Chevrolet Corvette (C6)
|Chevrolet Corvette (C6)|
Chevrolet Corvette C6 Convertible
|Manufacturer||Chevrolet (General Motors)|
|Production||June 2004–February 28, 2013|
|Assembly||United States: Bowling Green, Kentucky|
|Body and chassis|
|Wheelbase||105.7 in (2,685 mm)|
|Predecessor||Chevrolet Corvette (C5)|
|Successor||Chevrolet Corvette (C7)|
The Chevrolet Corvette (C6) is a sports car that was produced by Chevrolet for the 2005 to 2013 model years. The sixth generation Corvette is the first with exposed headlamps since the 1962 model. Production variants include the Z06, ZR1, Grand Sport, and 427 Convertible. Racing variants include the C6.R, an American Le Mans Series GT1 championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE-Pro winner.
The Corvette C6 was virtually all new including new bodywork with exposed headlamps, an overhaul of the suspension geometry, a larger passenger compartment, a larger 6.0 L (364 cu in; 5967 cc) engine and a much higher level of refinement. Overall, it is 5.1 inches (13 cm) shorter than the C5, but its wheelbase has increased by 1.2 inches (3 cm). It is also one inch (2.5 cm) narrower. The 6.0 L LS2 V8 produces 400 horsepower (300 kW) at 6000 rpm and 400 lb·ft (542 N·m) of torque at 4400 rpm. Like the C5, the Corvette C6's suspension consisted of independent unequal-length double wishbones with transverse fiberglass mono-leaf springs.
With an automatic transmission, the Corvette achieves 15/25 mpg (city/highway); the manual-transmission model gets 16/26 mpg. The Corvette's manual transmission is fitted with Computer Aided Gear Shifting (CAGS), obligating the driver to shift from 1st directly to 4th when operating at lower RPM. This boosts the EPA's derived fuel economy thus allowing the buyer to avoid paying the "gas guzzler" tax. GM badges were added to the car in 2006.
Beginning with the 2008 model year, the Corvette received a new engine, the LS3. With displacement increased to 6.2 liters (376 cu in; 6162 cc), power was increased to 430 hp (321 kW) at 6500 rpm and 424 lb·ft (575 N·m) of torque at 4600 rpm, or 436 hp (325 kW) and 428 lb·ft (580 N·m) with the optional vacuum actuated valve exhaust. The previous Tremec T56 transmission on manual Corvettes was replaced with a new version, the TR6060, in model year 2008. Manual Corvettes have improved shift linkage; the automatic model is set up for quicker shifts, and (according to Chevrolet) goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds, faster than any other production automatic Corvette. From 2008 onward, steering was revised for improved feel and the wheels were updated to a new five-spoke design. The last Corvette C6, a white 427 convertible, was completed on February 28, 2013.
The Z06 arrived as a 2006 model in the third quarter of 2005 and is the lightest of all Corvette models. The Z06 was equipped with the largest-displacement small-block ever produced, a new 7.0 L (427 cu in) engine codenamed LS7. The LS7 produced 505 hp (376 kW) and is the most powerful naturally aspirated engine put into a production car from General Motors. In addition to the larger displacement engine, the Corvette Z06 has a dry sump oiling system, and connecting rods made out of titanium alloy. The frame of the Z06 is constructed from aluminum, saving 136 pounds over the standard steel frame. Other weight saving measures such as balsa wood/carbon fiber composite floors and a magnesium alloy engine cradle were used. The Z06's body differentiates itself from the standard Corvette with its larger front and rear fenders and an intake inlet scoop on the front bumper. The front fenders are constructed with carbon fiber and the rear fenders contain ducts to aid in cooling the rear brakes. The Z06 weighed 3,130 lb (1,420 kg), giving it a weight to power ratio of 6.2 pounds per horsepower (3.8 kg/kW), allowing it to achieve a fuel economy of 15 mpg-US (16 L/100 km; 18 mpg-imp) in the city and 24 mpg-US (9.8 L/100 km; 29 mpg-imp) on the highway. The Z06 was the official pace car for both the 2006 Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500 race. Car and Driver recorded a 0-60 mph time of 3.6 seconds and 1/4 mile in 11.4 seconds at 126 mph in March 2007.
The Z06 contains the following enhancements over the standard C6 Corvette -
- Hand-built LS7 7.0L 427CI V8 with dry-sump oiling system
- Aluminum chassis with fixed roof
- Larger/stiffer anti-sway bars
- Stiffer springs and shocks
- Larger rear spoiler and front splitter
- Transmission cooler
- Unique front fascia with intake inlet
- Wider carbon fiber front and fiberglass rear fenders
- Functional front and rear brake ducts for added brake system cooling
- Unique light weight forged aluminum 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels; painted finish standard and chromed finish optional
- Wider 275/35ZR18 tires in the front and wider 325/30ZR19 tires in the rear
- Larger 6-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers, including cross-drilled 355 mm (14.0 in) front rotors and 340 mm (13 in) rear rotors
- Can be ordered with 1LZ, 2LZ, and 3LZ trim packages.
