NAIAS Day 2: Chevy Corvette Z06

GM president Bob Lutz introduced the next great version of the Corvette—the new Z06—and it’s likely to become one of the most desired OEM Corvettes in years. Compared to the last-generation (C5) ’Vette, there’s much more of a difference between the standard Corvette and the Z06. The new Z06 gets an entirely different powertrain, body structure, and chassis, and has many of its components borrowed from racing. A 7.0-liter (427-ci) LS-7 small-block V8 is installed underhood and includes serious mechanical upgrades like a dry-sump oil system and titanium rods.

Like the C6-R race car, the Z06 gets substantial weight savings from the use of magnesium and carbon fiber materials, and even balsa wood for noise insulation rather than the usual materials, all for weight savings. Brakes receive a significant upgrade, and a dual-mode exhaust allows less restriction in high-performance driving. With a curb weight not much over 3,100 pounds, the Z06 can dash to 60 in less than 4 seconds, do the quarter-mile in less than 12 seconds, and reach a top speed of over 190 mph. The Z06 will go on sale late this calendar year.