The automatic has quicker shift times; Chevy says that it makes this year's model the fastest automatic Corvette ever, with a 0 to 60 time of 4.3 seconds when equipped with the new Z51 package and 2.73 axle ratio. Top speed is now 190 mph.
A new two-mode exhaust system, similar to that which has been offered on the Z06, is now available on the standard Corvette models; it allows quiet operation during low-speed driving, but opens up to optimize performance (and provide a more aggressive sound) when needed. It also adds six horsepower.
The Corvette comes with three suspension choices, which allow it to be everything from a comfortable grand-tourer to an edgy, track-ready machine. The standard suspension is tuned for a balance of comfort and performance. Next up is the Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension, which uses sophisticated electronics and magnetically reactive fluid-filled dampers to provide a comfortable ride but tighten its responses when needed. At the top is the Z51 Performance Package, which brings the most aggressive setup, including larger stabilizer bars, Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar EMT tires, cross-drilled brake rotors, and enhanced cooling. On all models, steering has also been revised for improved feel.
The more exclusive Z06 version stands at the top of the Corvette line, with performance that bests many exotics costing several times as much. Its 7.0L V8 makes 505 horsepower to propel a car that weighs only 3,132 pounds, bringing astounding acceleration, braking, and grip. The Z06 can accelerate to 60 mph in only 3.7 seconds, reach 198 mph, brake from 60 in only 111 feet, and draw a maximum lateral acceleration of 1.04 g--all very respectable figures.
The Z06 matches this performance with heavy-duty components--many of them developed from racing experience--built to stand up on the racetrack, including a dry-sump oil system, titanium connecting rods and intake valves, CNC-ported aluminum cylinder heads, and hydroformed exhaust headers. A six-speed manual is the only transmission offered.
A unique, aluminum body underpins the Z06, with perimeter rails and composites used for strengthening. The engine is mounted on a unique magnesium cradle; carbon-fiber front fenders also help cut weight.
Besides getting a firmer suspension and larger wheels, the Z06 gets a very distinctive brake setup, with red-painted six-piston calipers that actually use six brake pads each; a four-piston setup is used in back.
The Active Handling stability control system, which allows enthusiastic driving yet can aid safety, is also standard on all Corvettes; the Z06 brings a Competitive Driving Mode.
The Corvette convertible includes a power-folding soft top with five-layers of fabric for reduced noise and good isolation.
On all Corvettes, a CD audio system with audio input jack is standard; a Bose audio system with steering-wheel audio controls and a six-disc changer is optional.