As great as the Z06 is, it still won’t do a Viper
or a Porsche Turbo on the drag strip. You’ll need aftermarket tuning
help or nitrous oxide for that. As for the rest of the competition, it’s
open season and your armed with the Corvette equivalent of a .44 Magnum.
The ZR1 remains King in one, last measure of stock
Corvette performance: top speed. Because the C5 Hardtop exterior does
not enjoy aerodynamics as good as those of the C4 Coupe, the ZR1 is
faster by 5-7 miles per hour. While the Z06 is clearly a better
performing car in many areas, one has to marvel as the ZR1’s longevity
in staying the fastest. Pretty amazing considering the basic technology
in the ZR1 is now 15 years old.
wants to know what a damn fast car like this will cost. Rumors on the
Internet a couple of weeks ago had the price up to sixty grand. Sheesh.
Are these people smoking crack? My guess all-along had been the Z06
would come in for about the cost of an “average” convertible.
Chevrolet announced today (July 1) that the Z06’s MSRP is $47,500.
That figure is a little under
the price of a typically-equipped convertible which, accroding to Scott
Montgomery at Les Stanford Chevrolet in Michigan, is $48,000. Of course,
there’s going to be some less-than-honorable dealers who will rape
Zed-ought-sixers with horrendous surcharges. Those guys oughta be in the
Corvette Hall of Shame along with the 10-spoke wheels.
Everyone also wants to know how many Z06es will be
made. That’s hard to get a fix on, but GM indicates they could build
up to 20% of ’01 production as Z06es.
Z06 parts will only be on
Hardtops and, for 2001, all Hardtops will be Z06es.
For ’01, no LS6 in Coupes
All Corvettes will have
Active Handling standard in ’01.
Z06es come with a "Tire Inflator Kit"
consisting of a 12-volt compressor and a squeeze bottle of latex in an
aqueous base. Similar kits have been used by other manufacturers of
high-end sports cars and Corvettes sold in Japan have been using this
kit since 1997. The Z06 IP cluster does not display tire pressure
information like other C5s. The latex component of the inflator kit is
not compatible with the self-contained pressure sensor/valve stem units
so, the sensors are deleted.
Now, some comments, offered to media at the Mid-Ohio
preview, from the two guys at the top of the Corvette food-chain: Jim
Campbell, Corvette Brand Manager, and Dave Hill, Corvette Chief
Engineer. These two guys guard the fire of America’s Sports Car at
"The other two Corvette models,"
Campbell stated, "will continue to be the bulk of our sales and
their owners will be satisfied with their purchases. The Z06 will appeal
to those who lust for something more–that indefinable thrill that
comes from driving competitively at 10/10ths in a car built to do
Mr. Hill, who’s typically quiet and understated,
expressed uncommon excitement when he told the press, "It will
do 0-60 in four seconds flat and corner with more than one G lateral
acceleration. The Z06 truly takes Corvette performance to the next
level. In fact, the Corvette Team has started calling it ‘C5.5’ so
marked are the improvements we’ve made."
So–there you have it: the "C5.5", aka the
Z06, one flaming hot car on a race track that can also be pretty cool to
drive on the street.
The author wishes to thank: Mike Neal and John
Heinricy of the GM North American Car Division, John Juriga and Bill
Zabritski of the GM Powertrain Division, Bob Toth and Larry Jansen of
the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., the Communications staffs at GM-NACD,
GMPTD and Chevrolet and the travel/media program professionals at Marcom
for special assistance in preparing this article.