Driven: 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

O.K. let’s see…clutch in, throttle depressed, revs holding at 4000 rpm; dump clutch—and wheeheeheehahh! Massive cloud of blue smoke, quick—but delicate—steering corrections to maintain a straight line, and the 2011 Corvette Z06 is shrrrrrrieking forward, prodigiously converting fuel and air into linear motion like something NASA launches off of Cape Kennedy.


borrow a phrase from the candy industry, it’s soooo indescribably delicious.

With all the fanfare surrounding ZR1 and last year’s Grand Sport, Z06 has been quietly lingering in the background while the newer Corvette models got their sales on. But let this be known; pound-for-pound, dollar-for-dollar there is no better sports car value than a Corvette Z06 from any other manufacturer,anywhere else in the world.

Consider; Z06’s 505-horsepower V-8 requires but three seconds to catapult 3,175 pounds (plus whatever you weigh) to 60 miles per hour—and it does it in first gear. The quarter-mile is dispatched in 11.7 seconds at 125 mph. The massive tires and wheels it wears, along with its magnetic suspension system and 50/50 weight distribution, enable the Corvette Z06 to routinely pull well in excess of 1.00 g on the skidpad. (Which essentially means you won’t find a curve anywhere on earth capable of fazing this car.) Let a Z06 completely off its chain on a long straight road and you’ll see 198 before it stops accelerating.

Thanks to the fiberglass body for which Corvettes have always been known, low weight is a gimme. However, the Z06 also uses an aluminum frame, a magnesium engine cradle, and carbon fiber front fenders and wheelhouses to shed the additional 138 pounds standard Corvettes carry. Our test car also came equipped with the Z07 Performance Package, adding Brembo ceramic brakes, magnetic ride control, and Michelin PS2s embracing 20-inch 20-spoke wheels done up in competition gray.

That the body of the car was also painted competition gray made for a Z06 that stood out—ironically because of the stealthy subtlety of its color scheme. Tastefully enhancing the Corvette’s appearance was the CFZ Carbon Fiber package. This laced the ‘Vette’s bounteous curves with a black-painted carbon fiber front splitter, roof panel, and side skirts. A spoiler ran all the way across the prodigious width of the Z06’s sumptuous butt, capping it all off. Absolutely breathtaking to see, that 2011 Corvette Z06 swiveled heads like a big-breasted Hollywood starlet at a Boy Scout Jamboree.

Of course, the glorious sound the Corvette makes helped swing that swivel a great deal. Just for grins, we’d run it around town holding the six-speed manual in first gear, intentionally winding the engine tightly to force open the secondary exhaust system. This makes the Z06 emit an even deeper baritone roar, one capable of both stopping your heart and setting it to pumping again.

Speaking of which, who’s up for another dose of adrenalin?

Okay, let’s see, clutch in, throttle depressed, revs holding at 4000 rpm…

The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06’s pricing starts at $74,305.


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