Automotive

The torque's the thing: 625-hp Z06 Corvette debuts in Detroit

GM threw the covers off the new Z06 in Detroit at NAIAS 2014 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)
GM threw the covers off the new Z06 in Detroit at NAIAS 2014 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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The Z06 new engine delivering 37 percent more power and 40 percent more torque than the Stingray’s LT1 engine (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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The Z06 new engine delivering 37 percent more power and 40 percent more torque than the Stingray’s LT1 engine (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)
The new Z06 uses same aluminum frame as the C7R track racers, but increased frame design means a removable, carbon fiber roof panel is included (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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The new Z06 uses same aluminum frame as the C7R track racers, but increased frame design means a removable, carbon fiber roof panel is included (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)
The Z06 aero-kit has a front splitter, a carbon fiber hood with bigger venting and the spoiler from Stingray’s Z51 performance pack as standard on base model (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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The Z06 aero-kit has a front splitter, a carbon fiber hood with bigger venting and the spoiler from Stingray’s Z51 performance pack as standard on base model (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)
Interior treatment on the Z06 is similar to that of the Stingrays, with the option of adding Sport or GT Seats to the mix (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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Interior treatment on the Z06 is similar to that of the Stingrays, with the option of adding Sport or GT Seats to the mix (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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On the extreme track racing side, the Z07 package will get you bigger winglets on the front splitter and a see through option on the giant rear wing (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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On the extreme track racing side, the Z07 package will get you bigger winglets on the front splitter and a see through option on the giant rear wing (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)
Spitting out 635 lb.ft. (816 Nm) of torque gives the new Z06 significantly more torque than a Ferrari 458, McLaren 12C and more than Chrysler’s latest Viper (Photo: CC Weiss-s/Gizmag.com)
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Spitting out 635 lb.ft. (816 Nm) of torque gives the new Z06 significantly more torque than a Ferrari 458, McLaren 12C and more than Chrysler’s latest Viper (Photo: CC Weiss-s/Gizmag.com)
The Z06 is 1.5 inches (38 mm) fatter on the front with P285/30ZR19s and 2 inches (51 mm) on the back and 335/25ZR20s in place
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The Z06 is 1.5 inches (38 mm) fatter on the front with P285/30ZR19s and 2 inches (51 mm) on the back and 335/25ZR20s in place
The new supercharger is capable of spinning up to 20,000 rpm - 5,000 rpm faster than the ZR1 LS9 and faster to boost
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The new supercharger is capable of spinning up to 20,000 rpm - 5,000 rpm faster than the ZR1 LS9 and faster to boost
The Z06 uses a 6.5 foot long carbon fiber tube, outsourced from Australia, instead of a traditional driveline to reduce torsional twisting between engine and rear end
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The Z06 uses a 6.5 foot long carbon fiber tube, outsourced from Australia, instead of a traditional driveline to reduce torsional twisting between engine and rear end
No performance specs are available, but safe to say the Z06 will be serving up some serious Ferrari challenging figures
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No performance specs are available, but safe to say the Z06 will be serving up some serious Ferrari challenging figures
The 2015 Z06 will deliver 635 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels
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The 2015 Z06 will deliver 635 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels
The new aluminum cylinder heads and forged aluminum pistons were incorporated to better dissipate heat and handle pressures in the cylinder chambers with 10:1 compression ratios and increased supercharged inputs
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The new aluminum cylinder heads and forged aluminum pistons were incorporated to better dissipate heat and handle pressures in the cylinder chambers with 10:1 compression ratios and increased supercharged inputs
Corvette’s new LT4 engine gets some of its improved power output from a newly designed 1.7L Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger
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Corvette’s new LT4 engine gets some of its improved power output from a newly designed 1.7L Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger
Z06 owners will have their choice of an 8-speed automatic gearbox or 7-speed manual
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Z06 owners will have their choice of an 8-speed automatic gearbox or 7-speed manual
Giant steel discs and Brembo brakes are standard fare on the Z06
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Giant steel discs and Brembo brakes are standard fare on the Z06
Other design elements like a redesigned front fascia and grille, air blades and larger vents all work in partner to increase cooling and downforce
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Other design elements like a redesigned front fascia and grille, air blades and larger vents all work in partner to increase cooling and downforce
The Z06 takes a number of styling cues from the Stingray
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The Z06 takes a number of styling cues from the Stingray
The Z06 fenders now accommodate bigger tires and larger vent treatments that provide increased cooling to brakes, the gearbox and engine bay
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The Z06 fenders now accommodate bigger tires and larger vent treatments that provide increased cooling to brakes, the gearbox and engine bay
The new 5.2 liter engine delivers 625 hp thanks in part to a tiny, compact supercharger placed betwixt the cylinders
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The new 5.2 liter engine delivers 625 hp thanks in part to a tiny, compact supercharger placed betwixt the cylinders
The 2015 Corvette Z06 features a standard electronic limited slip differential (eLSD) that continually adjusts engagement of the limited slip to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions
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The 2015 Corvette Z06 features a standard electronic limited slip differential (eLSD) that continually adjusts engagement of the limited slip to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions
Z06 incorporates a newly designed dry sump oiling system similar to previous Vettes
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Z06 incorporates a newly designed dry sump oiling system similar to previous Vettes
An Aussie sourced carbon fiber 6.5-ft long torque tube handles twisting forces between engine and differential
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An Aussie sourced carbon fiber 6.5-ft long torque tube handles twisting forces between engine and differential
The Z06 comes with flat bottomed steering wheel with carbon fiber inserts
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The Z06 comes with flat bottomed steering wheel with carbon fiber inserts
GM reports the new autobox will throw out upshifts 8-hundredths of a second faster than dual-clutched Porsche 911
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GM reports the new autobox will throw out upshifts 8-hundredths of a second faster than dual-clutched Porsche 911
According to GM, in order to accommodate new everything the design team unconventionally started not with the body, but with the tires
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According to GM, in order to accommodate new everything the design team unconventionally started not with the body, but with the tires
The Z06 keeps the Stingray’s SLA-type third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers, re-calibrated to fit with the Z06’s increased performance demands
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The Z06 keeps the Stingray’s SLA-type third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers, re-calibrated to fit with the Z06’s increased performance demands
A Driver Mode system lets drivers tweak out the car’s traction abilities and switch between track and street modes as needed
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A Driver Mode system lets drivers tweak out the car’s traction abilities and switch between track and street modes as needed
The lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels on the Z06 are wider than the Stingray at 19 x 10 inches up front and 20 x 12 inches out back
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The lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels on the Z06 are wider than the Stingray at 19 x 10 inches up front and 20 x 12 inches out back
Interested parties will have to wait until 2015 to get their hands on the new Z06
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Interested parties will have to wait until 2015 to get their hands on the new Z06
CR7 track racer version in the background with serious wing in place
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CR7 track racer version in the background with serious wing in place
GM threw the covers off the new Z06 in Detroit at NAIAS 2014 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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GM threw the covers off the new Z06 in Detroit at NAIAS 2014 (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)