For 2011 the Z06 carbon edition was introduced, which carries over multiple parts from the ZR1 including carbon ceramic brakes, active suspension, and other carbon fiber aerodynamic pieces. Only 500 Z06 Carbon Editions will be made. Actual production numbers were much lower, in total only about 250 were Carbon Editions and 250 were optioned the same but did not have the carbon hood. In 2012 and 2013, these options can be ordered through the Z07 package on the Z06.
The ZR1 is a Corvette variant that was first reported by several print and online publications, based on rumors that General Motors was developing a production version of the Corvette above the Z06 level under the internal code name Blue Devil (named after CEO Rick Wagoner's alma mater, Duke University). The car was originally rumored to feature a supercharged LS7 engine producing more than 650 hp (485 kW) with prices reported to exceed $130,000.99 USD.
The October 12, 2006 issue of AutoWeek published photos by photographer Chris Doane of a C6 with special auto-manufacturer-issued license plates on a Z06 with a hood bulge, widely thought to confirm the presence of a supercharger on the Blue Devil. Other names attached to the project included Corvette SS and Corvette Z07. In February 2007, a worker at a Michigan shipping company posted pictures online of a powertrain development mule that was being shipped to Germany, believed to be part of the Blue Devil program. The car had manufacturer's license plates, carbon-ceramic brakes, enlarged fender vents, a hood bulge, and an engine with a positive-displacement supercharger in the valley between the cylinder banks and a water-to-air intercooler atop it. GM began to release details on the Blue Devil project in April 2007, and revealed the ZR1 in December. The company confirmed the existence of the project in an interview with Car and Driver on April 13. Power levels were confirmed to be between 600 and 700 horsepower (447 and 522 kW), but contrary to prior rumors of a supercharged 6.2 liter engine, the engine was only confirmed to have greater displacement than the 7.0 liter LS7 in the Z06. Motor Trend confirmed the official name for the production Blue Devil, resurrecting the old ZR1 nameplate. The ZR1 had originally been used on developmental cars in 1971, and again as ZR-1 as the top performance model on the C4 Corvette. General Motors officially revealed the 2009 Corvette ZR1 on December 19, giving a press release and photographs of the car. GM confirmed a supercharged 6.2 L LS9 V8 producing 638 hp (476 kW). Performance figures were not released, but GM acknowledged that the car was capable of 205 mph (330 km/h), making it the fastest production Corvette ever.
Carbon fiber is used on the roof, hood, fenders, front splitter, and rocker moldings; the hood and fenders are painted over, while the roof and splitter are merely covered in a clear-coat, retaining their black color. A polycarbonate window is placed in the center of the hood, allowing the engine intercooler to be seen from the exterior. The wheels are the largest ever placed on a production Corvette, with both front and rear wheels increasing in size and diameter over the Corvette Z06. Carbon-ceramic brakes are included. The brake calipers are painted blue, as are the engine intercooler trim and the ZR1 logo. Magnetic Selective Ride Control is also included on the car, with sensors to automatically adjust stiffness levels based on road conditions and vehicle movement.
The 2010 Grand Sport was unveiled at the 12th annual C5/C6 Corvette Birthday Bash, held at the National Corvette Museum. The Grand Sport replaces the previous Z51 option. The GS or Grand Sport was equipped with the following enhancements:
- Specific manual transmission with different gear ratios
- Larger/stiffer anti-sway bars
- Stiffer springs
- Revised shocks
- Larger Z06 rear spoiler
- Transmission cooler
- Functional front and rear brake ducts for added brake system cooling
- Unique light weight forged aluminum 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels (painted finish standard and chromed finish optional)
- Z06 brakes, including cross-drilled 355 mm (14.0 in) front rotors and 340 mm (13 in) rear rotors
- Specific rear axle ratio on automatic transmission equipped models
- Can be ordered with 1LT, 2LT, 3LT and 4LT trim packages.
- Wider front and rear fenders with integrated Grand Sport badges
- Wider 275/35ZR18 tires in the front
- Wider 325/30ZR19 tires in the rear
- 6-piston front calipers and 4-piston rear calipers
- Dry-sump oil system (Coupes equipped with manual transmissions only)
- Hand-built LS3 6.2L V8 (Coupes equipped with manual transmissions only)
- Manual models also include launch control.
LS2 was replaced by LS3 in 2008MY vehicles.
LS3 engine in the GS convertible or Grand Sport coupe equipped with an automatic transmission is wet sump instead of dry sump.
500 examples of the ZHZ - mechanically a C6 coupé with the LS3 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, vacuum actuated valve exhaust, F55 suspension and unique 7-spoke chrome wheels - were produced for The Hertz Corporation's Fun Collection for 2008 in targa versions. 350 convertibles were produced for Hertz in 2009. All cars were finished in yellow with a broad black stripe along the hood and roof.
