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Corvette in Detroit: NAIAS 2005
by David Harned

OK so when GM announced the most powerful production Corvette ever it was likely to get any Corvette fan to drive a few hours to see it. The company was good, our Vette-net technical expert and me. We both like to drive, but ten hours in the car that day driving to and from Chicago? We had one thing to be thankful for, the weather wasn’t nearly as bad as last year. The conversation wasn’t bad either. This was big news in the Corvette world.

When we got to the show we immediately headed out to see what the world of GM had to offer this year. Like most Corvette fans, we both have or have had a plethora of other GM vehicles, and the happenings of Saturn (big news this year!), GMC, Cadillac, Saab, Buick, Hummer and especially Pontiac (2005 GTO has the base C6’s LS2!) and of course Chevrolet (where the heck was the HHR?).

All the way in the back corner was what we came for. Spinning in opposite directions at two ends of the stage were the new Corvette Racing C6-R and the 2006 Z06. Both share the 7.0 liter LS7 and it was appropriately placed in front of the stage in prime view. We also got a good look at the Z06 chassis. Photos and videos follow. Read on.

The C6-R Corvette
Download video preview (3.7 Mb .mov file)

Corvette C6-R

Corvette C6-R

Building on the success of the C5-R, the C6-R is even more impressive. Firsthand this car is very impressive and its power is obvious. This would be an intimidating car to compete against. We put together a short video of the car from scenes that we shot. You can download it using the link above at the top of this section. The Corvette Racing team should do well this season.

The 2006 Z06 Corvette
Download video preview (3.7 Mb .mov file)

2006 Corvette Z06

500 hp - wow. Ok, so to be fair, the Viper has been there for a little while already. However, as always, the street legal racecar Z06 version of the Corvette has executed and delivered better than the Viper (or any other competitors) could have dreamed.

The new track ready Corvette has an optional navigation system? Amazing performance with more luxury and comfort, all for less money than any of its competitors, Corvette has truly done it yet again. Stepping it up yet another notch, the Corvette has really evolved into a world class sports car. The base C6 is an exceptional car. However even with the Z06, it remains that there is no better performance vehicle for the dollar.

Corvette Z06 Chassis

Here is a list of highlights:

  • LS7 7.0-liter/427-cubic-inch Gen IV V-8 with lightweight reciprocating components
  • 500 horsepower (373 kw) at 6200 rpm
  • 475 lb.-ft. of torque (657 Nm) at 4800 rpm
  • 7000 rpm redline
  • Titanium connecting rods and intake valves
  • Dry-sump engine lubrication system
  • Engine hand-built at GM’s new Performance Build Center
  • Aluminum body structure with one-piece hydroformed perimeter rails frame and magnesium front cradle
  • Fixed roof design optimizes body rigidity and aerodynamics
  • Carbon-fiber composite front fenders and front wheelhouses
  • Unique front fascia incorporating a larger grille, cold-air scoop and lower air splitter
  • Wide-body rear fenders and a unique rear spoiler incorporated with the CHMSL
  • Huge 14-inch (355-mm) cross-drilled front disc brakes with six-piston calipers and 13.4-inch (340-mm) cross-drilled rear rotors with four-piston calipers
  • 18 x 9.5-inch front wheels with 275/35ZR18 tires and 19 x 12-inch rear wheels with 325/30ZR19 tires
  • 3-inch-diameter exhaust with bi-mode mufflers and larger polished stainless steel tips
  • Engine, transmission and differential oil coolers; and steering cooler
  • Rear-mounted battery to improve weight distribution
  • Unique interior features including revised gauge cluster and lightweight two-tone seats with more aggressive bolsters
  • Curb weight of 3130 pounds / 1419.7 kg (estimated)
  • 3 inches (76.2 mm) wider than other Corvette models
  • Vehicle developed simultaneously with C6-R racecar

The LS7 V8

The heart of the Z06 is a very impressive piece of technology.

The New LS7 V8

Here is a list of highlights:

  • Engine type cam-in-block 90-degree V-8
  • Block configuration cast aluminum with pressed-in cylinder sleeves and 6-bolt, forged steel main bearing caps
  • Bore x Stroke (mm / in) 104.8 x 101.6 /4.125 x 4.00
  • Displacement (L / cu in) 7.0 / 427
  • Crankshaft forged steel
  • Connecting rods forged titanium
  • Pistons cast aluminum
  • Compression ratio 11.0:1
  • Cylinder heads CNC-ported aluminum; 70-cc chamber volume
  • Valve size, intake (mm / in) 56 / 2.20 (titanium)
  • Valve size, exhaust (mm / in) 41 / 1.61 (sodium-filled)
  • Camshaft hydraulic roller; 15 mm (.591 in) lift (intake and exhaust)
  • Rocker arms 1.8:1; offset (intake only)
  • Air intake composite manifold with 90 mm single-bore throttle body
  • Fuel Premium required. 91 octane minimum
  • Horsepower 500 (373 kW) @ 6200 rpm
  • Torque (lb-ft) 475 (644 Nm) @ 4800 rpm
  • Engine redline (rpm) 7000

We recommend that as the auto show moves around the country, you do your best to get out and see these cars. Both the C6-R and Z06 are marvels of technology and performance. We probably won’t be able to drive the C6-R (we are hoping though...) and it will be difficult to not elevate the new Z06 Corvette to rock star status in the sports car arena. However, we can’t wait to get the new car off of the pedestal and on the street and see how it really performs.


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