I had heard somewhere around the $70k mark. Of course that's just rummors over on LS2.com I try to stay out of the Z06 threads cause A) it's a ton of reading and rumors and B) would make me want one even more
$70K is no where near supercar price. considering a porsche 996 turbo (not even yet the 997 which is due out the same time as the Z06) is around $140K. the 997 should be more. the new 911 is suppose to have 450hp, the Z06 - 500. i can't wait to see the death match between the new porsche turbo and the Z06 in the mags.
What Lies Beneath: What you see in the 2006 Corvette Z06 ain't half of what you'll get
KEVIN A. WILSON
Published Date: 1/10/05
2006 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 ON SALE: Fall BASE PRICE: $65,000 (est.) POWERTRAIN: 7.0-liter, 500-hp, 475-lb-ft V8; rwd, six-speed manual CURB WEIGHT: 3130 lbs (est.) 0 TO 60 MPH: 4.0 seconds (est.)
General Motors mayhave had trouble keeping a lid on the styling of its 2006 Corvette Z06 (AW, Dec. 13, 2004) until its official public debut this week at the Detroit show, but little matter in the end. As important as styling changes are, in this case they’re merely the external indicators of how serious Chevrolet has become about Corvette performance.
Drawing on knowledge derived from its endurance racing program—indeed, using many engineers directly involved with that program—the Corvette team has put together a car that promises to run with the world’s best when it arrives in dealerships late in the year. No playing second fiddle to Vipers, no need to explain that a Ferrari Maranello or Aston Martin DB9 sells for four times as much money.
Corvette chief engineer Dave Hill says that when he realized the new C6 Corvette could perform as well as the C5-generation Z06, “It was clear that our destiny was to move the new Z06 up. Way up.” On the performance front, and probably on the price scale, too, this new model looks to be an order of magnitude “up.”
Speaking of looks, the biggest change is that the bodywork is three inches wider, with flared fenders to cover the wider tires this car truly needs, because it outperforms not only its predecessor but every factory Corvette in the marque’s 53-year history. Yes, that includes the fabled big-block cars and the high-tech quad-cam ZR-1 “King of the Hill”—we haven’t driven it yet, but on paper the new Z06 promises to be the new King Corvette.
Aside from lighter, embroidered seats with bigger bolsters, the Z06 cabin is pretty much standard Corvette.
Extracting no less than 500 hp from its 7.0-liter (yes, 427 cid) V8, built as near to racing standards as one might wish for a road-going machine, the new model needed a large air intake in the nose. Designer Tom Peters may think the neatest part is that incorporating that scoop meant his studio got to draw a new front fascia with a slightly longer point in the nose. “I wanted to do that on the car originally, but we had to hold to the length of a Porsche 911, so I couldn’t pull it as far forward as I wanted,” Peters told us. “Now, you need it longer to fit the air intake.”
That’s what everyone will see, but it’s not there just to be seen. The scoop is required because the LS7 mill can use 100 cubic feet more air every minute than the base C6’s LS6. That’s 18 percent more airflow, a key reason the new Z06 is expect*ed to run 0 to 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds and, given that it will go all the way to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in first gear, perhaps quite a bit under that 4.0-second mark.
On the outside, this example wears the new Z06-specific brighter shade of yellow paint to match the also-new C6-R endurance racer.
Dashing to 100 mph in seven seconds and past the quarter-mile pole in the 11s, the Z06 also needs more stopping power than an ordinary mortal. What is evident on the outside is the bigger air extractor behind the front-wheel opening, and a new intake scoop in front of the rear-wheel opening, to cool the bigger brakes (14-inch front, 13.4-inch rear rotors, the latter as big as the front rotors on a Z51-equipped 2005 Corvette). You’ll also spot the red-painted six-piston calipers up front, which use six individual pads to promote even wear. Rear calipers are more traditional four-pot/two-pad designs, also readily visible through the Z06’s 10-spoke wheels.
With top-speed performance of “over 180 mph” (we think the goal is 187 mph to hit the magic 300 km/h for European sales), the Z06 also needed some aerodynamic amendments. The fixed-roof fastback design (like a C6 coupe without the removable panel; we anticipate a convertible later) is the same configuration as that on the race car. It sports a new front splitter, rear diffuser and side “Gurney lips.” The wide front fender includes a deep curve behind the wheels, lined for protection from road debris. The shaping here is a near-direct borrowing from the racing program. Rather than employ the race car’s full wing, though, a taller wicker bill balances the downforce from the front splitter, without much drag penalty—the Cd is 0.31.
The final visual indicator of the new car’s prowess is the pair of large tailpipes carrying the exhaust from the LS7. Clearly the heart of this beast, each LS7 engine is hand-assembled by a single builder at GM’s new Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan, and heat-tested before it is shipped to the Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Chevy calls the LS7 a “small-block” V8, but it employs a different alloy block than the base Corvette’s LS2. This new casting allows the 4.125-inch bore and four-inch stroke that delivers the 427-cubic-inch displacement (an 8.0-liter version was tried, but wouldn’t fit in the car). Pressed-in cylinder liners permit the bigger bore in a casting you can still describe as a small-block.
The performance model’s purposeful design amendments include a revised nose with air intake scoop, wider fenders, a rear brake cooling scoop, and a taller spoiler.
