2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Episode 3423 , Episode 3440
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The all-new 7th generation Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is a terrific sports car. But, it’s just the beginning to the latest Corvette chapter. No sooner did we drive the Stingray then Chevy started teasing us with their next installment: the Z06! It’s been a year of waiting. But, now the wait is over.

Truth be told, we would have done just about anything to get some track time in the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Turns out all we had to do was say yes to Chevrolet’s invitation and hop on a plane to Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch near Las Vegas, Nevada. 

What awaited us there was 650–horsepower worth of torqued up Corvette ready to romp and roll. 

Easing up to speed on the track, this Z06 has a familiar feel that any Corvette owner would quickly recognize. As we became more attuned with the track and the car, lap times started falling, tires started protesting, and smiles became perma-blasted on our faces.

There’s certainly a nasty streak within’ this heavily tweaked Stingray that’s more than willing to be unleashed. 

The Z06’s aluminum chassis is, for the first time, produced in house at Bowling Green Corvette Central. And, due to its extremely stiff nature, no further updates are needed for the C7.R race car.

The short/long arm, double wishbone, transverse composite spring suspension design carries over from the Stingray, but gets recalibrated; and standard Magnetic Ride Control takes care of the rest. 

For those more interested in track time than cruise time, a Z07 performance package elevates things to a whole new level. It includes additional and adjustable aero-elements for greater downforce, carbon-ceramic brake rotors, and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Helping maintain that unreasonable amount of grip is Performance Track Management and a multi-mode electronic limited slip differential.

Giving power to these random acts of performance is a 6.2-liter LT4 V8 with plenty of extra massaging done by the powertrain professionals at GM’s Tonawanda engine shop. And thanks to a first ever in a Z06 supercharger, output is 650–horsepower and 650 lb-ft. of torque. Expect 0-60 times to be under 3-seconds, of course.  You can stick with the standard rev-matching 7-speed manual transmission, or opt for a paddle shifted 8-speed automatic. 

You’ll have no problem picking this smooth criminal out of a line-up, as Chevrolet has tacked on a wealth of add-ons in the name of ultimate down-force creation. If you like your performance cars to be a little subtle, look elsewhere. Meanwhile we’ll be taking a 2nd and 3rd look at this ‘vette’s wacked out lines and performance enhancements.

There are new fascias front and rear, a front splitter, unique hood, and rear spoiler. And of course all of those aero elements; some standard, some part of the carbon-fiber aero package, and some part of the Z07 package. 

The fenders are extended 2-inches in front, 3-inches in the rear; to cover the wheels wearing 285/30/19 rubber in the fore, and 335/25/20 aft. If you don’t opt for the Z07 Performance Package, you’ll still be happy with the standard 14-inch steel Brembos. 

Unlike before, the body is not hardtop only, rather the customary removable roof panel arrangement of the standard Stingray, and even a convertible is available this time around. 

Inside, there are the unique colors, carbon fiber treatment, and the flat-bottomed steering wheel embellishments that you might expect; but what you might not be prepared for is the available luxury type amenities like high-end leather, 8-inch MyLink with navigation, and Bose audio. 

And by now you’ve probably heard of the available onboard Performance Data Recorder developed by Cosworth. Which consists of a high-def. camera in the windshield header, a telemetry recorder with GPS, and an SD recorder. Essentially, it provides you with motorsports-level telemetry and allows you to record your exploits for bragging rights, or perhaps for evidence. 

But even with all of the Z06’s capabilities and track-ready tech, street time is almost equally as rewarding as track time. Ride quality can be smoothed out with a turn of the dial, and seats offer enough comfort to seek out car shows at distant locals. 

The 7-speed manual’s Government Fuel Economy Ratings of 15-City, 22-Highway, and 18-Combined will allow you to eat up plenty of miles or laps before pit stops are necessary. The 8-speed auto however, at 13-City, 21-Highway, and 16-Combined will get you a Gas Guzzler tax. 

Still, base pricing of $78,995 clearly puts the Z06 in a class of its own, well below its purely exotic rivals. Convertibles sticker for 5-grand more. No other car on the road can even come close to matching this car’s level of performance for the price. 

So while the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 may have been the ride we were eagerly looking forward to the most, and Chevrolet was gracious enough to oblige, AND it was everything we hoped it would be; it did get us thinking a bit… how awesome would a new ZR1 be?


