From the November 2022 issue of Car and Driver.
Until now, no one would have thought that throwing a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R gummies on a sports car would improve ride quality. But it’s true on the Z06 when paired with the $9995 carbon-fiber wheels, which shed a claimed 41 pounds.
That this most extreme version of the Z06 is amazingly livable over far-from-smooth Michigan pavement is surprising, given that this car is also capable of setting many a track record. Going hardcore means you should choose the base targa body style, which saves about 90 pounds versus the convertible, and the $8995 Z07 Performance package. That’s actually a relative bargain, as it includes the carbon-ceramic rotors that cost $8495 alone, which makes the Cup 2 Rs only $500. Going Z07 also requires the aggressive Aero package for another $8495 (or $10,495 in exposed carbon fiber). The Aero package generates 734 pounds of downforce at 186 mph and brings a stiffer gas-guzzler penalty—$3000 versus the standard car’s $2600, presumably thanks to increased drag.
Oh, don’t worry, this Z06 is plenty sharper too. Its dramatically stiffer wheels necessitated a different steering calibration. Turn-in is preternatural, the steering is purer, and, another surprise, this car better resists tramlining too.
Getting the targa also means the engine is visible, and shouldn’t you be able to see the 8500-rpm widget that’s causing a queue to pay $43,400 more than a regular Stingray costs? We thought having a line of sight to the 670-hp LT6 might affect the sound inside the cabin, but subjectively it doesn’t, although the targa measured quieter at wide-open throttle than the convertible, 94 decibels to 96. Other than the shriek to redline, the exhaust’s guttural throat clearing when tipping in and out of the throttle at elevated rpm tickled our car-enthusiast innards every time. Very Ferrari. A double-paddle pull lets the engine free rev and is a guaranteed way to draw a crowd—you can hear its wail from miles away.
At the test track, this one got to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 10.5 at 131 mph, gains of 0.1 and 0.2 second, and 2 mph, respectively, over the 133-pound-heavier convertible. The initial leap to 30 mph happens in 1.0 second flat, tying the 991-generation Porsche 911 GT3 RS and GT2 RS for quickest launch we’ve ever recorded in a rear-drive car and bettering many all-wheel-drive sports cars. Chevy’s launch control is exceptionally dialed in.
Although the new Z06 decisively shows its taillights to the previous-gen car in a straight line, the C7 Z06 stopped shorter and cornered harder. Adding an extra 108 pounds to an already heavy car never helps. On the skidpad, we measured 1.16 g’s, better than the 1.12 g’s of the convertible on Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber, but short of Chevy’s claim of 1.22 g’s, which requires tire pressures much lower than those specified on the door placard (the Z07’s placard pressures are higher than the regular car’s to increase wet traction). The skidpad also brings out the Z06’s understeer.
With its angry startup, high-pitched wail, and ability to spin its crankshaft to speeds that would shoot pushrods through a small-block, this latest Z06 is far more special. It’s also best served hardcore.
2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 w/Z07
Vehicle Type: mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door targa
Base/As Tested: $127,185/$166,205
Options: 3LZ equipment group (leather-wrapped interior with microfiber headliner, heated and ventilated GT2 bucket seats, navigation, wireless phone charging), $13,850; visible carbon-fiber wheels, $11,995; carbon-fiber interior trim, $4995; front-axle lift, $2595; visible carbon-fiber targa top, $2495; Bright Red painted calipers, $695; black exhaust tips, $395
DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 333 in3, 5463 cm3
Power: 670 hp @ 8400 rpm
Torque: 460 lb-ft @ 6300 rpm
8-speed dual-clutch automatic
Suspension, F/R: control arms/control arms
Brakes, F/R: 15.7-in vented, cross-drilled carbon-ceramic disc/15.4-in vented, cross-drilled carbon-ceramic disc
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R ZP
F: 275/30ZR-20 (97Y) TPC
R: 345/25ZR-21 (104Y) TPC
Wheelbase: 107.2 in
Length: 185.9 in
Width: 79.7 in
Height: 48.6 in
Passenger Volume: 51 ft3
Cargo Volume: 13 ft3
Curb Weight: 3666 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 2.6 sec
100 mph: 5.9 sec
130 mph: 10.3 sec
1/4-Mile: 10.5 sec @ 131 mph
150 mph: 15.2 sec
170 mph: 24.9 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 3.1 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.0 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 2.2 sec
Top Speed (mfr’s claim): 189 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 139 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 274 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.16 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 12 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 14/12/19 mpg
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
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