Racing influences? The 7.0-liter displacement matches that of the race car’s, and the C5-R’s engine was the first one the production team bench-tested to set its goals for the LS7, says GM Racing director Doug Duchardt. Start with the dry-sump lubrication system and move up through the new heads, and you’ll find the influence throughout. The LS7 employs six-bolt, doweled-in-place, CNC-machined forged-steel main bearing caps, a forged-steel crankshaft, titanium connecting rods, flat-top cast-aluminum pistons, CNC-ported aluminum cylinder heads with titanium intake valves and sodium-filled exhaust valves, and runs 11:1 compression. The valve angle is 12 degrees (vs. 15 in the LS2) and the cam provides 15 millimeters (0.591 inch) of lift.
The heads incorporate the entire combustion chamber, fed by straight tunnel-like intake runners akin to the race car’s leading into those 56-millimeter titanium intake valves. The valve seats are siamesed with those for the 41-millimeter exhausts. When those exhaust ports open up, the hot stuff escapes into a hydroformed tubular system, three inches in diameter. Overall, there is 43 percent more flow on the intake side, 27 percent more on the exhaust side, vs. the LS2. Exhaust backpressure is even managed, via an electronically controlled flap at the muffler, to maximize both low-rpm torque and high-rpm power output. The official figures are 500 hp at 6200 rpm and 475 lb-ft at 4800 rpm.
Still a Chevy “small-block” on the outside, the new dry-sump lubricated 7.0-liter (427-cid) LS7 V8 uses an all-new casting. It also has a big heart, pumping 500 hp worth of thrust through a beefed-up transaxle to the rear wheels.
All this premium hardware is coupled with the race-bred precision assembly techniques, including deck-plate boring and honing of the cylinders and crank-line boring of the block with the deck plates and side bolts installed. Dave Muscaro, assistant chief engineer of small-block V8 for passenger cars, says it’s the nearest thing to a race-quality engine program as can be found in a road car built in anything like Corvette volumes. The Wixom facility can produce 30 engines a day.
Impressive as the engine is, good aftermarket tuners are probably capable of squeezing 500 hp into your Corvette. Where the factory has an edge is in engineering and constructing a complete design to take full advantage of the power boost, and Hill’s team has left very little on the table. Start with the electronics, of course, fully integrating the ABS, traction control and stability control systems, all amended to suit the new hardware.
Then there’s the weight-saving program. The chassis is now all-aluminum, replacing high-strength steels with the lighter metal in such key parts as the hydroformed frame rails. Other pieces that are fiberglass on the C6 use carbon fiber, such as the floor, which still has a balsa core but is now wrapped in carbon fiber. The engine cradle, aluminum on other Corvettes, is cast magnesium, and its lighter weight, along with the carbon fiber front fenders and wheel housings, helps to shift the balance of the car rearward. (Large-scale magnesium casting technology, by the way, is a direct derivative not of the racing program, but the Partnership for a New Generation Vehicle, the Clinton/Gore-era government supercar program.)
The Z06’s battery also moves to the back of the car, but that was mostly done to make room for the dry-sump oiling system under the hood—the weight shift is a bonus. Curb weight, says Hill, is “about 3130 pounds” vs. 3179 officially for the ’05 C6 coupe. The target was lower, but losing any weight at all is a real achievement while adding a dry-sump system, bigger wheels with grippy run-flat tires (275/35R-18s front and 320/30R-19s rear), an oil-to-oil cooler for the differential (using already cooled oil from the toughen*ed transaxle to extract heat from the differential lubricant) and other features.
That should be enough to make the Z06 run with such big dogs as the Dodge Viper, Ford GT, Ferrari Maranello and Aston Martin DB9, especially considering the car’s new aluminum and carbon fiber componentry, which cuts weight.
Even in the cabin, the team opted for the lower mass of manually controlled seats over the power-operated stock ones, and the two-tone seat itself, with larger side bolsters and Z06 logo embroidery, weighs less than the base seat. The steering wheel is 20 millimeters smaller in diameter, and about as small as you could go and still offer a clear view of the tachometer, redlined at 7000 rpm.
If that sounds a little spartan, fear not. Dual-mode climate control with cabin-air filtration, leather seating, HID lights with fog lights, and a HUD with g-meter and track mode are all standard. Speaking of track mode, Hill says occasional weekend competition use of your Z06 won’t void the warranty, unlike the case with some other manufacturers.
And when you’re not at the track, you may appreciate options like a Bose audio system, telescoping steering wheel, heated seats, side airbags, a navigation system with GPS, and XM satellite radio.
What’s all this cost? Chevy isn’t saying yet, but count on a bigger gap between the base car and the Z06 than was the case with the 2004 equivalents in the C5-generation models. Base will be in the mid-$60,000 range, we suspect, with optioned models running up into the $70,000s. There is plenty of wiggle room above the typical Corvette’s $50,000 sticker to stay below the Dodge Viper’s $80,000-plus MSRP. Clearly, the value is there under the skin, as well as being evident in the Z06’s exterior design.
Viper SRT-10, meet your new competition :naughty: .
^it's lighter with the same power and a better suspension design. i hope so. even better, base price is $65k. suposidly fords next cobra will have 550hp. we'll see. as of right now, i think this car is the best sports car you can buy for the money. what i like most about seeing things like this for this price is that it ups the level for all other companies to reach.