The 638hp (476kW) ZR1 and brand new Grand Sport models may be getting all the limelight but the race-bred Corvette Z06 supercar is still tearing up pavements around the country and like the rest of the Corvette range has been updated for the 2010 model year. The 505hp (377kW) Z06 remains one of the biggest performance bargains on sale today, and with only a $360 price rise to 75,235 it remains incredible value.

Like the rest of the 2010 Corvette range, the latest Z06 comes with a new launch control system and side airbags as standard. Buyers opting for the top-end 3LZ package now get powered sports seats for both driver and passenger, while a new Cashmere interior with Corvette logo embroidery is also available.

Also new for 2010 is the availability of the full Corvette color palette, with eight colors including Arctic White, Crystal Red Metallic and the new Torch Red now offered.

For all of its race-inspired functionality, the Z06 is designed from the onset to be a high-performance daily driver. To that end, comfort and convenience are held to a very high standard, which means the car comes with niceties such as high-intensity discharge headlights, fog lamps, leather trim, dual-zone air conditioning and a heads-up-display with track modes and a g-meter as standard.

Power comes from the now familiar LS7 7.0L V8. Delivering a peak output of 505hp (377kW) at 6,300rpm and 470lb-ft (640Nm) at 4,800rpm, the potent engine in the Z06’s 1,440kg body sees the car sprint from 0-60mph in just 3.7 seconds, pass the quarter mile in 11.7 seconds at 125mph and reach a top speed of 198mph. Drive is sent to the rear wheels via six-speed manual.

The Z06 has a unique aluminum body structure for optimum stiffness and light weight for the fixed-roof body style. Perimeter rails are one-piece hydroformed aluminum members featuring cast suspension nodes, which replace many welded steel components on other Corvette models. Advanced structural composites featuring carbon-fiber are bonded to the aluminum structure. The wider front wheelhouses, for example, are carbon composites and the passenger compartment floors combine carbon-fiber skins with an ultra-lightweight balsa wood core.

The car also has a magnesium cradle that serves as the attachment point for the engine and some front suspension components. Magnesium is lighter than aluminum, yet incredibly strong. The magnesium cradle helps improve the front-to-rear weight distribution, as do carbon-fiber front fenders and wheelhouses. Engineers also moved the battery from underhood to a position in the rear cargo area, behind one of the rear wheels.

The 2010 Z06 retains the 2,686mm wheelbase of other Corvette models, as well as the short-long arm suspension and transverse spring design, but it rides on all-new wheels, tires and brakes, as well as its own rear spring and roll stabilizer.

The cast-spun aluminum wheels measure 18in up front and house 14in disc brakes and red six-piston calipers, while in the rear the wheels are 19in in diameter and house 13.4in discs with four-piston calipers. A four-channel ABS system is standard, as is an active handling system complete with a ‘Competitive Driving’ mode.