Wow. It’s about all I can say after reading MPH Magazine’s Z06 Corvette review. Let’s say Chevy gave you the keys to the new Corvette Z06 for just one day. Do you put it on a skid pad or try to determine the lateral G’s? MPH writer Eddie Alterman did something much better – and probably much closer to what most of us would do if we could drive this car for just one night. “I am sitting at a stoplight on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue, checking the rearview mirror of this black Corvette Z06 for pork. To my right is a white 2004 Dodge Viper, and its owner’s only visible part, his head, is engulfed in a penumbra of cologne, hair products and ego. He is a douchebag. And he has no concept of the sorry fate about to befall him.” Stoplight kung fu… Eddie’s hunt continues for four hours. He racks up the kills: Chevelles, Hemis, Camaros, Vipers, NSXs and a ’67 Shelby GT. Pure automotive stealth as he puts it. Hunting the hunters. And while Eddie finally meets his match in the form of a 600 hp and 625 hp Nitrous-breathing Cobra and Firebird, he comes to the realization that the Z06 is no ordinary sportscar, transforming him from mild-mannered magazine editor to Zeus. Eddie, thanks for the ride!
Vettes in the News
We alluded to this here that with all the pre-sales testing, press junkets and favorable magazine reviews, the Corvette was setting itself up for a nice sales increase in Europe. GM annouced that sales of Corvettes had topped 1,000 units so far, more than triple what was sold in Europe all last year. GM’s overall unit sales rose 5.7% in September and are up 1.7% over last year’s sales totals thanks to new products like the Opel/Vauxhall Zafira minivan and the Chevrolet Matiz small car. With three months to go and the new Z06 officially making its presence known to European car owners, Corvette will be in a position to strongly increase its market share in 2006 and beyond. Full Story at Reuters News Service
GM is recalling 123,592 vehicles, including the 2005 and 2006 Chevrolet Corvette, for a range of defects reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The recall is due to potential power steering problems that could lead to engine fires. NHTSA reports that under extreme steering conditions the power steering hose may break and leak fluid. Power steering fluid could then spray onto hot engine parts and an engine compartment fire could occur. GM is recalling the Chevrolet Corvette, TrailBlazer, Tahoe, Express and Silverado, Buick Rainer, Cadillac Escalade, GMC Envoy, Savana, Sierra and Yukon, Hummer H2 and Isuzu Ascender. All the vehicles are from the 2006 model year, according to NHTSA. The Corvette, Silverado and Sierra models from the 2005 model year are also being recalled.
Automobile Magazine, which named the 2001 Corvette Z06 the Automobile of the Year, takes the new 2006 Z06 on a tour of Europe. And while the review is mostly in the same vain as the other auto magazines in that the new Z06 has reached supercar status and is a bargain compared to others, there is some GM news that I had not heard before. Those of us following productions numbers have mused what the total Z06 production will be. The review asserts that “the Chevrolet folks are so confident that the C6 will successfully engage the European Union, they’ve boosted employment on the line at Bowling Green, Kentucky, to build as many as 3000 extra Corvettes a year, a 10 percent hike”. Well, the EU expansion makes perfect sense for a world-class sports car. The European press junkets that Chevy has hosted during the last few months have hopefully given the Z06 much needed exposure in a market that has never openly embraced the Corvette. While the review is mostly favorable in the “oh my god, this car is fast” fashion, there are the same criticisms that have been mentioned before: sub par interior and a noisy 6-Speed. All in all, Automobile Magazine does the Corvette Z06 justice and is a must read for aficionados. Oh, they got some nice wallpapers too!
Legendary Corvette tuner Lingenfelter Performance Engineering is celebrating their 25th anniversary and to commemorate this occasion, they have announced a limited production run of 25 427 CID LS2 Twin Turbo Commemorative Corvettes. The Lingenfelter package includes the 725 horsepower 427 CID C5R engine with the new GEN-2 twin intercooled twin turbo package, Lingenfelter C6 Corvette exhaust system by Corsa Performance, Custom Caravaggio conelly leather seats, console cover, shifter knob/boot, e-brake knob/boot, steering wheel a and unique body enhancements including Lingenfelter C6 hood, Lingenfelter front spoiler, Lingenfelter side skirts and unique one piece rear fascia with Lingenfelter logo embossed (the embossed logo is only available on this special edition car). The 2005-2006 Commemorative Edition Corvette package costs just a mere $86,995 – which doesn’t include the base Z51 Corvette. Once all 25 are sold no further orders will be accepted for this very special limited edition Corvette. Specifications subject to change without notice depending on availability of parts or design changes. This package is for off road use only and is not represented to be emissions legal for public highways. Click here to learn more.
