Saying that the Chevrolet Corvette is a legend may be an understatement. Having been in production for over 50 years, the ‘Vette has become the be-all end-all racing vehicle, especially in the naturally aspirated 7.0-liter/LS7 Z06 trim. When Chevy introduced the mighty ZR1, many a Z06 owner began to lust after the greatest Corvette of all time and its carbon-ceramic brakes, carbon-fiber body panels, Magnetic Ride damping system, and – of course – its supercharged 6.2-liter LS9. Thankfully, Chevrolet realized that there are some who prefer the LS7 powerplant of the Z06 but would rather have the lightweight benefits of carbon fiber. Enter the limited-edition Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon.
The Z06 Carbon fits in right below the ZR1 and is philosophically similar to the Grand Sport – taking bits from trim levels above and below it. The Z06 Carbon has the engine of its namesake but inherits the chassis of the ZR1. In fact, chassis may sound simple, but this time around it includes GM’s fantastic Magnetic Ride Control – which gives the car adaptive ride and handling capabilities while making a better daily driver at the same time. The Z06 Carbon also gets certain pieces of body work passed down from the mighty ZR1 in order to reduce weight. Unfortunately the carbon goodness will be hidden underneath black paint as opposed to the ZR1′s pricey clear coat.
Without visible carbon, one may say that the car loses some of the cool ZR1 goodness. In fact, the carbon fiber splitter, roof panel, and rockers of the Carbon Z06 are painted black. Fortunately for Carbon owners, Chevy turned the black paint into a theme, pairing it with dark 20-spoke black wheels (19-inch front/20-inch rear) and headlight housings. All this creates a truly villainous exterior.
Speaking of paint, the Z06 Carbon will be available in two colors – Inferno Orange or Supersonic Blue (pictured) and will ship with an ebony leather and suede interior.
In an effort to reduce weight even further, the Z06 Carbon gets a unique hood that loses the engine window of the ZR1. Unfortunately, ZR1 owners thinking of swapping out their bonnets will be disappointed to learn that the hood from the Z06 Carbon will not fit their mighty Corvette. According to chief Corvette engineer Tadge Juechter, the hood of the Z06 has a different structure underneath that won’t clear the ZR1 engine’s intercooler because of the absent window.
The upgraded suspension and Brembo carbon ceramic brakes have a significant effect on the Z06 Carbon when on the track, as the model paced both the Miflord Road Course and Laguna Seca Speedway a full three seconds per lap faster than a regular (non-Carbon) Z06.
Chevy will only make 500 limited edition copies of the Z06 Carbon. If you don’t make it to your Chevy dealer in time to get one of the 500 Carbon models, most of its features can be added via two option packages available for 2011 Corvette Z06. The Z07 package furnishes all the mechanical bits such as the Brembo brake system, wheels and tires, and the Magnetic Ride suspension while the carbon fiber package includes the black carbon fiber rockers, splitter and roof panel with the full-width body color spoiler. Unfortunately, the super lightweight hood is only available on the 500 limited edition Carbon models.
The Corvette Z06 Carbon, along with the new option packages, will be available in late summer, with pricing being announced closer to launch date. Stay tuned as we find out more!