By this time, you might already know about the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray and its beautifully-functional exterior, high-quality interior and in-cabin technology, light-weight and stiff frame, as well as its capable chassis. And during that time, you might have come across mentions of the optional Z51 Performance Package. Well, here’s what the baddest from-the-factory performance package for the Stingray contains.
Electronic Limited-Slip Differential
The job of the smart electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD) included in the Z51 Performance Package is to constantly make the most of the torque split between the rear wheels. The system utilizes a hydraulically-actuated clutch that is capable of varying clutch engagement, being able to respond from open to full engagement in tenths of a second.
The eLSD distributes torque based on a unique algorithm that takes into account vehicle speed, steering input, and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance, and traction. In addition, the functionality of the eLSD is adjusted with the selection of the Driver Mode Selector. By changing the rate at which the limited slip engages to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions, the eLSD provides more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes.
The Z51 Performance Package also brings integrated brake, differential, and transmission cooling. Models with the automatic transmission or the Z51 Performance Package feature a functional vent on the driver’s side of the C7 that directs air over a heat exchanger for the transmission fluid; a similar arrangement on the passenger side directs air over a heat exchanger for the electronic limited slip differential.
In addition, Z51 also brings a unique aerodynamics package, brake cooling ducts, and a unique rear spoiler work to deliver enhanced performance at the track and stability at high speeds.
According to GM, the transmission on Corvettes with the Z51 Performance Package includes specific close-ratio gearing for more aggressive driving. We have yet to receive the full specifications on the close-ratio goodness.
Wheels & Tires
While the “standard” Corvette Stingray utilizes a set of new 18 x 8.5-inch front and 19 x 10-inch rear wheels, models with the Z51 Performance Package sit on 19 x 8.5-inch front and 20 x 10-inch rear forged aluminum wheels. Both sets of wheels are wrapped in a set of new Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat tires developed specifically for the seventh-generation Corvette to deliver comparable levels of grip than the wider tires of previous models.
As such, the track-oriented Corvette Stingray with the Z51 Performance Package can achieve 1g in cornering acceleration, performance that is comparable to the 2013 Corvette Grand Sport.
Notably, that is all achieved with a reduced “footprint” thanks to the narrower and lighter wheels and tires, reducing rolling resistance, steering effort and road noise — factors that contribute to a more nimble feel, more immediate steering response and greater touring comfort and efficiency.
The “standard” 2014 Corvette Stingray utilizes 35mm-piston Bilstein monotube shocks, while the Z51 Performance Package is equipped with 45mm-piston Bilstein dampers for more aggressive body control and track capability.
Furthermore, Z51 is offered with the third-generation of GM’s Magnetic Ride Control featuring a new twin-wire/dual-coil damper system that reacts 40 percent faster, enabling improved ride comfort and body control.
The “standard” Corvette Stingray makes use of 12.6-inch (320 mm) front rotors and 13.3-inch (338 mm) rear rotors, while the Z51 utilizes dual-cast and slotted 13.6-inch (345 mm) front rotors and 13.3-inch (338 mm) slotted rear rotors. They have six percent more swept area than the previous-generation Grand Sport while being cooled in the front and the rear for improved track capability. Thanks to this, stopping distance is improved by 5 percent on the C7 Z51.
Dry-Sump Oiling System
The Z51 Stingray also features a dry-sump oil system, resulting in the prevention of oil starvation at high g loads, and a lower center of gravity — both qualities important to a sports car such as the Corvette.
And while we don’t know how much the Z51 package will cost when the C7 hits dealership in the third quarter of 2013 (heck, we don’t even know the starting price of the 2014 Corvette yet), would you opt for the Z51? Sound off in the comments!
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