This isn’t just a C7-Corvette Stingray with a few extra bodywork bits n bobs – this ‘Vette has more power than a McLaren F1, and tech to blow your mind away.
Meet the Corvette C7 Z06, which makes its predecessor look limp-wristed and its output pathetic. This beautiful beast boasts 6.2-litre V8, boosted by a 1.7-litre supercharger which spins its turbine at 20,000rpm.
Though finalised power figures are yet to be revealed, Chevrolet promises the Z06 will develop ‘at least 625 horsepower’ - that’s more than the twin-turbo V8 in the back of a McLaren 12C produces. This is a serious piece of kit.
What’s more, this monstrous beauty’s engine is being offered for the first time in its history as an automatic. The ’box in question is an eight-speed torque-converter with paddleshifters, which GM claims is lighter than Porsche’s benchmark PDK dual-clutcher, and can swap cogs even faster.
The aluminium spaceframe is retained from the C7 Stingray, and will go racing in the new Corvette C7.R later in 2014. The structure is so stiff that Chevy has been able to make this the first targa-top Z06 – the removable roof panel is carbonfibre, as is the bonnet.
Even with the roof removed, Chevy claims the Z06 is 20% stiffer than the strictly fixed-head C6 ZR1. Clip the roof back in and you’re 60% more rigid than the best last-gen ‘Vette.
There’s a major chassis overhaul too. The Z06 is 56mm wider across the front axle than a C7 Stingray, and a whopping 80mm wider across the back. The stretch means the Z06 actually has a bespoke rear fasica, which pushes the taillight clusters further apart than on the standard car’s rump, to maintain the right proportions. The body is also covered in extra vents, intakes and aero addenda.
Inside, you get a choice of comfort-biased ‘GT’ seats, or aggressively bolstered ‘Competition’ buckets. Both use magnesium frames to shave yet more grams from the (unknown) kerbweight, while other surfaces in the C7’s vastly improved cabin get the suede treatment. Carbon and aluminium cockpit trim is available too.
Chevy has gone to town on driver tech too. You get an electronic limited slip differential (a la Jaguar F-type R coupe), and a three-stage driver assistance setting. Toggle between mild terror and almost certain death as the safety nannies are dialled down and eventually off on your 625hp American missile. Plus, launch control and a specific ‘Track mode’ make this the fastest road-going Corvette ever around Chevy’s test circuits.
Though pricing is yet to be confirmed, indicators suggest that it’ll be around the £75,000 mark and will arrive in US showrooms in early 2015 – and hopefully in Europe soon after.