GT1 Championship Edition (2009)
The GT1 Championship Edition is an option package for the C6 that was unveiled in the 2009 New York Auto Show. It celebrates the Corvette C6.R's entry into the GT1 class of ALMS in 2009. Its Based on Corvette Coupe 4LT, Convertible 4LT or Z06, it comes with same yellow body hue that adorns the C6.R or "41U" black, along with a "Jake" graphic that spans the Championship edition's hood. Chrome wheels and a body-colored spoiler pulled from the ZR1 join a "carbon pattern" engine cover, while inside a leather-wrapped ebony interior contains "GT1" embroidered on the seats, an instrument panel and a center console armrest. Non-Z06 models also include a Z51 Performance Package and NPP Performance exhaust.
100 units of each model (600 total) were built, each carrying a $7,840 premium over standard models.
Z06 Carbon Limited Edition (2011)
In March 2010, Chevrolet announced that 500 Z06 Carbon Limited Editions will be made available as a 2011 model beginning in Summer 2010. The car will be available in two colors: Inferno Orange and an all-new Supersonic Blue. On the exterior, the car will get black headlamps and mirrors, a ZR1-style spoiler, carbon fiber hood, and black carbon fiber rockers and splitter. Inside, the Z06 Carbon has ebony leather and suede seats with body color-matching stitching. Other improvements include Magnetic Selective Ride Control, a special carbon engine cover, 20-spoke black 19-inch front/20-inch rear wheels, and ZR1’s carbon ceramic Brembo brakes.
|2005||37,372||New C6 body is first with fixed headlights since 1962; no Z06 model and a late convertible introduction|
|2006||34,021||Z06 debuts; 6-speed automatic with paddle shift available on non-Z06 models|
|2007||40,561||6-speed automatic paddle shift delays are reduced drastically compared to 2006; larger glovebox|
|2008||35,310||LS3 introduced, Tremec TR6060 transmission, new steering system, NPP exhaust, improved interior on all models, All leather interior added (4LT, 3LZ)|
|2009||16,956||ZR1 model added, new "Spyder" wheels for Z06|
|2010||12,194||Grand Sport Coupe and Convertible added, replacing the Z51 performance packages, launch control standard with manual transmission|
|2011||13,596||Z06 Carbon limited edition; Z07 performance package added for Z06; new 5-spoke wheels for base models|
|2012||11,647||New seat design and steering wheel; Chevrolet Centennial Edition package offered|
|2013||13,466||427 Convertible collector edition added in final year for C6; 60th Anniversary design package offered|
The Z06X was designed to be a factory built road race car similar to cars like the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and Dodge Viper ACR-X. The concept car was built by GM with the help of Pratt & Miller Engineering. The Z06X features racecar components such as: carbon fiber adjustable rear wing, carbon fiber front splitter, full roll cage, fire suppression system, race seat, harness, carbon ceramic brakes, upgraded cooling system, polycarbonate rear window, adjustable coilovers, adjustable sway bars, and tow hooks; the radio, interior carpeting and sound-deadening materials have been removed. The suspension system was designed and supplied by Pfadt Race Engineering.
The C6.R was a replacement for the C5-R, built by Pratt & Miller, and unveiled for its first competition at the 2005 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race of the American Le Mans Series. It came in second and third in its class, just behind the new Aston Martin DBR9 race car. It was put on display a week later at the New York International Auto Show next to the Z06.
In 2006, the Corvette C6.R won both American Le Mans GT1 Championships: Teams and Manufacturers. On March 17, 2007 it won the GT1 class in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
For Le Mans 2007, four C6.R's were on the entry list, the two Corvette Racing entries joined by single entries from the Luc Alphand Aventures and PSI-Motorsport teams.
The heart of the C6.R, its LS7.R motor, was crowned as Global Motorsport Engine of the Year by a jury of 50 race engine engineers on the Professional Motorsport World Expo 2006 in Cologne, Germany.
For 2011, the aerodynamics of the ALMS cars were modified to be similar to the ZR1. This car has since won the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans in the GTE-Pro and GTE-Am classes. In 2012, the Corvette C6.R won again in the GTE-Am category.
In addition to the American Le Mans Series, Corvette C6.Rs also race in the FIA GT1 World Championship. The GT1 cars are given more power and have less aerodynamics restrictions than the Le Mans cars, which follow GT2 regulations.
Entered in the FIA GT3 European Championship series as a GT3 class car, the Z06-R is a modified production Z06. Changes were necessary to make the car endurance race ready. These include a stripped interior, full rollcage for safety, center-locking wheels, carbon fiber doors, rear deck spoiler and front splitter. The LS7 and LS3-engine and drivetrain are built by APP Racing Engines from the Netherlands. The result is a +- 7200 rpm redline, 200 higher than stock and 40 extra horsepower. The car is not road legal.
Eight Z06-R were constructed by Callaway Competition GmbH in Leingarten, Germany, for the 2006 season. The French team Riverside campaigned a three car team. In an effort to achieve parity among the disparate participants of the GT3 Series, three forms of handicapping were applied by the FIA regulators: additional vehicle weight, ride height, and tire compound selection. The Corvettes were raced with all three handicaps employed. The Z06R won the FIA GT3 European Championship in its second year of entry. By 2011, all Z06-R teams discontinued their racing efforts in GT3, ending the car's FIA career. Z06-Rs are also campaigned in national championships.
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