Talk to any fan of the Chevrolet Corvette, and inevitably Z06 will enter the conversation. It’s the hottest version of Chevrolet’s plastic fantastic, and for 2006, the new Z06 is so hot it blisters.

The most powerful production car to ever wear the Chevrolet bow-tie, the 2006 Corvette Z06 can give even the baddest of Euro-super cars a run for their money. Fitted with a totally different chassis than the normal C6 Corvette’s steel structure, the fixed-roof hatchback coupe Z06 sports a hydroformed aluminum and magnesium frame, plus carbon-fiber fenders and floor panels.  So, even with lots of added performance hardware, on the same 105.7 inch wheelbase, the Z is lighter than other Corvette models.

The most talked about added hardware is easily identified by its red valve covers, a 505-horsepower, 7.0-liter LS7 dry sump V8. With 470 pound-feet of torque, this is the molten core of Z06 heat. It’s the largest GM small-block yet, reintroducing the 427-inch engine to the Corvette line-up.

The LS7 is bolted to a 6-speed manual transaxle strengthened to harness the increased torque load. Step on the pedal and this car lights up the night in just about any gear. In fact we hammered our way to 155 mph while navigating Virginia International Raceway. With the right moves, a 0-to-60 time of 3.8 seconds is easily repeatable. That, by the way, is the same result we got with the Ford GT.

While there is only a moderately heavy clutch action to handle its prodigious power, the Z06’s super tight driveline feels like it was carved from a single block of metal. The Z06’s race-bred suspension sports a double-digit increase in roll stiffness when compared to the C6 Z51. The stability-control system has a competition mode that lets things get interesting before it intervenes.

In tight switchbacks, there is a hint of chassis flex, but it’s just a hint. Throttle steering is effortless, as the Z06 begs to kick out in every corner.

Braking starts with ABS and oversized vented discs, 14-inch rotors with red 6-piston calipers up front, and 13.4-inchers with 4-piston calipers in back, all with individual piston brake pads. Brakes are faced by 235/35 18-inch ZR-rated tires fore, and 325/30 19s aft.

And to further stand out in a Corvette crowd, the Z06 also dons a little different dress than the standard C6.  The flared bodywork is 3-inches wider, there is a new front fascia with air scoop, a taller rear spoiler, badging, and a 3-inch four-port exhaust.

The dual-cockpit interior is straight C6 with its excellent fit and finish, but adds a revised gauge cluster and embroidered “Z06” seat badging. As a daily driver, EPA mileage estimates for the 2006 Corvette Z06 are 16 city/24 highway. Impressive for such boiling performance.

Now, if you’re thinking only the super-rich can afford this Z06 super-car, you’re wrong. The 2006 Corvette Z06 carries a base price of $65,800. Mere peanuts to the exotic car crowd, and not out of reach for many of the rest of us. Once you have tasted the 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, you will be as hooked as we are. And just like many Corvettes before it, the Z06 is a world-class super-car, but without the super-car price. 


  • Engine: 7.0-Liter Ls7 Dry Sump V8
  • Horsepower: 505
  • Torque: 470 Lb Feet
  • EPA: 16 City/24 Highway MPG