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Chevrolet introduced the 2006 Corvette Z06 at the North American International Auto Show. It is the fastest, most powerful car ever offered by Chevrolet and General Motors. It is comprised of an unprecedented level of capability and technology, making it one of the greatest performance values on the market. And with an unmistakably muscular appearance, the 2006 Z06 has a visual attitude that always looks ready to demonstrate Corvette's winning attitude to any challenger around the globe.
The all-new LS7 of the 2006 Z06 reintroduces the 427-cubic-inch engine to the Corvette lineup. Unlike the previous 427 engine, which was a big-block design, the new 7.0-liter LS7 is a small-block V-8, the largest-displacement small-block ever produced by GM and a tribute to its 50 years as a performance icon.
With 500 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque, it also is the most powerful passenger car engine ever produced by Chevrolet and GM. The LS7 is easily identified under the hood by red engine covers with black lettering.
The LS7 shares the same basic Gen IV V-8 architecture as the Corvette's 6.0-liter LS2, but the LS7 uses a different cylinder block casting with pressed-in steel cylinder liners to accommodate the engine's wide, 104.8-mm-wide cylinder bores; the LS2 has 101.6-mm bores. And when compared to the LS2, the LS7 also has a different front cover, oil pan, exhaust manifolds and cylinder heads.
Internally, the LS7's reciprocating components make use of racing-derived lightweight technology, including titanium connecting rods and intake valves, to help boost horsepower and rpm capability. The rpm fuel shut-off limit is 7000 rpm.
One of the clearest examples of the LS7's race-bred technology is its use of titanium connecting rods. They weigh just 480 grams apiece, almost 30 percent less than the rods in the LS2 V-8. Besides being lightweight, which enhances high-rpm performance and rpm range, titanium makes the rods extremely durable.
The Corvette Z06's powertrain and drivetrain systems are matched to the LS7's performance capability. The light, four-into-one headers discharge in to new, close-coupled catalytic converters and through to new "bi-modal" mufflers. The mufflers each feature a vacuum-actuated outlet valve, which controls exhaust noise during low-load operation but opens for maximum power.
At the rear of the LS7 engine, a single-mass flywheel and lightweight, high-capacity clutch channel torque to the rear transaxle. The six-speed manual transmission has been strengthened to handle the LS7's increased torque load. The transmission includes a pump which sends transmission fluid to the front radiator for cooling. Upon its return, the fluid removes additional heat from the differential lube before returning to the transmission.
The aerodynamics of the Z06's exterior were shaped by the experiences of the Corvette racing program, where high-speed stability and cornering capability are paramount. And while the racecars use large rear wings, the Z06's elevated spoiler provides sufficient downforce to balance the road-worthy front splitter without adversely affecting aerodynamic drag. The Z06's Cd is 0.31.
For all its race-inspired functionality, the Z06 is designed to be a daily drivable high-performance vehicle. To that end, comfort and convenience are held to a very high standard. HID lighting, fog lamps, leather seating, dual-zone air conditioning, cabin air filtration and Head-Up Display (HUD) with track mode and g-meter are standard.
The Z06 also has a revised gauge cluster that displays the Z06 logo on the 7000-redline tachometer and has a new readout on the oil pressure gauge to reflect the higher standard pressure of the dry-sump oiling system. And, like other 2006 Corvettes, the Z06 has a new, smaller-diameter three-spoke steering wheel that provides a more agile, performance-oriented feel. The seats feature two-tone leathering surfaces, with Z06-logo embroidery and contrasting stitching.
Z06 options include a Bose audio system with an in-dash six-CD changer, polished wheels, a telescoping steering wheel, heated seats, side air bags, a navigation system with GPS, Homelink and XM Satellite Radio.
Type :: V8
Displacement cu in (cc) :: 427 (7011)
Power bhp (kW) at RPM :: 500(373) / 6200
Torque lb-ft (Nm) at RPM :: 475(657) / 4800
Redline at RPM :: 7000
Brakes & Tires.
Brakes F/R :: ABS, vented disc/vented disc
Tires F-R :: 275/35 ZR18 - 325/30 ZR19
Driveline :: Rear Wheel Drive
Exterior Dimensions & Weight.
Length ? Width ? Height in :: 175 ? 76 ? 49
Weight lb (kg) :: 3130 (1420)
Acceleration 0-62 mph s :: 3.7
Top Speed mph (km/h) :: >190 (>306)
Base Price: 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - $65,800
Entered in the FIA-GT series as a GT3 class car, the Z06-R is a modified production Z06. Changes were necessary to make the car endurance-race ready. These include a stripped interior, full rollcage for safety, center-locking wheels, and carbon fiber doors, rear deck spoiler and front splitter. The engine and drivetrain are stock, but the former is mapped for 98 octane race fuel. The result is a 7200 rpm redline, 200 higher than stock and 10 extra hp. The massive power output of the 7.0 L engine, coupled with the production car's proven roadholding, calls into question whether or not the FIA will place restrictions on the car. The Z06-R is not road legal.
The Z06 sparked the second half of the C5's life span with a Corvette model for the extreme performance enthusiast. Now, Team Corvette combines the numerous attributes of the sixth-generation Corvette with the technology and winning determination from the C5-R program to take the new Z06 to the next level in total performance.
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