Chevrolet unveils its all-new Corvette Z06 Convertible
Chevrolet has introduced one of the most capable drop-tops on the market, shortly before the start of the New York Auto Show: the all-new Corvette Z06 convertible. With at least 625 hp (466 kW), and 861 Nm of torque, the Z06 is also the most powerful convertible ever produced by Chevrolet.
The Corvette Z06 convertible represents the culmination of more than four years of work on an all-new, all-aluminum structure for the seventh-generation Corvette.That structure, built at General Motors’ Bowling Green Assembly plant, was designed to the specifications of the Corvette Stingray, Corvette Z06 and the Corvette Racing C7.R race car.
“We wanted a frame that was lighter than the steel frame of the previous Corvette, yet strong enough for both a 600-hp convertible and a 24-hour endurance racer,” said Ed Moss, engineering group manager for Corvette structures.
“That would not have been possible without improvements in computer-aided engineering software, which allowed us to model more than 17,000 frame iterations, with each iteration improving strength and stiffness, while reducing mass.”
Supercharged, efficient performance
The heart of the 2015 Corvette Z06 is the all-new 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine, expected to deliver at least 625 horsepower (466 kW) and 861 Nm of torque. To balance performance and efficiency, the engine leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray: Direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing.
These technologies – combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction – help make the new Z06 surprisingly fuel efficient.
“The supercharged engine delivers the greatest balance of performance and efficiency ever in the Corvette,” said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for Small-Block engines. “It is one of the world’s only supercharged engines to incorporate cylinder deactivation technology, enabling it to cruise efficiently on the highway with reduced fuel consumption, but offer more than 600 horsepower whenever the driver calls up its tremendous power reserve.”
Moreover, the engine comes with a standard seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match, or an all-new eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission designed to enhance performance and efficiency.
The new design of the Corvette Z06 reflects interior and exterior enhancements. For example, the mesh pattern on the front fascia was designed to deliver the most possible airflow to the supercharger’s intercooler heat exchanger, so much that the mesh grill directs more air into the engine bay than if the grille was removed.
The unique grille also features dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom that serve as air diffusers. A larger hood vent allows air driven through the grille to exit through the hood rather than being forced under the car, which could create lift.
Standard front and rear brake-cooling ducts, including Z06-signature rear ducts integrated in front of the rear fender openings, are also part of the functional design changes.
Moreover, the Z06 benefits from interior details designed for high-performance driving, first introduced on the Stingray, including a steel-reinforced grab bar on the center console for the passenger and soft-touch materials on the edge of the console, where the driver naturally braces during high-load cornering.
Like the Stingray, the Z06 comes with two seating choices: a GT seat, for all-around comfort, and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering, which provides greater support on the track. A magnesium frame structure for both seats provides greater rigidity and strength compared with steel frames.
Unprecedented attention to detail and build quality complements the Corvette Z06’s performance. All models feature a fully wrapped interior, with every surface covered by premium, soft-touch materials. Available materials, depending on the trim level, include Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede.
The interior also features a flat-bottom steering wheel with a carbon fiber center spoke. The Z06 comes with up to five interior colors, including two that are unique to Z06 – twilight blue and dark gray.
“The most impressive aspect of the Z06 convertible may be its performance bandwidth,” said Juechter. “Very few cars on the market can match its combination of extreme, supercar levels of performance; the flexibility for daily driving and long-distance commuting; and the 360-degree, open-air driving experience only true convertibles can offer.”