2006 Corvette ZO6
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Corvette Z06: Racing Success Helps Breed The Fastest, Most Powerful Production Corvette Ever Built
DETROIT – By winning every race in the 2004 season, the Corvette C5-R racing team wrapped up the most successful era in Corvette’s 50-year racing history. In its five years, the C5-R racing program took 35 victories in 55 races, four American Le Mans Series championships and three double victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans .
The Z06 sparked the second half of the C5’s life span with a Corvette model for the extreme performance enthusiast. Now, Team Corvette combines the numerous attributes of the sixth-generation Corvette with the technology and winning determination from the C5-R program to take the new Z06 to the next level in total performance.
Chevrolet introduced the 2006 Corvette Z06 at the North American International Auto Show. It is the fastest, most powerful car ever offered by Chevrolet and General Motors. It is comprised of an unprecedented level of capability and technology, making it one of the greatest performance values on the market. And with an unmistakably muscular appearance, the ’06 Z06 has a visual attitude that always looks ready to demonstrate Corvette’s winning attitude to any challenger around the globe.
“The new Z06 is the dividend from competing so successfully in endurance racing,” said Dave Hill, Corvette’s chief engineer. “It combines the strong attributes of the new, sixth-generation Corvette with the spirit, technology and know-how from the race program to form an American supercar with outstanding credentials.”
The new Z06 achieves 500 horsepower in an approximately 3130-pound (1419.7 kg) package and is expected to deliver 0-60 performance of less than 4 seconds, eclipse the quarter-mile in less than 12 seconds and deliver a top speed of more than 190 mph on a race track.
The links between racing and the production Z06 are both direct and indirect, as the vehicle was developed in conjunction with the forthcoming C6-R racecar, but they boil down to the application of lessons that could only have been learned after countless laps of endurance racing – everything from suspension geometry to aerodynamics. What the engineers developed was a totally unique vehicle that has its own powertrain, body structure and chassis system which are distinct from other Corvette models.
Previous Z06 models, from the original 1963 model to the 2001-04 editions, incorporated suspension and/or engine upgrades that complemented existing Corvette systems. Not surprisingly, the specs for the ’06 read like the blueprint of a champion. They include:
The features above are merely the highline points of the comprehensively designed Z06. What follows is a closer look at the vehicle’s unique attributes.
- LS7 7.0-liter/427-cubic-inch Gen IV V-8 with lightweight reciprocating components
- 500 horsepower (373 kw) at6200 rpm
- 475 lb.-ft. of torque (657 Nm) at 4800 rpm
- 7000 rpm redline
- Titanium connecting rods and intake valves
- Dry-sump engine lubrication system
- Engine hand-built at GM’s new Performance Build Center
- Aluminum body structure with one-piece hydroformed perimeter rails frame and magnesium front cradle
- Fixed roof design optimizes body rigidity and aerodynamics
- Carbon-fiber composite front fenders and front wheelhouses
- Unique front fascia incorporating a larger grille, cold-air scoop and lower air splitter
- Wide-body rear fenders and a unique rear spoiler incorporated with the CHMSL
- Huge 14-inch (355-mm) cross-drilled front disc brakes with six-piston calipers and 13.4-inch (340-mm) cross-drilled rear rotors with four-piston calipers
- 18 x 9.5-inch front wheels with 275/35ZR18 tires and 19 x 12-inch rear wheels with 325/30ZR19 tires
- 3-inch-diameter exhaust with bi-mode mufflers and larger polished stainless steel tips
- Engine, transmission and differential oil coolers; and steering cooler
- Rear-mounted battery to improve weight distribution
- Unique interior features including revised gauge cluster and lightweight two-tone seats with more aggressive bolsters
- Curb weight of 3130 pounds / 1419.7 kg (estimated)
- 3 inches (76.2 mm) wider than other Corvette models
- Vehicle developed simultaneously with C6-R racecar.
The all-new LS7 of the ’06 Z06 reintroduces the 427-cubic-inch engine to the Corvette lineup. Unlike the previous 427 engine, which was a big-block design, the new 7.0-liter LS7 is a small-block V-8 – the largest-displacement small-block ever produced by GM and a tribute to its 50 years as a performance icon.
With 500 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque, it also is the most powerful passenger car engine ever produced by Chevrolet and GM. The LS7 is easily identified under the hood by red engine covers with black lettering.
The LS7 shares the same basic Gen IV V-8 architecture as the Corvette’s 6.0-liter LS2, but the LS7 uses a different cylinder block casting with pressed-in steel cylinder liners to accommodate the engine’s wide, 104.8-mm-wide cylinder bores; the LS2 has 101.6-mm bores. And when compared to the LS2, the LS7 also has a different front cover, oil pan, exhaust manifolds and cylinder heads.
Internally, the LS7’s reciprocating components make use of racing-derived lightweight technology, including titanium connecting rods and intake valves, to help boost horsepower and rpm capability. The rpm fuel shut-off limit is 7000 rpm.
The LS7’s specifications include:
“In many ways, the LS7 is a racing engine in a street car,” said Dave Muscaro, assistant chief engineer of small-block V-8 for passenger cars. “We’ve taken much of what we’ve learned over the years from the 7.0-liter C5-R racing program and instilled it here. There really has been nothing else like it offered in a GM production vehicle.”
- Unique cylinder block casting with large, 104.8-mm bores and pressed-in cylinder liners
- Forged steel main bearing caps
- Forged steel crankshaft
- Titanium connecting rods with 101.6-mm stroke
- Forged aluminum flat-top pistons
- 11.0:1 compression
- Dry-sump oiling system
- Camshaft with .591-inch lift
- Racing-derived CNC-ported aluminum cylinder heads with titanium intake valves and sodium-filled exhaust valves
- Titanium pushrods and valve springs
- Low-restriction air intake system
- Hydroformed exhaust headers with unique “quad flow” collector flanges.
One of the clearest examples of the LS7’s race-bred technology is its use of titanium connecting rods. They weigh just 480 grams apiece, almost 30 percent less than the rods in the LS2 V-8. Besides being lightweight, which enhances high-rpm performance and rpm range, titanium makes the rods extremely durable.
The LS7’s CNC-ported aluminum cylinder heads are all-new and designed to meet the high airflow demands of the engine’s 7.0-liter displacement, as it ingests approximately 100 cubic feet more air per minute than the Corvette’s 6.0-liter LS2 V-8 – an 18-percent increase in airflow. Consequently, a hydraulic roller camshaft with .591/.591-inch valve lift is used to allow plenty of air to circulate in and out of the engine.
To ensure optimal, uninterrupted airflow, the LS7’s heads have straight, tunnel-like intake runners. Very large by production-vehicle standards – even racing standards – they are designed to maintain fast airflow velocity, providing excellent torque at low rpm and exhilarating horsepower at high rpm. The heads feature 70-cc combustion chambers which are fed by huge, 56-mm-diameter titanium intake valves. The lightweight titanium valves weigh 21grams less than the stainless steel valves used in the LS2, despite the valve head having 22 percent more area. They are complemented by 41-mm sodium-filled exhaust valves, vs. 39.4-mm valves in the LS2. To accommodate the large valve face diameters, the heads’ valve seats are siamesed; and, taken from experience with the engines of C5-R racecars, the LS7’s valve angles are held at 12 degrees – versus 15 degrees for the LS2 – to enhance airflow through the ports.
All LS7 engines are assembled by hand at GM Powertrain’s new Performance Build Center in Wixom , Mich. The exacting standards to which they are built include deck-plate honing of the cylinders – a procedure normally associated with the building of racing engines and almost unheard of in a production-vehicle engine.