Should anyone need a reason to buy a 2007 Corvette Z06, we’ve got one—buy it because Chevrolet was magnanimous enough to build it. That such a phenomenal car is as close as your local Chevrolet dealer is incredible. This isn’t some exotic, temperamental, mega-buck Italian car with a 2-year waiting list; it’s a mass-produced, American-built, world-class, world-beating sports car with a base price of $69,175.
They’re not giving away Z06s (the price has jumped considerably from the 2004 Z06), but next to comparable (performance wise) ultra-high performance sports cars, the Z06 is a blue light special. Chevrolet should be rewarded with strong sales for building such a supercar at a reasonable price.
People who talk about the late sixties/early seventies as the epitome of musclecars are myopic. This is the golden era of performance cars. Turbocharged four-cylinder four-door compacts can beat sixties big-block musclecars. The Z06 Corvette is far beyond the quickest vintage musclecars and light years ahead of the oldies in terms of handling, safety, braking, comfort, and quality.
The regular 2007 Corvette is a thrilling car that produces 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. It wasn’t but a couple years ago that people were exclaiming over the previous generation Z06 and its 405-horsepower/400 lb-ft of torque. Now, the base Corvette comes within five horsepower of what in 2004 was considered incredible. If quantum leaps like this aren’t indicative of a performance golden era, what is?
The standard Corvette is as much car as anyone could ever need, but Americans subscribe to the more is better, too much is just enough philosophy. The one option that the 2007 Corvette Z06 lacks is a European delivery program. It’s too bad buyers can’t pick up their new Z06 in Germany and spend time harassing Porsches on the Autobahn.
The most frustrating thing about the new Z06 is finding places to use even a fraction of its capabilities without getting arrested. The good news is that the Z06 is perfectly tractable in everyday traffic. The Corvette Z06 is a 365-day a year car.
We didn’t have a year to evaluate the Z06, but we were thankful for a great week. We put about 400 miles on a barely broken-in Z06 (800 miles on the clock). It was Victory Red with Titanium Gray leather, the polished aluminum wheels, navigation system, and 2LZ Preferred Equipment Group. All those options boosted the $69,175 base price to $77,425 including destination charge.
Every major car magazine has extensively tested the new Z06. We were more interested in how it would fare as a daily driver and weekend cruiser. Our conclusion—it’s hard to believe that such a potent car can be so tractable and practical for everyday driving. That says volumes about the high caliber supercar Chevrolet has designed.
Depending on which report you read the Z06 can turn in zero-to-sixty times in the low four-second to high three-second range. Quarter mile times can drop below twelve seconds with the right driver. Zero to one hundred to zero takes about 13-seconds. Top speed is only a couple mph short of 200!
We didn’t’ go near 200, but we can report that the Z06 is QUICK! On an outing to the mountains we had occasions to pass slower cars. We spent very little time in the other lane. It was out, blow by, and return to our lane in seconds. The Z06 has amazing acceleration. It can launch from a stop light like a drag racer.
On the slower side of our driving experiences, the Z06 can plod along in heavy traffic like any other commuter module. It’s an easy car to drive in traffic and around town on errands. The spacious cargo area underneath the high-opening glass hatch is roomy enough for trips to Costco. We know because we went there.
Yes, the ride is a little harsh on bumpy roads, but it’s not anything performance enthusiasts haven’t experienced in lesser cars. The Z06 has a pretty quiet cabin. The sound system and amenities all worked well.
Besides the high performance suspension the low profile tires contribute to ride stiffness. Big wheels, tires and brakes are necessary to handle the Z06s performance potential. The front wheels are 18x9.5 with 275/35ZR18 Goodyear Eagle tires. The rear wheels are 19x12 with 325/30ZR19 tires. Those are some real steamrollers. Front brakes feature 14-inch rotors and the rears are 13.4-inches in diameter. Grip and stopping power is awesome.
Exhaust quietness was one of our few complaints. The Z06 sounded quieter than a regular C6. The exhaust is a little too quiet in part throttle situations. As a way to pass the drive-by noise test, Chevy engineered a dual-mode exhaust system. Two of the four exhaust tips are closed by vacuum-operated butterfly valves until their electronic control system senses a predetermined throttle plate angle and increased rpm level.
The window sticker puts EPA fuel economy estimates at 16-city/26-highway. We barely made 16 mpg in mixed driving conditions, but our right foot felt extra heavy that week.
The sole Z06 transmission is a Tremec 6-speed manual. It was a little stiff on our barely broken in test car, but it does an excellent job of handling the monster motor. The clutch was smooth and not too strong.
A small complaint that’s probably unique to us is the lack of traditional mechanical door handles. The electronic door buttons work fine, but we prefer a direct linkage lever. There is an emergency lever between the doorsill and the lower seat cushion. We’d also like larger interior storage bins. The level of interior materials is below the more expensive European supercars, but that’s probably a function of price.
The long, low nose demands extra care when parking. Speed bumps require cautious passage. The Heads Up Display speedometer (and other info) was used constantly. It’s far too easy to go ticket-fast without realizing, so the HUD was most appreciated.
We’re smitten with the 2007 Corvette Z06. Although we rarely tapped into its full potential it was thrilling to know we could at a moment’s notice. The regular 2007 Corvette is a superlative sports car so that makes the Z06 overkill. It’s not an easy car to justify in practical terms, but it’s very easy to justify emotionally. We say if you’ve got the bucks, buy one.
The rear view emphasizes the handsome wedge shape. The four exhaust tips hint of the power within. The rear fenders are flared to accommodate the wide rear tires.
A straight side view shows off the aggressive, but handsome styling of the 2007 Z06. The Z06 body is unique although it bears a strong resemblance to the regular C6 Corvette.
The LS7 is the magic that motivates the Z06. It’s a small-block with big-block displacement coming in at 7.0L or 427 cubic inches. The engine is rated at 505 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque.
This peek at the right front corner of the engine reveals the aluminum block, aluminum cylinder heads and tubular headers. The block contains titanium connecting rods. The heads hold titanium intake valves and sodium-filled exhaust valves. Compression is 11.0:1.
The LS7 uses a dry sump oiling system with an 8-quart tank that’s mounted on the right fender. The tank has a traditional dipstick for checking oil levels.
The rear wheels and tires are huge measuring 19x12-inches with 325/30ZR19 Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. The cast aluminum wheels allow a good look at the 13.4-inch drilled rotors and bright red calipers.
The front wheels are polished 18x9.5 cast aluminum fitted with 275/35ZR18 Goodyear Eagles. The front rotors measure 14.0-inches in diameter.
The 2007 Z06 is quite practical thanks to its spacious cargo area underneath the roomy hatch. Access is good. There’s a fabric luggage shade that attaches to the perimeter of the hatch.
The Titanium Gray leather Z06 interior is similar to any other 2007 Corvette. Legroom is excellent; headroom is fine; the steering wheel is thick; the navigation and sound systems work well; and it has the Heads Up Display, which all high performance cars should have.
The push-button interior door opener works fine, but we’re old fashioned and prefer a traditional door handle.
There is a manual door-opening lever positioned on the rocker sill next to the lower seat cushion in case of power failure.
The vents on the featherweight (3 pounds) carbon fiber front fenders are adorned with Z06 emblems. In smaller script is “505 HP” to educate people not familiar with what Z06 represents.
The fresh air intake is oversized and takes up a good portion of the area in front of the radiator.
The magnesium roof panel is fixed on the new Z06, but unlike the previous Z06 hardtop this one is based on the slicker coupe body style.