November 20, 2007

Corvette Z06 and Corvette Z07

Corvette Z06

Corvette Z06 refers to a super high-performance version of the Chevrolet Corvette.

The 1963 Corvette Z06 could only be ordered in the Coupe body style, just like today's Z06 but only being able to order the option in the Fixed Roof Coupe. The original Corvette Z06 cars were also limited production cars with only 199 being built in five production runs. The first cars were built for established racers such as Mickey Thompson. Six cars were built in October 1962 and sold to the dealers that sponsored Corvette race teams. These cars were picked up at the factory in Saint Louis and driven on the road to California. Within weeks the Z06 Sting Ray had won its first race at Riverside.

The Corvette Z06 was an outstanding car from the start. To drive the car on the street was very enjoyable and not many cars in their stock configuration could keep up with Corvette Z06. From the outside there was no way to tell that the car was a Corvette Z06, the badging was the same as the normal fuel injected Corvette. The best Corvette yet? Well, ask any Corvette owner and they'll tell you which is the best...theirs.

Corvette Z07

The Corvette Z07 is a phenomenon. Despite a substandard interior, its power, dynamics, and styling have given it international credibility the C5 struggled to achieve and the gold-chain-inspiring C3 and C4 could only dream of. Now it's talked of as a competitor for Porsche 911, Aston Martin V-8 Vantage, various BMW Ms, and Mercedes AMGs.

Word in Detroit is the long-awaited Corvette Z07, codenamed the Blue Devil after Rick Wagoner's alma mater's NCAA team, is now called Z07. Purists at GM have balked at naming it the Corvette SS, after Zora Arkus-Duntov's definitive Chevy sport racer. Corvette Super Sport had been the expected name for the last year or so.

It's not coming as soon as you'd hoped: It'll be a 2009 model. Bet on the 505-horsepower Z06 becoming the standard C7 Corvette.

The Corvette Z07/SS/Blue Devil is fast becoming one of the worst kept secrets in Detroit. It's not for GM's lack of trying to keep the lid on it, but rather on account of the zealous nature of the Corvette Nation. They're an impatient bunch and are having a hard time waiting for next year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where many suspect the super Corvette will bow.

The shaky shots could show some serious braking hardware and what appears to be more extreme air extractor vents behind the front wheels. Aside from that, it appears the Corvette Z07 may look much like the Z06. We have to qualify all this with the disclaimer that the car is most likely not a final production model and may be nothing like what we eventually see on stage in January. Still, a polycarbonate window? We admit, didn't see that one coming.

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