Chevrolet wheeled out what it calls the most track-capable Corvette in the brand’s history – the 2015 Corvette Z06 – at the recent 2014 NAIAS in Detroit. Based on the Corvette C7 Stingray, the latest Z06 boasts unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, at least 625 hp from a supercharged engine, and an all-new eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The new LT4 6.2L engine is fortified with a 1.7L Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger, and is expected to deliver at least 625 hp and 861 Nm of torque. The direct-injection V8 can be matched with either a seven-speed manual (with Active Rev Match) or a new, high-performance 8L90 eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
“There’s no trade-off in drivability with the new eight-speed automatic transmission – it was designed to deliver performance on par with dual-clutch designs, but without sacrificing refinement. It is also the highest-capacity automatic transmission ever offered in a Chevrolet car,” said Bill Goodrich, assistant chief engineer for eight-speed automatic transmissions.
The aluminum frame is carried over from the Corvette Stingray and will be used essentially unchanged for the Corvette Racing C7.R. The stronger frame also allows for a removable carbon fibre roof panel.
Speaking of CF, an available carbon fibre aero package – in either black or a naked CF – adds a carbon fibre front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fibre rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce.
A track-focused Z07 Performance Package adds unique components for improved aero downforce, Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tyres and Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors. The latter improves braking performance and contributes to handling via reduced unsprung weight.
Although development testing is ongoing, the Z07 package has already recorded some of the fastest lap times ever for a Corvette, surpassing even the ZR1, Chevy says. The new Corvette Z06 will be available in early 2015 in America.