The Corvette Z06 interior blends fine materials and craftsmanship with advanced technologies that contribute to a more connected and more engaging driving experience.
The all-new 2015+ Corvette Z06 is the most pwoerful factory produced Corvette ever.
The heart of the Corvette Z06 is the all-new LT4 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine, expected to deliver a485kw (650hp) and 881nm (650lb-ft). To balance performance and efficiency, the LT4 leverages the same trio of advanced technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray: direct injection, Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing.
These technologies – combined with the fuel-efficient multi-speed transmissions, aerodynamic design and lightweight construction – help make the new Z06 surprisingly fuel efficient.
To maintain the Z06’s mass and performance targets, the LT4 engine was designed with a more-efficient, more-compact supercharger. Even with its integrated supercharger/intercooler assembly mounted in the valley between the cylinder heads, the engine is only about one inch (25mm) taller than the Corvette Stingray’s LT1 engine – while delivering nearly 37 percent more horsepower and 40 percent more torque.
A 1.7L supercharger spins at up to 20,000 rpm – 5,000 rpm more than the supercharger on the Corvette ZR1’s engine. The rotors are smaller in diameter, which contributes to their higher-rpm capability – and enables them to produce power-enhancing boost earlier in the rpm band. That boost is achieved more efficiently via a more direct discharge port that creates less turbulence, reducing heat and speeding airflow into the engine.
7-SPEED MANUAL AND 8-SPEED AUTO TRANSMISSIONS
The supercharged LT4 is offered with a standard seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match or the 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission designed to enhance both performance and efficiency.
The seven-speed manual incorporates rev-matching technology for upshifts and downshifts. This driver-selectable feature can be easily engaged or disengaged via paddles on the steering wheel. The seven-speed is used with a new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch, which deliver greater shift quality and feel through lower inertia.
The eight-speed automatic is tuned for world-class shift-response times, and smaller steps between gears keep the LT4 within the sweet spot of the rpm band, making the most of the output of the supercharged engine for exhilarating performance and greater efficiency.
For performance driving, the transmission offers full manual control via steering wheel paddles, and unique algorithms to deliver shift performance that rivals the dual-clutch/semi-automatic transmissions found in many supercars – but with the smoothness and refinement that come with a conventional automatic fitted with a torque converter.
In fact, the 8L90’s controller analyzes and executes commands 160 times per second, and wide-open throttle upshifts are executed up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than those of the dual-clutch transmission offered in the Porsche 911.
Featuring four gearsets and five clutches, creative packaging enables the GM-developed eight-speed automatic to fit the same space as the six-speed automatic in the Corvette Stingray. Extensive use of aluminium and magnesium make it more than eight pounds (4 kg) lighter than the six-speed. Along with design features that reduce friction, the 8L90 is expected to contribute up to 5-percent greater efficiency, when compared with a six-speed automatic.
DESIGNED FOR DOWNFORCE
The performance targets of the Z06 also posed a challenge for the design team, which had to create a striking design that also contributed to increased capabilities. The design changes began not with the exterior panels, but the tyres.
To deliver the levels of grip needed for the Z06’s performance targets, the car is fitted with larger Michelin tyres (Pilot Super Sport tyres for the Z06; Sport Cup 2 tyres with the Z07 package). The P285/30ZR19 front tyres are 1.5 inches wider than the tyres on the Stingray, while the 335/25ZR20 rear tyres are two inches wider.
And to cover the wider tyre tread, the fenders of the Z06 were extended by 2.2 inches (56 mm) at the front, and 3.15 inches (80 mm) at the rear. These extensions give the Corvette Z06 a wider, lower appearance further emphasised by a unique rear fascia. It incorporates the same taillamp assemblies as the Stingray, but on the Z06 the taillamps are pushed approximately three inches farther apart, toward the edges of the body.
The tyres are mounted on lightweight, spin-cast aluminium wheels that are also wider than the Stingray (19 x 10 inches in front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear). Their open, ultralight design showcases the massive Brembo brakes, which are part of the design aesthetic:
To harness the cornering and braking grip afforded by the larger tyres and brakes, the exterior of the Corvette Z06 is tailored to produce aerodynamic downforce that presses the tyres to the ground at high speeds.
