After an 11-year hiatus spent honing its skills as one of the industry’s finest sports cars, the Corvette reentered the realm of the supercar in 2006 with the bad boy C6 Z06, our #2 Corvette of the 2000s.
We hope that our Christmas foreshadowing took you back to the frenzy that led up to the release of the 7 Liter beast that was unlike anything else before it. The statistics have become the stuff of legend; 505 horsepower, 470 pound-feet of torque, and a banshee wail at its 7,000 RPM redline that made even blue-chip exotics nervous. The introduction of the Z06 put the entire industry on notice, the Corvette wasn’t playing around anymore.
The first four years of the Z06s life came at a tumultuous time for General Motors, the American auto industry, and the world economy as a whole but you couldn’t tell by driving one of these proud problem children; they just went about their business, collecting comparison test wins like the Predator collecting the skulls of its vanquished enemies.
During those first four years (’06, ’07, ’08, and ’09), the Z was exceedingly popular. It nearly equaled the entire six-year production run of the previous super-vette, the C4 ZR-1 in its first model year on the market, moving 6,272 units (to the ZR-1’s full run of 6,922), a feat that it repeated in each year containing a double-0 in the middle of it. In 2007 the C6Z peaked at 8,159 sales which nearly matched the back to back years of off the charts numbers posted by its much cheaper predecessor (8,297 C5Zs were produced in 2002 followed by 8,635 in 2003). The LS7 powered beast finished out the decade by selling 7,731 examples in 2008 and 3,461 in 2009 before falling to triple digits in each of its final four years of production (518 in 2010, 906 in ’11, 478 in ’12, and 471 in ’13).
The C6 iteration of the Z06 ushered in a new era for the Corvette where the phrase “for the money” no longer held any water and the top-shelf ‘Vette was capable of going toe to toe with any car in the world with a uniquely and awesomely American flair.
It could be argued that the Z06 should have taken the top spot on our countdown this week, especially considering the impact, and longer run that it had, we will close by at least conceding that it is still #1 in our hearts!
Watch out for the reveal of our best 2000s Corvette (which you probably already guessed) tomorrow and, as always, thank you for reading!
Check out all of our Best Corvettes of Each Decade features:
- The Best Corvettes of the 1950s: No.3 – The 1953 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1950s: No.2 – The 1959 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1950s: No.1 – The 1957 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1960s: No.3 – The 1965 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1960s: No.2 – The 1963 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1960s: No.1 – The 1967 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1970s: No.3 – The 1978 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1970s: No.2 – The 1970 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1970s: No.1 – The 1971 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1980s: No.3 – The 1982 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1980s: No.2 – The 1986 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1980s: No.1 – The 1984 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1990s: No.3 – The 1996 LT4 Corvette
- The Best Corvettes of the 1990s: No.2 – The 1999 Corvette FRC
- The Best Corvettes of the 1990s: No.1 – The C4 Corvette ZR-1
- The Best Corvettes of the 2000s: No.3 – The C5 Corvette Z06
- The Best Corvettes of the 2000s: No.2 – The C6 Corvette Z06
- The Best Corvettes of the 2000s: No.1 – 2009 Corvette ZR1
- The Best Corvettes of the 2010s: No.3 – The C7’s Z07 Ultimate Performance Package
- The Best Corvettes of the 2010s: No.2 – The C6’s Z07 Ultimate Performance Package
- The Best Corvettes of the 2010s: No.1 – The 2019 Corvette ZR1