Few things leak more fervently than the product development divisions, of every major automaker, just prior to an impending worldwide debut. This is evidenced by recently revealed photos of the latest high-performance supercar in the Chevrolet stable. It seems that photos of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible, scheduled to make its worldwide debut during the 2014 New York International Auto Show later this week, have “slipped” out accompanied by an official press release from General Motors. The 2015 Z06 Convertible will be the first drop-top Z06 offered from the factory since 1963, when records indicate that only one was sold. Here’s hoping that the latest Z06, which offers supercar performance, everyday driving practicality, long-distance driving comfort, and the 360-degree open-air driving experience fairs better — we imagine that it will.
The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 represents the latest and most innovative aluminum chassis and frame technologies ever employed in a production vehicle. Using experience gained in 24-hour endurance racing, along with over 180,000 computational hours of development, the 2015 Z06 has been created with a frame which is lighter than steel yet durable enough to withstand the extreme demands of a 600+ horsepower engine. It is comprised of five specially designed frame segments which enable engineers to maximize strength and firmness while minimizing weight and mass.
The 2015 Z06 incorporates a power retractable convertible top into the overall high-performance focus 0f this car with the ability to open and close at speeds up to 30-mph. The premium thick fabric top will be available in four-colors; all of which offer premium sound deadening properties, and a rear window made of glass, contributing to a quieter cabin in addition to a fantastic appearance.
Nearly every exterior feature of the Z06 is as much about function as about appearance. Large multi-purpose air-intake vents supply the engine, transmission, differential, and braking system with cooling air, as well as helping to enhance aerodynamic properties. The front air intakes incorporate specially designed mesh inserts that inhale ambient air, allowing it to be delivered to the supercharger intercooler heat exchanger and brake- cooling intakes. Air that is routed through the grilles via the diffusers is allowed t escape through a large vent in the hood, reducing the possibility of vehicle lift at high-speeds. The large flared fenders (2.25-inches wider than the normal ‘Vette in the front and 3.15-inches wider in the rear) accommodate the huge “Z” rated Pilot Super Sport tires needed to provide optimum traction for the near competition grade powertrain. The wider fenders also serve to give the Z06 a wider more aggressive appearance, accentuated by its unique rear fascia with spread tail light configuration. Signature rear ducts, integrated into the body of the car in front of the rear wheel openings, act as functional rear brake cooling vents. More aggressive aerodynamic packages are also offered for those who wish to push the convertible’s limitations even further. Some feature a totally adaptable aerodynamic system for increased grip during high-speed cornering maneuvers along with added downforce and stability in the straightaways.
Three aerodynamic packages are offered for the Z06. The first is standard equipment and features spats around the front wheel openings, a carbon-fiber hood with relief vent, and a rear spoiler. The carbon-fiber aero package delivers aerodynamic downforce four-times greater than the standard Z06, which is on the cutting edge of production vehicles, using a carbon-fiber front splitter and aircraft style winglets, carbon-fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with small vertical tabs fixed to the edges. It is offered in black or natural carbon-fiber finish. The available Z07 package adds larger winglets to the front splitter and a larger fully adjustable rear spoiler for even greater aerodynamic capability.
The wheels are specially designed ultra-lightweight spin-cast aluminum, with an open aesthetic that showcases the massive Brembo cross-drilled and vented brake rotors and aluminum multi-piston brake calipers. The Z06 is equipped with 33-millimeter rotors and six-piston aluminum calipers in the front and 25-millimter rotors with four-piston aluminum calipers in the rear. An optional Z07 braking package upgrades the rotors to carbon-ceramic-matrix composition (35-millimeters in diameter for the front and 33-mllimeters for the rear). The Carbon-ceramic-matrix rotors shave 23 pounds from the overall vehicle weight of the car. The tires feature the highest speed rating of “Z” for street legal rubber, in P285/30ZR19 front, and 335/25ZR20 rear, Pilot Super Sport.
Under the hood, the most powerful engine ever used in a Chevrolet convertible vehicle, the supercharged 6.2-liter LS4 utilizes direct fuel injection, active fuel management, continuously variable timing, and cylinder deactivation technology to deliver 625-horsepower 635 lb.-ft. of torque and (according to initial reports) surprisingly efficient fuel mileage. Standard equipment is a seven-speed manual transmission but a new 8L90 eight-speed with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters is available, as well. The 2015 Corvette Z06 is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in only 3.5-seconds.
The interior of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible will offer every possible amenity available to provide driver and passenger alike the premium riding and driving experience. A steel reinforced “grab-bar” on the center console provides passengers with an added security element while being totally embraced in luxurious soft-touch materials. Two seating choices are available; a GT seat provides balanced support and comfort and a Competition Sport seat offers more aggressive support with heavier track level bolstering. Both seats are built using a magnesium frame structure for added rigidity and support without the added weight of steel. A racing inspired flat-bottom steering wheel with carbon-fiber center spoke beckons to the driving enthusiast in all of us while the premium interior trappings — from fine Napa leather to aluminum to carbon-fiber to micro-suede — add an elegant appeal. There are five available interior color choices; blue and dark grey are exclusive to the Z06 level Corvette.
Once inside the Z06 Convertible, the latest and most innovative driver assistance features will capture your imagination and permit you to custom tailor your driving experience according to your capabilities. While the Z06 has retained the short/long arm suspension setup, there is nothing old-fashioned about it. Lightweight aluminum alloy construction combined with Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers, electronic stability and traction control, and variably assisted power steering offer today’s driving enthusiast more options then ever.
- Performance Traction Management: Available in Track mode and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving
- Electronic Limited Slip Differential: Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages, balancing steering response and stability in different driving conditions with more aggressive performance in Sport and Track modes.
- Launch control: Available in Track mode for manual and automatic transmissions, providing maximum off-the-line acceleration
- Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions