2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is finally and officially here. The car was just revealed at the North American International Auto Show with its full specifications. This is the most track-capable Corvette in the brand’s history which is capable of producing 625 horsepower from a new supercharged engine and is equipped with and new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission.
Precisely, the new supercharged 6.2L engine is expected to deliver at least 625 horsepower (466 kW), and can be matched with either a seven-speed manual or a high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for manual control. The aluminum frame carries over from the Corvette Stingray and will be used essentially unchanged for the Corvette Racing C7.R.
In addition, there is a track-focused Z07 Performance Package adds more aerodynamic downforce, Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires and Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors.
At the heart of the 2015 Corvette Z06 lies the new LT4 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine, which as mentioned is expected to deliver 625 horsepower (466 kW) and 635 lb-ft of torque (861 Nm). LT4 leverages also the following advanced technologies: Direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing. These technologies contribute to the great fuel efficiency of the car.
The LT4 unit also has several features that support its higher output and the greater cylinder pressures created by forced induction, including:
- Rotocast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads
- Lightweight titanium intake valves and machined connecting rods
- High 10.0:1 compression ratio
- Forged aluminum pistons with unique, stronger structure
- Stainless steel exhaust headers and an aluminum balancer
- Standard dry-sump oiling system with larger cooler capacity than Z51; used with dual-pressure-control oil pump.
Another highlight here is the debut of the new 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission which is designed to enhance both performance and efficiency. Next to the other option of seven-speed manual transmission, the eight-speed automatic one has been tuned for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency.
To go further into details, for performance driving, the transmission offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles, and unique algorithms to offer shift performance. Along with design features that reduce friction, the 8L90 is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared with a six-speed automatic.
The design of the car is undoubtedly more than striking and it speaks of exhilarating performance. The design changes began not with the exterior panels, but the tires in order to deliver the levels of grip needed for the Z06’s performance targets. The vehicle was fitted with large Michelin tires, P285/30ZR19 at the front and 335/25ZR20 at the rear.
To cover the wider tire tread, the fenders were also extended, thus giving the Corvette Z06 a wider, lower appearance further emphasized by a unique rear fascia. The tires are mounted on lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels that are also wider than the Stingray (19 x 10 inches in front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear). Their open, ultralight design showcases the massive Brembo brakes, which are part of the design aesthetic.
To increase the aerodynamic downforce of the Z06, there were included the following elements:
- front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent, and the rear spoiler from the Corvette Stingray’s Z51 Performance Package
- available carbon-fiber aero package – in either black or a visible carbon-fiber finish – adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill
- available Z07 package add larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use
Other striking feature of the exterior design is the unique grille which includes brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom which serve as air diffusers. The grille is complemented with a larger hood vent. There are also additional cooling elements which include larger front fender vents and unique air blades over the inlets on the rear fenders.
Next, the interior of the car features unique color schemes that highlight the driver-focused cockpit and the unique new flat-bottomed steering wheel. Z06 will be offered with two seating choices: a GT seat and a Competition Sport seat. The interior details here were designed for high-performance driving and include a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console.
The interior of all models is fully wrapped, where every surface is covered with premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level and include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede.
2015 Corvette Z06 is created with extensive use of lightweight materials and includes advanced driver technologies, with unique features and calibrations. For instance, there is the SLA-type front and rear suspension uniquely calibrated for the higher performance threshold. The third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers are also standard on Z06. They can be adjusted for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector, which sports the following features:
- Launch control: Available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions
- Active handling (StabiliTrak electronic stability control)
- Traction control
- Performance Traction Management
- Electronic Limited Slip Differential
eLSD or the smart electronic limited-slip differential comes also as a standard on the Z06. It helps make the most of the torque split between the rear wheels. The system includes hydraulically actuated clutch and is fully integrated with Electronic Stability Control and Performance Traction Management systems. Its calibrations vary among three modes, based on the Drive Mode Selector setting:
- Mode 1: default setting for normal driving and emphasizes vehicle stability
- Mode 2: engaged when electronic stability control is turned off in the Sport or Track modes.
- Mode 3: automatically selected when Performance Traction Management is engaged.
2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will be available at dealerships in early 2015. Its performance data and pricing will be announced closer to the start of production.