  • Engine: 6.2 liter
  • Horsepower: 650
  • Torque: 650 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 seconds
  • EPA: 15 mpg city/ 22 mpg highway
2024 PHEV Roundup 1

2024 PHEV Roundup

You Don’t Have To Go Full EV To Live The EV Lifestyle

Episode 4338
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You’ve heard us say many times that PHEVs– plug-in hybrid electrics– rather than BEVs– pure battery electrics– are a sound choice for many folks thinking about owning an electric vehicle. Well, buyers do seem to have gotten the message, as while recent sales of all-electric BEVs are down, PHEVs are suddenly skyrocketing. So, we thought we’d give you a close look at the range of PHEVs that are available today.

An EV when you want it, a fuel-efficient hybrid when you don’t; that’s the reason that PHEVs are so appealing, and why we feel they’re the perfect starter vehicle for this time of transition from internal combustion to all-electric. So, buckle up for an alphabetical rundown of all the mainstream PHEVs that are currently available.

BMW has many plug-in options, starting around $46,000 with the 2.0-liter I4-based 330e sedan and its 22 miles of EV range. There’s also a 750e sedan with more than 30 miles of EV range, and an xDrive50e X5 utility with closer to 40 miles of EV range, plus a high-performance XM with 738 horsepower. For partner Mini, a small 1.5-liter I4-based setup is available in the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 utility with 18 miles of EV range, going for around $42,000.

Ford has been in the plug-in game for some time, and currently gets a great 37 miles of EV range out of their 2.5-liter I4-based setup which is available in both the Escape for about $36,000, and in its upscale Lincoln Corsair counterpart which goes for around $55,000.

Hyundai offers a pair of plug-in SUVs, the Santa Fe priced at around $43,000 and the Tucson which goes for about $40,000; both use a 1.6-liter I4 turbo engine. It shares with their corporate cousins over at Kia. The Sorento, which starts around $51,000, and the Sportage, beginning at $40,000, along with Kia’s Niro at $35,000. All get more than 30 miles of EV Range.

For the high-rollers, Land Rover has a six-cylinder P550e plug-in option for both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport with 51 miles of range, starting around $119,000.

Mazda is very new to the plug-in game, with their inline-six based setup just recently becoming available in the new CX-70 and CX-90 SUVs, both with 26 miles of electric-only range, starting at $41,000.

Mercedes-Benz has offered quite a few PHEVs over the years, though currently their lineup only consists of the $70,000 GLE450e SUV with a 2.0-liter I4 and 48 miles of EV range; and a $128,000 3.0-liter I6 S580e sedan with 46 miles of range. Though a high-performance 671 horsepower AMG C 63 S E Performance will be blasting onto the scene soon.

We’re very familiar with this second-gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, having had both generations as part of our long-term fleet. The current Outlander PHEV goes for $41,000 and gets 38 miles of EV range from its 2.4-liter I4-based setup.

Stellantis has a wide array of PHEVs available across their many brands, starting with the 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar-packing Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. It arrived way back in 2017 and currently delivers 32 miles of EV range for $40,000.

More recently, they’ve added the technology to the Jeep brand with 4Xe versions of the Jeep Wrangler for $52,000 and the Grand Cherokee at $61,000. And their most recent setup has just arrived in the compact crossover segment with 33 miles of battery in both the $45,000 Alfa Romeo Tonale and the $42,000 Dodge Hornet R/T.

All of this started with the Toyota Prius of course, which you can now get a Prime version of for $34,000 with a 2.0-liter I4 and 40 miles of range. The RAV4 Prime goes for $45,000 getting 42 miles. Plus, there’s a trio of Lexus PHEV’s rolling with bigger batteries on board, the NX450h+, the RX450h+, and the TX550h+, starting around $58,000.

Volkswagen PHEVs stick to their premium brands, starting with the $58,000 2.0-liter I4-based Audi Q5 55TFSI e quattro SUV with 22 miles of battery range.

Bentley adds electric-motor assistance to a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 for both the $206,000 Bentayga SUV, which gets 18 miles of EV range, and the $217,000 Flying Spur sedan, which stretches it to 21 miles. That same setup is available at Porsche in E-hybrid versions of both the $93,000 Cayenne SUV and $110,000 Panamera sedan, getting up to 19 miles on battery power.

Finally, Volvo has had a plug-in version of their turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 since the T8 arrived with the XC90 back in 2016. Now with a Recharge label, an updated version is available in just about every vehicle in their lineup; the S60 and S90 sedans, XC60 and XC90 SUVS, and yes even in the V60 wagon, starting around $53,000 with up to 40 EV miles.

So, there you have it, the Bs-to-Vs of PHEVs. They really are an easy way to live the EV lifestyle today, without going all the way.