Chevrolet Corvette C6
The Chevrolet Corvette C6 is the sixth and current generation of Chevrolet Corvettes. It was introduced in 2005, and according to several issues of Motor Trend magazine, will be superseded by the C7 Corvette in the 2012 calendar year.
Compared to the fifth generation, the "C6" gets an overhaul of the suspension geometry, all new bodywork with exposed headlamps (for the first time since 1962), a larger passenger compartment, a larger 6.0 L (364 cu in; 5967 cc) engine, and a much higher level of refinement. Overall, it is 5.1 inches (13 cm) shorter than the C5, but its wheelbase has increased by 1.2 inches (3 cm). It is also one inch (2.5 cm) narrower. The 6.0 L LS2 V8 produces 400 hp (298 kW) at 6000 rpm and 400 lb·ft (542 N·m) of torque at 4400 rpm.
With an automatic transmission, the Corvette achieves 15/25 mpg (city/highway); the manual-transmission model gets 16/26 mpg. The Corvette's manual transmission is fitted with Computer Aided Gear Shifting (CAGS), obligating the driver to shift from 1st directly to 4th when operating at lower RPMs. This boosts the EPA's derived fuel economy thus allowing the buyer to avoid paying the "gas guzzler" tax.
For the 2008 model, the Corvette receives a new engine, the LS3. With displacement increased to 6.2 liters (376 cu in; 6162 cc) , power is increased to 430 hp (321 kW) and 424 lb·ft (575 N·m) of torque, or 436 hp (325 kW) and 428 lb·ft (580 N·m) with the optional vacuum actuated valve exhaust. The previous Tremec T56 transmission on manual Corvettes was replaced with a new version, the TR6060, in model year 2008. Manual Corvettes have improved shift linkage; the automatic model is set up for quicker shifts, and (according to Chevrolet) goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, faster than any other production automatic Corvette. According to automotive review website New Car Test Drive, the Corvette's 0 to 60 time is actually 4.2 seconds, faster than both the Porsche 911 Carrera and the Jaguar XK8. The steering has also been tightened up for much improved feel. The wheels were also updated to a new five-spoke design.
The Corvette Z06 arrived as a 2006 model in the third quarter of 2005. It has a 7.0 L (7,008 cc/427.6 cu in) version of the Small-Block engine codenamed LS7. The Z06 achieves a fuel economy of 15 mpg-US (16 L/100 km; 18 mpg-imp) in the city and 24 mpg-US (9.8 L/100 km; 29 mpg-imp) on the highway, and the output is 505 hp (376 kW). Car and Driver recorded a 0-60 mph time of 3.6 seconds in their March 2007 comparison test.
A Corvette variant was first reported by several print and online publications, based on rumor from General Motors was developing a production version of the Corvette above the Z06 level, under the internal code name Blue Devil (named after GM CEO Rick Wagoner's alma mater, Duke University). The car was originally rumored to feature a supercharged LS9 engine producing more than 650 hp (485 kW) with prices reported to exceed $100,000 USD.
The October 12, 2006 issue of AutoWeek published photos by photographer Chris Doane of a C6 with special auto-manufacturer-issued license plates on a Z06 with a hood bulge, widely thought to confirm the presence of a supercharger on the Blue Devil. Other names attached to the project included Corvette SS or Corvette Z07. In February 2007, a worker at a Michigan shipping company posted pictures online of a powertrain development mule that was being shipped to Germany, believed to be part of the Blue Devil program. The car had manufacturer's license plates, carbon-ceramic brakes, enlarged fender vents, a hood bulge, and an engine with a positive-displacement supercharger in the valley between the cylinder banks and a water-to-air intercooler atop it. The photographer was fired and may face civil or criminal legal action, pending a GM investigation.
GM began to release details on the Blue Devil project in April 2007, and revealed the ZR1 in December. The company confirmed the existence of the project in an interview with Car and Driver on April 13. Power levels were confirmed to be between 600 and 700 horsepower (447 to 521 kW), but contrary to prior rumors of a supercharged 6.2 liter engine, the engine was only confirmed to have greater displacement than the 7.0 liter LS7 in the Z06. Motor Trend confirmed the official name for the production Blue Devil, resurrecting the old ZR1 nameplate. The ZR1 had originally been used on developmental cars in 1971, and again as ZR-1 as the top performance model on the C4 Corvette. General Motors officially revealed the 2009 Corvette ZR1 on December 19, giving a press release and photographs of the car. GM confirmed a supercharged 6.2 L LS9 V8 producing 620 hp (460 kW). Performance figures were not released, but GM acknowledged that the car was capable of 200 mph (320 km/h), making it the fastest production Corvette ever.
