer springs, and heavier duty struts. Red-painted, six-piston brake calipers clamp down on cross-drilled 14-inch front and 13.4-inch rear rotors to scrub speed.
Pricing could be as high as $75,000 when the 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 arrives, a substantial boost from the original's sub-$55,000 price tag. But purists who value the performance of what can rightly be called the ultimate Corvette won't mind paying the fare for this thrill ride.
Photos courtesy of General Motors