duPont Registry names list of Best Exotic Cars. Most cost six figures. One costs seven figures, but the Corvette Z06, at $65,800 is named “Best Bang for the Buck”. You know you are in good company with names like Bugatti, Lamborghini and Bentley. Now add Chevy to the list. At $65,800 the Corvette Z06 seems out of place next to these other makes costing several times its price. But when you look at the numbers: 505 hp, zero to 60 under 4 seconds – the Z06 is right at home. While the Corvette is the least expensive car to make the list of Best Exotics, the most expensive (and probably most exotic) is the Bugatti Veyron. The 1,001 horsepower zero-60 time of 2.4 seconds costs $1.2 million. Other cars to make the list include the BMW M6 and the Rolls Royce Phantom. Click here for the article at CNN.com
The first production year for the C6 officially came to a close on September 8, when the last 2005 Corvette came off the end of the assembly line. A total of 37,372 cars were built during the model year, with no ZO6 production. Coupes proved to be more popular than ever with 72 percent of total production and convertibles taking the remaining 28 percent. The most popular exterior color was Black (21.4 percent), followed by Light Tarnish Silver (18.4 percent), Victory Red (15 percent), Luxo Blue (10.1 percent), Magnetic Red (9.1 percent), Sunset Orange (8 percent), Millennium Yellow (5.4 percent), White (5.3 percent), Precision Red (3.5 percent), Velocity Yellow (2 percent) and Red Jewel (1.9 percent). Most convertible customers opted for the black top (86 percent), with only 11.3 percent choosing beige followed by 2.7 percent who chose gray. Interior color options are as follows: Ebony 60.9 percent, Light Cashmere 24.5 percent, Steel Gray 10 percent, and Cobalt Red 4.6 percent. Once again proving most popular, automatic transmissions accounted for 60 percent of the cars. Six-speed manual transmissions accounted for 17 percent, while 23 percent opted for the six-speed with the Z51 option. Export cars, other than Canada and Mexico, totaled 4.7 percent. Other popular options included: Memory Package (92 percent), Passenger and Driver Reclining Bucket Seats (98.4 percent), Telescoping Steering Wheel (87.3 percent), Polished Aluminum Wheels (72.5 percent), OnStar (52.5 percent), Heads Up Display (92 percent), and XM Satellite Radio (58.6 percent).
Autoweek hits the newstands this week with their review of the 2006 Z06 Corvette. As their title suggests, “Chevrolet’s Corvette Z06 enters the supercar segment – and changes the game.” The review starts with an incredible play-by-play (shift-by-shift?) of the Z06 running at the famed Spa-Francorchamps, a 4.3 mile road race course in Belgium: “An atomic forward rush presses flesh and bone into the seat, interrupted only when the brain protests the car cannot possibly enter the approaching bend this fast, even though Chevy claims the Z06 will maintain a 1.04 g lateral load during steady-state cornering…But time and again the Z06 proves it can.” “The Z06′s $65,800 base price marks it as the greatest value in supercar history, and the performance means those poster-buying kids should now lust after a Corvette, value or not. ” While there is some lamenting of the lack of refinement for the interior, we are entertained with the quote by Corvette’s Chief Engineer Dave Hill who says the development team did not think the Z06 needed an interior upgrade, given the car “would come in substantially less expensive than the Viper but with substantially more performance and refinement.” He acknowledges that “may not have been the right thinking, but we didnâ€™t want to get the car too pricey.” Click here to read the entire Autoweek Review.
General Motors will be matching contributions by their employees who donate to the Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz made the statement on the GM FastLane Blog yesterday. For non-GM employees, there is a list of the links to other relief organizations. Thanks you GM, Bob Lutz, and GM Employees for supporting our fellow Americans in this time of need.
This month’s Car and Driver Magazine has a Road Test of the 2006 Z06 Corvette and GM scores another stunning review of their new “Supercar”. In fact, C&D uses the supercar term several times as they describe the Z06′s handling and performance.
At the Milford Proving Ground outside Detroit, C&D put the Z06 through the paces and the results were comparable or better to the Porsche 911, Ferrari F430 and domestic rivals Ford GT and Dodge Viper SRT10: 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 7.9 seconds and 0-150 mph in 17.5 seconds.
According to the Road Test, the Z06 “… exposes the majority of European sports cars for what they are: overpriced, underperforming snobs.” My favorite quote though is in regards to the Z06′s price/performance: “Spending double the ZO6′s price does not guarantee you’ll have a car that can beat it”
The Road Test article is not yet available at Car & Driver’s website, but a scanned version of it can be read at DigitalCorvettes.