Carbon fiber is used on the roof, hood, fenders, front splitter, and rocker moldings; the hood and fenders are painted over, while the roof and splitter are merely covered in a clear-coat, retaining their black color. A polycarbonate window is placed in the center of the hood, allowing the engine intercooler to be seen from the exterior. The wheels are the largest ever placed on a production Corvette, with both front and rear wheels increasing in size and diameter over the Corvette Z06. Carbon-ceramic brakes are included. The brake calipers are painted blue, as are the engine intercooler trim and the ZR1 logo. Magnetic Selective Ride Control is also included on the car, with sensors to automatically adjust stiffness levels based on road conditions and vehicle movement.
The C6.R was a replacement for the C5-R, built by Pratt & Miller, and unveiled for its first competition at the 2005 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race of the American Le Mans Series. It came in second and third in its class, just behind the new Aston Martin DBR9 racecar. It was put on display a week later at the New York International Auto Show next to the Z06.
In 2006, the Corvette C6.R won both American Le Mans GT1 Championships: Teams and Manufacturers. On March 17, 2007 it won the GT1 class in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
For Le Mans 2007, four C6.R's were on the entry list, the two Corvette Racing entries joined by single entries from the Luc Alphand Aventures and PSI-Motorsport teams.
The heart of the C6.R, its LS7.R motor, was crowned as Global Motorsport Engine of the Year by a jury of 50 race engine engineers on the Professional Motorsport World Expo 2006 in Cologne, Germany.
Entered in the FIA GT3 European Championship series as a GT3 class car, the Z06-R is a modified production Z06. Changes were necessary to make the car endurance race ready. These include a stripped interior, full rollcage for safety, center-locking wheels, carbon fiber doors, rear deck spoiler and front splitter. The engine and drivetrain are stock but the former is mapped for 98 octane race fuel. The result is a 7200 rpm redline, 200 higher than stock and 10 extra horsepower. The car is not road legal.
Eight Z06-R were constructed by Callaway Competition GmbH in Leingarten, Germany, for the 2006 season. The French team Riverside campaigned a three car team. In an effort to achieve parity among the disparate participants of the GT3 Series, three forms of handicapping were applied by the FIA regulators: additional vehicle weight, ride height, and tire compound selection. The Corvettes were raced with all three handicaps employed. The Z06R won the FIA GT3 European Championship in its second year of entry. Z06-Rs are also campaigned in national championships.
|2005||37,372||$44,245||New C6 body is first with fixed headlights since 1962; no Z06 model and a late convertible introduction|
|2006||34,021||$43,800||Z06 debuts; 6-speed automatic with paddle shift available on non-Z06 models|
|2007||40,561||$44,250||6-speed automatic paddle shift delays are reduced drastically compared to 2006|
|2008||35,310||$46,950||Mild freshening, LS3 introduced, All leather interior added (LT4, LZ3)|
- EPA estimate
- "LS3 Overview - GM Powertrain" (DOC). GM. http://media.gm.com/us/powertrain/en/product_services/2008/Whats%20New/Gen%20IV/Gen%20IV%20Car/08%20LS3.doc.
- "Six-Speed Manual Tremec T56 (MM6/M12) Car Transmission" (DOC). GM. http://media.gm.com/us/powertrain/en/product_services/2008/Whats%20New/Transmissions/2008%20Manual%20Transmission/08_MM6_MZ6.doc. Retrieved on 2008-11-27.
- First Drive: 2008 Chevrolet Corvette
- McCullough, Mitch. "2008 Chevrolet Corvette". New Car Test Drive. http://www.nctd.com/review-intro.cfm?Vehicle=2008_Chevrolet_Corvette&ReviewID=3652. Retrieved on 2008-11-22.
- EPA estimate
- Is Blue Devil Alive? Chevy Performance Might Be Heating Up article from AutoWeek
- Auto Week prototype Blue Devil photos
- Z07 coming in late 2008 article by Motor Trend
- 2009 Corvette Blue Devil confirmed and in final tuning phase - Daily Auto Insider article by Car and Driver
- Corvette Blue Devil (finally) gets a name - ZR1
- "2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 unveiled". Leftlanenews.com. 19 December 2007. http://www.leftlanenews.com/chevrolet-corvette-zr1.html#more-5673. Retrieved on 19 December 2007.
- Callaway Cars#C15 .28FIA Corvette GT3.29
- 2006 Oscherleben Race
- Victory in Dubai
Chevrolet Corvette timeline, 1953–present
|Performance||Fuel Injection||L84||Big Block||Big Block||ZR-1||LT4||Z06||Z06|
|Motorsports: Grand Sport • GTP • C5-R • C6.R|