As we gear up for the 12 hours of Sebring, we’ve been hearing a lot from the folks at Corvette Racing about the benefits that racing brings to the production Corvettes. Chevy brings this prominent theme of track-to-street technology transfer a full circle with the announcement of a special Z06 that is born from the lessons learned in racing. Meet the 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition.
Photo Credit: photo-by-me on Flickr
The Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring is huge in the world of sport car racing and GM has used the event in recent years to leverage the media and enthusiasts gathered in Central Florida to showcase new products. Just last year we witnessed the public debuts of both the 2009 ALMS GT1 Championship and Competition Sport Editions.
As Corvette Racing gears up for the start of the 2010 American Le Mans Series, the team is releasing additional details regarding the changes needed for competing in the now unified GT class. The most notable change for the GT Corvettes is the new LS5.5R V8 engine. Built alongside its LS9, LS7 and LS3 dry-sump brethrens at the Performance Build Center in Wixom, this new LS7 based engine is slimmed down to 5.5 liters and delivers 485 horsepower at 5800 rpms.
Goodyear’s latest Eagle F1 Supercar G:2 tires will be factory fitted on the 2011 Corvette Z06. The new Ultra-High Performance (UHP) tire is described as “Street-refined, but track-capable”. The tire has been tested on road courses throughout North America and will be available this summer.
Once again, GM has stepped up to the plate to do something good for the neighborhood. During Saturday’s broadcast of the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction, a beautiful 2008 Corvette Z06 427 Special Edition was offered for sale with 100% of all proceeds going to the Red Cross for their relief efforts in Haiti. Joining the Red Cross representatives on the stage was GM VP of Global Design Ed Welburn.
A Corvette ZR1 , ZO6 and Supercharged Indy 500 Pace Car do doughnuts. Goes perfectly with your morning coffee so enjoy!
This video is wrong on so many levels that I don’t know where to begin. I’d wager that most of us (me included) have done something stupid in our Corvettes. But to then have your moment of stupidity uploaded to youtube for all posterity is a badge of shame I’d wish on no one.
Even though Specter Werkes first introduced the C6 GTR last summer, they have continued to make improvements to the package. Now that SEMA is just around the corner, the Troy, Michigan-based tuner has unleashed perhaps the best variant yet to the GTR family – this one featuring BASF Blue Pearl paint, HRE Carbon Fiber wheels and a twin turbo LS7 V8 courtesy of Lingenfelter which produces a mind-blowing 800 horsepower. The Specter Werkes GTR Corvette will be prominently displayed outside the Las Vegas Convention Center as a feature car for HRE Wheels.
Automotive pundits have jumped all over the story of a Z06 that lost its roof at 60 mph as told by the owner on CorvetteForum.com:
“I still can’t believed this happened. Had just shifted out of first @ around 6900-7000k, hit 2nd and hear a loud crack, pull over and my roof is missing…”
Some want you to believe that this problem is a result of shoddy workmanship or inferior materials. If we are talking about multiple examples, then I would be open to listening to these arguments. Others are all over the story because they think they finally found the Achilles heal of the Z06. GM did issue a recall for C6 Coupes relating to the laminate separating from the panel. Whether or not the Z06 has a similar problem has yet to be decided.
All manufactures from Porsche to Kia have defects in their products. Some have more than others. Corvette has won kudos from owners and industry awards for one of the smallest reported defects per car. Now, when the Z06 in question lost its top, was it scary for the owner? Yes. Could a flying roof panel cause safety issues with other vehicles on the road? Yes! But until it happens more than once, I’m unconvinced that this is a systemic problem to the Z06 in particular and Corvette in general.
In a related note, I got a good laugh listing to the Jalopnik podcast (precast) about this story. Seems there is some confusion on what to call a Corvette’s roof:
“First off, we have to say that the Corvette that had a roof fly off was a Z06. So when you’re listening to Farago and I talking about it being a coupe with a bolted on Targa top we’re talking about a Z06 that only comes as a coupe and not the regular Corvette C6 that only comes with a removable Targa. So when we say “coupe” we really mean Z06. It’s all very confusing.”
Let me help set the record straight with a little lesson on the vernacular when discussing Corvette body styles:
Corvette Coupe: A single roof panel that stretches across the entire top. Some are painted, some are tinted glass. Porsche owns the “targa” name, so technically you can’t call it a targa top. It’s a roof panel.
Corvette Z06: The Z06 evolved from the early C5 hardtop or Fixed Roof Coupe (FRC). It’s not a coupe because the roof is not removable.
Corvette Convertible: The soft top folds into a storage area behind the seats allowing the passengers to bask in the sun.
Get those TIVO’s and DVR’s ready. SPEED Channel will be putting four-time NASCAR Cup Champion Jeff Gordon behind the wheel of the new Corvette Z06 at Road Atlanta on Test Drive, SPEED Channel’s popular program featuring host Tommy Kendall. The show is set to air Saturday, October 22 at 6pm EST.
“I had never been to Road Atlanta and I got the opportunity to drive one of the best Corvettes they’ve ever brought out,” Gordon said on SPEED’s NASCAR This Morning. “The Z06 has a lot of power, handles fantastic and looks great. I had a blast.”
Footage was also shot at the famed Le Mans road course in France with Corvette factory driver Johnny O’Connell.
“This program brings together two great Chevrolet champions â€“ Jeff Gordon and Corvette,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “There is no better example of the interaction between racing and production than the advanced technology that is shared by the championship-winning Corvette C6.R race car and the award-winning Corvette Z06, a 505-horsepower supercar that you can drive every day.”
Information about the Z06 TestDrive program can be found at SPEED Channel.