Torque, torque, torque. One of GM’s greatest gifts to man has always been bountiful offerings of torque. Nowhere in its vehicle line-up has torque been more plentiful than in the Z Corvettes. Now with the new 2015 Z06 unveiled at NAIAS 2014 in Detroit, torque junkies are set to truly get their 635 lb-ft (816 Nm) fix on.

The 2015 Corvette Z06, sporting a new 8-speed gearbox and 625 hp has clearly been designed with the dietary mandate of chase down and eat any foreign exotics that come across the plate. To accomplish this GM has gone and delicately placed into the forward engine bay, one brand spanking new 6.2-liter, supercharged V8. This new engine will deliver 625 hp via the new 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters or a 7-speed manual. Now manual snobs can get their shift on the old fashioned way if desired.

But the one thing Americanized V8s have always been good at is developing gobs and gobs of torque. Spitting out 635 lb-ft (816 Nm) of torque to the rear wheels gives the new Z06 significantly more torque than a Ferrari 458, McLaren 12C and roughly 35 lb-ft more than Chrysler’s latest Viper.

The Z06 aero-kit has a front splitter, a carbon fiber hood with bigger venting and the spoiler from Stingray’s Z51 performance pack as standard on base model (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)
The Z06 aero-kit has a front splitter, a carbon fiber hood with bigger venting and the spoiler from Stingray’s Z51 performance pack as standard on base model (Photo: CC Weiss/Gizmag.com)

According to GM, the Corvette’s new LT4 engine gets some of its improved power output from a newly designed 1.7L Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger. Unlike turbochargers powered by exhaust gasses, the supercharger is driven directly by the engine. Capable of spinning up to 20,000 rpm, the new blower not only spins 5,000 rpm faster than the ZR1 LS9 supercharger, but is faster to boost, meaning quicker acceleration and less lag. GM is also quick to point out that, even with the new supercharger in place between the cylinder heads, the entire thing only adds roughly an inch to the overall engine height.

With the new engine delivering 37 percent more power and 40 percent more torque than the Stingray’s LT1 engine, GM had to shore up key engine elements to properly deal with the higher twisting forces and pressures. New aluminum cylinder heads and forged aluminum pistons were incorporated to better dissipate heat and handle pressures in the cylinder chambers with 10:1 compression ratios and increased supercharged inputs. A dry-sump oiling system is also in place to keep the engine profile to a minimum.

