Just two slots remain in our seven-week, 21 Corvette salute to the front-engine models of yore. Our final silver medalist mirrors yesterday’s bronze with one of the greatest one-two punches in automotive history. You may remember these cars from last week’s countdown but both of them were infused with significant enough upgrades to warrant a second look.
Hailing from the C6 generation, our second place 2010s Corvettes are Z07 equipped Z06s and ZR1s fitted with RPO PDE.
The Z07 performance package debuted in 2011 to bridge the gap between the aging Z06 and the new, top-dog ZR1 using a simple trickle-down strategy. Z07s received important pieces of ZR1 tech to create a car that many still consider a highwater mark for the Corvette. The highlights of the package were the carbon ceramic brakes but RPO Z07 also brought the ZR1s spoiler, Mag-Ride, and ultra-sticky Michelins. These changes resulted in a 20-second drop in the Z06’s Nürburgring time to 7:22.68, just three seconds off the pace set by its supercharged sibling! Also, at Motor Trend’s annual giant, multi-manufacturer, track test at Laguna Seca, in an unbelievably stacked field that included far more expensive and powerful heavy hitters like the Lexus LFA, SLS AMG, R8 GT, GT3 RS, and the 458 Italia (what an outstanding year for cars!!!), the Z07 set the fastest lap by more than a second!
Last week we reminded everyone how the 2009 ZR1 recalibrated the entire sports/supercar market; well 2012 is when it finished the job in its final PDE form. The PDE package wasn’t nearly as big of an upgrade as the Z07 (there wasn’t much room for improvement) but it still moved the ZR1 up another notch. Included in the package was a new, slightly more aggressive spoiler, recalibrated magnetic shocks, lighter “cup” wheels, and new, specially-spec’d Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires. Along with the new standard Performance Traction Management, the ZR1 PDE was able to shave over six seconds from its previous world record Nürburgring lap.
Randy Pobst was also able to set a new production car record at Laguna Seca with a final-year ZR1 PDE.
Production for both models was relatively low and if you currently own either, we suggest holding on to them as they are undoubtedly the crown jewels of the sixth generation Corvette line. The Z07 package was ordered on 540 Z06s including the 252 Carbon Edition cars. In 2012, that number fell to 117 with 83 rounding out production in 2013 for a total of 740. The PDE package is even rarer as it was only on the market for two model years. Bowling Green made 184 ultimate ZR1s followed by 191 examples in 2013, totaling just 375.
We will be closing out our entire countdown tomorrow with the only thing that could possibly beat out the combination of these two cars. See you then, Corvette Nation!
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