Corvette ZO6 on The Market
2008 Corvette Z06
From The Private Collection of City Classic Cars
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When GM unveiled this monster of an engine late 2005, they wanted the world to know that it can take on the best of Europe with its new 505-hp Z06, the fastest Corvette the company has ever produced. To make that point, GM held the first press drive of this American sports car in Europe. The three-day tour began in Germany, headed west to Belgium, and then southwest for Paris. The Ford GT, Porsche, and Ferrari were all present at the test.
As road and track noted, "the onlookers witnessed the arrival of a car that exposes the majority of European sports cars for what they are: overpriced, underperforming snobs." The LS7 Power is ferocious even under 2019 circumstances.
Back in 2008, The Z06 was the most powerful and expensive model in the Vette lineup and, interestingly, the lightest. Usually, the best-performing car in any model lineup is the beefiest, because adding horsepower generally means fortifying other parts of the car to withstand the strain caused by big power. The Z06's expanded power comes from a pushrod 7.0-liter V-8 engine. Except for the titanium connecting rods and intake valves, there's nothing in this engine's parts list to suggest that it's a monster motor. The genius here is in the details, with careful attention paid to maximum airflow and valvetrain weight and stiffness. The result is a big engine that revs like a small one to 7000 rpm with a 6300-rpm horsepower peak. The torque curve is wide and flat with more than 400 pound-feet available between 2400 and 6400 rpm.
To handle an engine that could twist a maple tree like a washrag, Chevy beefed up the rear axle, the six-speed manual transmission, and the clutch, and installed wider wheels and larger brakes. The idea, according to assistant chief engineer Tadge Juechter, was to create a robust platform that could deal with the stresses and heat of the big motor. To that end, the team also added coolers for every fluid except brake fluid and enlarged the radiator. To maintain oil pressure during sustained high-g cornering maneuvers, they also installed a dry-sump oil system on the engine. Engine oil is usually carried in a deep pan that hangs on the bottom of the engine, but a dry-sump system uses a shallow pan and an external oil reservoir. Oil capacity is eight quarts for the Z06 versus 5.5 for the base car.
This ZO6 can rip to 60 mph in only 3.6 seconds, hit 100 in 7.9, and 150 in 17.5. That's on par with or better than the performance of the $163,345 2008 Ford GT, and $210,785 2008 Ferrari F430. Likewise, the brakes are terrific, bringing the King Kong Vette to a standstill from 70 mph in only 162 feet. And it pulls 0.98 g on the skidpad.
This beauty packs more power than a 2018 base model Corvette and costs less than half of a 2019 ZO6 Corvette with prices North of $90, 000. This Vette has reached its near bottom and prices will begin to hold then gradually rise. The unveiling of the mid-engine Corvette in 2020 is sure to make the front engine Corvettes collector items. This 31, 000 original miles ZO6 will not last! King Kong can be yours today for $39,900.