Meet the 2015 Corvette Z06 and C7.R

January 13, 2014

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Chevrolet’s 2015 Corvette Z06 is a very important vehicle for the company.  It needs to be one helluva follow-up to the bow tie gang’s Stingray, the North American Car of the Year.  The 50 ‘Vette convoy in which the new Z06 traveled to Detroit’s Cobo Center made the car look as if it was the emperor of Cybertron.Mark Reuss, General Motors’ global head of product development, was on stage to welcome it…to golf claps.  Where was the love, people?!  “The Big Nasty” rolled out and quickly shed its checkered-flag cover.  Chevy’s “most capable Corvette, ever” will pack the rumored supercharged 6.2-liter LT4, which will develop “better than 625 horsepower” and “more than 635 foot-pounds of torque.”  Such figures, and the Z06′s co-development with the C7.R race car, helped it beat the C6 ZR1′s time at the Milford Road Course.

In a departure from the out-going Z06, the 2015 model will offer the choice of two transmissions: a seven-speed manual with Active Rev Matching and a GM-sourced 8-speed auto with paddle shifters.  (No mention of the latter being a dual-clutch unit.)20140111_152735 The new super-Corvette will also have a removable carbon fiber roof panel, the use of which is made possible by the Z06′s 60-percent-stiffer aluminum frame.  Other goodies include Magnetic Ride Control, an electronic limited-slip differential, Drive Mode Selector and the Performance Data Recorder we told you about here: http://ls1tech.com/articles/feel-like-professional-racer-without-even-wearing-helmet-corvette-performance-data-recorder/

Then, Dan Ammann, GM’s new president, came out to introduce (or “day-boo”) the direct-injected C7.R to a backdrop of gut-bucket rock music and engine revs.  Sadly, its first appearance was quickly overshadowed by Ammann’s bragging about Chevrolet.  Here are some of the company’s 2013 highlights:

- The Camaro outsold the Mustang for the fourth year in a row.
- Cars wearing bow ties won the manufacturers’ championships in NASCAR, IndyCar, American Le Mans, Grand Am and World Challenge.
- It moved 26 percent of all performance cars sold in the U.S.
- Even with a 6-month production break (in which to launch the new Stingray), Corvette sales more than doubled those of the Porsche 911.
- The automaker sold nearly 5 million vehicles around the world.

Then…that was it.  An underwhelming – and disappointingly short – world premiere for an eagerly anticipated supercar.  Hopefully, the actual vehicle will not be such a let-down.  Production of the hyperbolic new Corvette begins later this year.  Deliveries will start hitting the road in early 2015.  In the meantime, you can check www.corvettez06.com for more information.

Did you watch the debut of the Z06?  Was it exhilarating or milquetoast?  What do you think about Chevy putting an auto on the options list?  Is that sacrilege or a forgivable attempt at higher sales?