Corvette’s new LT4 engine gets some of its improved power output from a newly designed 1.7L Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger
Corvette’s new LT4 engine gets some of its improved power output from a newly designed 1.7L Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger

So with the boring power bits out of the way, what else has GM done to the Z06 to make it hyper-fantastic. Well that new 8-speed autobox, configured using aluminum and magnesium, features four gearsets and five clutches and is 8 lb (4 kg) lighter than Stingray’s 6-speed, while taking up roughly the same space. GM also reports the new autobox will throw out upshifts 8-hundredths of a second faster than the dual-clutched Porsche 911.

But with all that power comes great torsional responsibility, which is why GM has leveraged much architectural greatness from the new Stingray. The new Z06 will use the same aluminum frame as the C7R track racers, but because of the increased frame design the car will now feature a removable, carbon fiber roof panel. With the roof panel in place the Z06 is 60 percent stiffer than its predecessor.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 features a standard electronic limited slip differential (eLSD) that continually adjusts engagement of the limited slip to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions
The 2015 Corvette Z06 features a standard electronic limited slip differential (eLSD) that continually adjusts engagement of the limited slip to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions

Another fancy old school trick to better handle torsional power is the inclusion of an all carbon-fibere torque tube. This tube of torque is an encased driveline system, connected directly from the transmission to the differential. Like the system used in my 1963 AMC Rambler Ambassador, the system is designed to reduce twisting forces between the front and back of the car and instead distribute them more evenly across the entire length of the car. This 6.5 ft (2 m) long carbon fiber tube is outsourced from Australia then put in place at the Vette’s factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

On the outside, the new Corvette Z06 comes off as something to be taken rather seriously. According to GM, in order to accommodate new everything the design team unconventionally started not with the body, but with the tires.

In order for the car to work as a cohesive package and manage new power outputs, GM had to fit out the car with bigger tires. At 1.5 inches (38 mm) fatter on the front with P285/30ZR19s and 2 inches (51 mm) on the back with 335/25ZR20s, the team had to beef out the haunches accordingly. So the car isn’t just made wider to look meaner, it’s part of a functional mandate where fenders now accommodate bigger tires and larger vent treatments provide increased cooling to brakes, the gearbox and engine bay.

Other design elements like a redesigned front fascia and grille, air blades and larger vents all work in partner to increase cooling and downforce.

A Driver Mode system lets drivers tweak out the car’s traction abilities and switch between track and street modes as needed
A Driver Mode system lets drivers tweak out the car’s traction abilities and switch between track and street modes as needed

Lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels on the Z06 are wider than the Stingray at 19 x 10 inches up front and 20 x 12 inches out back, with big honking steel discs and massive Brembo brakes on hand for stopping. The new Z06 also keeps the Stingray’s SLA-type suspension. Third-generation Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers from the Stingray have been re-calibrated to fit with the Z06’s increased performance demands.

Speaking of aerodynamic enhancements, the Z06 will offer buyers three types of aero-kits. The base Z06 comes standard with a front splitter, a carbon fiber hood with bigger venting and the spoiler from Stingray’s Z51 performance pack. Step up to the next level and GM will throw in a carbon fiber splitter with winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels and one very significant rear spoiler. On the extreme track racing side, the Z07 package will get you bigger winglets on the front splitter and a see-through option on the rear wing.

Inside the car where the important driving stuff happens, the Driver Mode system lets drivers tweak out the car’s traction abilities. An Active stability control system lets drivers switch between track and street modes, while various traction control systems vary the amount of power hitting the back wheels. Interior treatment on the Z06 is similar to that of the Stingrays, with the option of adding Sport or GT Seats to the mix.

GM will make buyers wait until 2015 to get their sweaty hands on the new Z06 Corvette. Performance specs and details will become available over the next year prior to production.

Source: General Motors

4 comments
solutions4circuits
Unbelievably cartoonish and tacky design and color scheme. Makes me pine for my 2001 Z06
Mel Tisdale
Surely, a torque tube completely removes any application of longitudinal "twisting forces" by the power unit to the body shell, not "distribute them more evenly across the entire length of the car," doesn't it?
Gargamoth
This car is Cool, from the most old fashioned sense to anything new today. I love it and hope to own one. Style is great I did think at one point the Stingray would look differently (blame the Transformers movie) but It's great. Foreign automobiles cost as much as they do because it cost a lot of money to bring them to the US. Components engineered on the race track are put into the Corvette you drive on the road now, who else does that? If anything there commercials that say they are race "inspired", not when you drive a Corvette. Not a car that 51k. Maybe 200 plus k, but not 51k. America wins this argument
The Skud
Like the rear side view, not so much the front side view. The front seems 'narrow' compared to those huge rear flanks to accommodate the huge tyres (tires for the US readers). If they ever make a 4WD version with power and torque splitting diffs, they will sell many, many more.