The Z06 offers three increasing levels of aerodynamic downforce:
The exterior design also reflects the increased cooling required for the new Corvette Z06. For example, the mesh pattern on the front fascia was painstakingly designed to deliver the most possible airflow to the supercharger’s intercooler heat exchanger, so much so that the mesh grill directs more air into the engine bay than if the grille was removed.
The unique grille also features dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom serve as air diffusers. The grille is complemented with a larger hood vent, which vents hot air from the engine compartment and contributes to downforce by allowing air driven through the grille to exit through the hood rather than being forced under the car, which could create lift.
Additional cooling elements include larger front fender vents and unique air blades over the inlets on the rear fenders of Coupe models, which force about 50 percent more air into the cooling ducts for the transmission and differential coolers than those on the Stingray. Convertible models feature under-body inlets. To cope with the additional airflow, Z06 Coupe and Convertible also have larger rear-fascia openings than the Stingray.
Standard front and rear brake-cooling ducts, including Z06-signature rear ducts integrated in front of the rear fender openings, are also part of the functional design changes over Stingray models.
The seventh-generation Corvette Z06’s aluminium structure is 20 percent stiffer than the previous, fixed-roof Z06. As there are no structural reinforcements needed for the Z06 Convertible, it has a nearly identical curb weight as the Z06 Coupe. They also share the same chassis tuning, powertrain output, driver technologies and equipment options – including the track-focused Z07 Performance Package.
Like the structure, there are only minor design changes from the Z06 Coupe to Convertible. The convertible features a fully electronic top that can be lowered remotely using the car’s key fob. The top can also be opened or closed on the go, at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h).
With the top up, the Z06 Convertible is designed for a refined driving experience. A thick fabric top – offered in four colours – with sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window contribute to a quiet cabin and premium appearance.
With the top down, the Corvette’s signature profile is further accentuated. Behind the seat backs, dual Carbon Flash-painted or available carbon fiber accent panels enhance the character lines of the tonneau cover. Corvette Stingray’s signature “waterfall” design originates in the valley between the nacelles, bringing the exterior colour into the interior.
The power-operated tonneau cover necessitated moving the air intakes for the differential and transmission coolers, from the rear quarter panels on the Z06 Coupe to the underbody of the Z06 Convertible. Otherwise, both models share the same, performance-driven aesthetic.
Inside, the Corvette Z06 is distinguished from the Corvette Stingray by unique colour schemes that emphasise the driver-focused cockpit, and a unique, flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Like the Stingray, the Z06 will be offered with two seating choices: a GT seat, for all-around comfort, and a Competition Sport seat with more aggressive side bolstering, which provides greater support on the track. The frame structure for both seats is made of magnesium, for greater strength. They’re also more rigid, contributing to the enhanced feeling of support during performance driving.
TRACK PROVEN STRUCTURE AND TECHNOLOGIES
The Corvette Z06 leverages the technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray, including the strategic use of lightweight materials and advanced driver technologies, with unique features and calibrations tailored for its capabilities.
Its aluminium frame is produced in-house at General Motors’ Bowling Green assembly plant. It’s the same robust, lightweight frame used on the Corvette Stingray and it is used essentially unchanged for the C7.R race cars.
The stiffer design of the aluminium frame allows the Corvette Z06 to be offered with a removable roof panel for the first time. With the lightweight, carbon fiber roof panel removed, the new Corvette Z06 offers 20 percent more structural rigidity than the previous model’s fixed-roof design. It is 60 percent stiffer than the previous model with the roof panel installed.
The new Z06 retains the SLA-type front and rear suspension design of the Corvette Stingray but is uniquely calibrated for the higher performance threshold. The third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers are standard on Z06. They can be adjusted for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the standard Driver Mode Selector.
The smart electronic limited-slip differential, or eLSD, is standard on the Z06 to make the most of the torque split between the rear wheels. The system features a hydraulically actuated clutch that can infinitely vary clutch engagement and can respond from open to full engagement in tenths of a second. It shifts torque based on a unique algorithm that factors in vehicle speed, steering input and throttle position to improve steering feel, handling balance and traction.
The performance targets of the Z06 posed a challenge for the design team, which had to create a striking design that also contributed to increased capabilities.
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