2011 Chevy Corvette ZO6: A Graceful Supercar
Written by Arv Voss
It’s truly amazing what a Chevrolet Corvette can deliver when you begin with the base vehicle, priced at $74,305 and toss in another $22,755 in optional equipment features and packages. That somewhat lofty sum adds: the 3LZ Premium Equipment Group ($7,170) with a custom leather-wrapped interior, a Bose Premium 7-speaker system (replaces the standard option package radio), an additional 9 months XM satellite radio subscription, power telescoping steering wheel, heated seats, the Memory Package, a Universal home remote, adjustable sport bucket seats with perforated leather inserts, power passenger 6-way seat adjustability, a luggage shade and cargo net and Bluetooth for your phone; the ZO6’s (referred to as ZO7) Ultimate Performance Package ($9,495) that includes Brembo ceramic brakes with Dark Gray calipers, 20-spoke Competition Gray aluminum 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels shod with Goodyear F1 Supercar Gen2 rubber and Magnetic Selective Ride Control; the ZO6 Carbon Fiber Package ($3,995) with a black carbon fiber splitter, rockers, roof panel and body-color ZR1-style full-width rear spoiler; Navigation system with AM/FM CD player, USB and auxiliary input jack ($1,795); and in the case of my test vehicle, the ($300) new Supersonic Blue metallic exterior paint finish (the other new available color is Inferno Orange). Oh, and don’t forget to tack on another $950 for the Destination charge, which brings the final tally to $98,010 which is before tax and license fees.
Obviously the end result is one super svelte American-made supercar that is surpassed in price and power only by its stablemate, the ZR-1. The fully loaded ZO6 is an incomparable performer with its new performance and appearance packages.
In terms of the ZO6’s appearance, it looks like a Corvette should look, but even racier, and with a more sinister attitude displaying several specific, yet subtle styling cues. In case you don’t notice the visual differences, you’re sure to realize the car’s uniqueness should you chance to own a base model ‘Vette and decide challenge to challenge the ZO6 off the line. Of course, that’s not likely to happen since Corvette owners and fans will undoubtedly recognize the ZO6 for what it is.
The heartbeat of this super American icon is generated by a potent 7.0-liter LS7 OHV, 16-valve V8 with sequential fuel injection. The mighty mill cranks out 505 horses at 6,300 rpm while delivering 470 pound feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. The front mounted engine meters power to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.
The ZO6 is really like no other car, delivering elevated levels of prowess and technological content in a vehicle with a racing DNA-inspired powertrain and suspension componentry. The frame is aluminum and body panels such as the fenders and floor panels are made of carbon fiber contributing to the car’s low 3,175 pound curb weight and rendering it the lightest and best balanced Corvette model available. It is comparable to other sports cars costing twice as much or more, while delivering competitive performance more affordably.
In case one feels that they need to spend more, there is a ZO6 Carbon limited-edition model that blends the performance features of the ZO7 package with the styling cues of the Carbon Fiber package, while adding a raised carbon fiber hood, Black wheels, outside mirrors and headlamp housings, a special engine cover, a leather and suede interior with body-color stitching, as well as special graphics that commemorate 50 years of Le Mans racing with placement left to the customer’s discretion, and special numerical sequence vehicle identification.
No more than 500 of the Z06 Carbon models will be built by Chevrolet. It is designed to be the best Corvette for track events, with ZR1 chassis and aerodynamic features complemented by the lower curb weight and balance of the naturally aspirated Z06.
SUMMARY: It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway – The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 is a screamer on or off the track. The powerful 7-liter LS7 V8 propels the car from 0-60 mph in a scant 3.7 seconds while in first gear, and moves it down the quarter mile drag strip in 11.7 seconds at 125 mph with a top speed capability of 198 mph.
Powertrain and drivetrain systems are carefully matched to the LS7’s performance capability. Light, four-into-one headers dump into close-coupled catalytic converters through two-mode mufflers, each of which features a vacuum-actuated outlet valve that controls exhaust noise during low-load operation but opens for maximum power output. The sweet rumbling exhaust note exits from four large stainless steel outlets.
The fixed-roof body style’s (sorry, no ragtop version is available) aluminum structure provides optimum stiffness and light weight, delivering superb stability and handling characteristics. The wheelbase is the same as other ‘Vette models, but the wheels, tires and brakes are all-new, as are the rear spring and roll stabilizer.
Despite its race-bred functionality and elevated performance attributes, the ZO6 is still serviceable as a daily driver, with comfort and convenience elements held
to a very high standard. It is loaded with a host of features that come as standard fare, including an up-to-date inventory of safety technology.
The ZO6 is a two-passenger coupe that is extremely attractive and racy, with the performance ability to match. It may be driven in a totally docile manner on the street, while it is equally at home on the track in a competitive scenario – Ferraris beware when the ZO6 is piloted by a capable and seasoned driver. The car’s potential however, surpasses the skill level of most non-racer types and can create difficult to control situations for drivers with less experience. Bottom-line, the ZO6 is a dream come true for the “dyed-in-the-wool” Corvette buff.