What more is there to say.
Really. What more can be said about the 2015 Corvette Z06?
Everybody knows the 2015 Corvette Z06 is bat-shit-nutso-stupid quick for a $790,000 car. Except it’s a $79,000 car, and nobody comes close to offering the kind of track performance for the money (pipe down, Nissan GT-R, we see you, but you’re still more expensive). Its performance abilities — especially braking, turn-in, and corner exit thanks to race-grade aerodynamics (more downforce than any GM car ever produced) — are going to be beyond the level of just about anybody who will buy it. On that end, please note that buying a C7 Z06 will not suddenly turn you into Jan Magnussen or Tommy Milner and magically give you the skill set to wrangle one properly.
This can be easy to forget when rumbling across the desert at triple digit speeds with not a soul in sight. But it doesn’t change the notion that “Big Nasty” is a car that should require a racing license or a few lessons at performance driving school before it can be sold to somebody. Simply put, such experience will be needed to truly tap into the capabilities of this American supercar.
The truth, however, is that the 2015 Corvette Z06 is a car that many will acquire without so much as a test drive. People will just want one because of what has been exhaustively praised about by every outlet from Motor Trend to AutoSpies. After all, it has 650 horsepower. The automatic version can achieve 0-60 in just 2.9 seconds — and it doesn’t have all-wheel-drive or fancy electric motors to help get the power to the ground. Just a no-BS 6.2L supercharged LT4 V8 with power sent through a carbon fiber torque tube to an electronic limited slip differential, to enormous 335/25R20 99Y Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rear tires. It’s notable that forced induction is untraditional for the nameplate, and simply a different animal from the 7,000-rpm revving, naturally breathing LS7 from the C6 Z06.
Then again, the entire character of the C7 Z06 is different from the old model.
Even though the 2015 Z06 can creep above $120,000 with its options and accessories, it still bullies around cars twice, three, or even four times its MSRP. Heck, look how close it comes to the Porsche 918 in track times. Yet it shouldn’t be too surprising, as Corvettes have long been known for their capabilities rivaling or even besting the competition at a fraction of the price. But people are still wrestling the fact that they can have their cake and eat it too with the seventh-generation model. Especially the Z06, which until now has never offered an automatic transmission before or a drop-top version, let alone on-board wifi, a performance recording camera (with an assuring valet mode), genuine materials, better seats, et al.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the 2015 Corvette Z06 is how far it can dial itself back from being a raw-edge racer, and is something that seems to be overlooked when reading other takes and reviews on the machine. Turn a rubbery dial to engage in Touring or Eco mode, and the car relaxes in a way that a sleeping baby could appreciate. The exhaust flaps shut, the magnetic shocks absorb road imperfections better than just any other car of this nature, and the heated/cooled seats will keep things breezy and comfortable during a cruise around the Nevada desert. Yet the Z06 remains stable and planted, and the knowledge that all of its fabled ferocity is found at the turn of that same dial to “Sport” or “Track” is as empowering. Like having a silver Mongkhon in Muay Thai boxing.
This duality will come as a joy for many who want more comfort in their sports cars, and in turn, will help with sales. Yet there will be some that will grumble about the Corvette Z06 being heavier and less dramatic to drive than the C6 Z06. The engine might be more powerful, but it doesn’t rev as high and the top speed is slower than before (187 mph to 198 mph, but that has more to do with downforce of the Z07 carbon aerodynamics package. But in all fairness, the Z06 is more of a close-quarters scalpel than a back-straight blitzer). The interior materials and daily usability have improved immensely, but now there’s more weight to lug around as a result. Perhaps the Corvette team will introduce a more track-focused model to appease the die-hards and the sadists (like a traditional Z06), though for 99.9 percent of the market, the 2015 Corvette Z06 will amaze and astonish on both the track and the street. Especially the street.