Chevrolet celebrates the European premiere of the new Corvette Z06 and the C7.R race car at the 84th Geneva Motor Show. The two high performance vehicles take pride of place on the Chevrolet stand (1220 in Hall 1), vying for the crowds’ attention next to a duo of Camaro muscle cars and two seventh-generation Corvette Stingrays.
The Corvette Z06 and the C7.R made their global debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January earlier this year. The two cars were developed in parallel and both make extensive use of the technologies incorporated in the Corvette Stingray.
Corvette Z06 boasts supercharged V8 power
The new Z06 is the most track-capable Corvette in Chevrolet’s history. It is also the first Z06 to offer a supercharged engine, an automatic transmission and, thanks to a stronger aluminum frame, a removable roof panel. The aluminum frame carries over from the Corvette Stingray and will be used essentially unchanged for the Corvette Racing C7.R.
The heart of the Corvette Z06 is the LT4 6.2L supercharged V8 engine, expected to deliver an estimated 625 hp (466 kW) and a staggering 861 Nm of torque. The LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray: Direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing.
The Z06 allows the driver to tailor the dynamics of the ride through the Driver Mode Selector, changing up to a dozen features – including launch control, active handling (StabiliTrak electronic stability control), traction control, Performance Traction Management, and Electronic Limited Slip Differential – according to whether the car is touring or doing laps on a track.
A specifically designed track-focused Z07 Performance Package for the Z06 adds unique components for true aerodynamic downforce, Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires for enhanced grip, and Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors that improve braking performance and contribute to greater handling through reduced unsprung weight.
Although development testing is ongoing, the Z07 package has already recorded some of the fastest lap times ever for a Corvette, surpassing even the ZR1. As of spring 2015, and following the launch in the U.S., the Corvette Z06 will also be available at select dealerships in Europe.
Two Corvette C7.R race cars in action in 2014
The new Corvette Z06 and C7.R represent the closest link in modern times between Corvettes built for the road and racing, sharing unprecedented levels of engineering and components including chassis architecture, engine technologies and aerodynamic strategies.
Corvette Racing is fielding two C7.R race cars this year, both of which saw their racing debut at the 52nd Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona on January 25-26.
The C7.R will compete in the GT Le Mans class in 11 races in North America. The team is also expected to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTE Pro class in June.
The race car and Z06 will share the same production-based aluminum frame. Advanced manufacturing procedures were applied, including laser welding, GM’s patented aluminum spot-welding process, and flowdrill-machined fasteners. This has resulted in a frame structure that is 40 percent stronger than that of the C7.R’s predecessor.
While the aerodynamic strategies of the Corvette Stingray came directly from the Corvette C6.R, the addition of direct fuel injection for the first time since the end of the GT1 era in 2009 promises greater efficiency. The GT rules limit the C7.R’s maximum engine displacement to 5.5L and prohibit forced induction.
Corvette Stingray to arrive at European dealerships in spring
The first Corvette Stingray coupes (starting price in Germany: €69,990) and convertibles are scheduled to arrive at select dealerships in Europe in April and May 2014, respectively. Since its global premiere at NAIAS 2013, the Corvette Stingray has swept an array of industry accolades, including the prestigious 2014 North American Car of the Year award. The new Corvette Stingray is the most powerful standard Corvette ever built, with 466 hp (343 kW) and 630 Nm derived from a 6.2L V8 engine, enabling the sports car to hit 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds.