by: Jenny McLane
The 2006 Chevrolet Corvette has a chassis, which is all aluminum, hydro formed in similar dies to those used to build the standard steel C6 frame. Magnesium and carbon fiber parts are also used to help contain the total curb weight to less than 3150 pounds.
The front grille is larger, and an additional small scoop in front of the hood gulps cool intake air. Barely visible from a distance, 1-centimeter-wide black strips follow the wheel arches, oriented at a right angle to the fender. The carbon fiber front fenders are flared to accommodate 275/35ZR18 tires and the rear quarter panels are widened 1.5 inches to clear massive 325/30ZR19s. It has a 427.6-cubic-inch small-block LS7 engine, good for 500 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 475 pound-feet of torque at 4800 rpm. Titanium connecting rods, intake valves, and valve springs permit 7000-rpm revving, for this, the ultimate small-block.
An all-new LS7 7.0-liter V-8 (the displacement works out to 427 cubic inches) is said to churn out 500 horsepower. It will also be fitted with wider tires and larger Brembo brakes. Body modifications include a high-rise hood, deep side skirts and cooling ducts ahead of the rear wheels.
The engine is an aluminum block designed for stiffness and a special camshaft design for better engine breathing. The aluminum block, cylinder heads, camshaft and induction systems are revised for better breathing at a high rpm. A positive crankcase ventilation system improves oil control during racetrack and acceleration maneuvers, a Z06 titanium exhaust system, mufflers and tailpipes have less mass and more strength than its aluminum or magnesium counterparts. Producing 405-horsepower at 6000 rpm and capable of zero-to-60 in less than four seconds.
The car's larger-displacement engine and light weight are claimed to deliver 0-to-60-mph acceleration times of less than 4 seconds, a 12-second quarter-mile and a top speed of more than 190 mph on the track. Just as the base engine grew to 6.0 liters and became the LS2, the Z06 power plant has grown to 7.0 liters and becomes the LS7 V-8. It's rated for 500 hp at 6,200 rpm and 475 pounds-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm
Red brake calipers employ six pistons apiece up front, four pistons per side in the rear and 20 individual brake pads, which Chevrolet says deliver more even wear. The ventilated, cross-drilled brake rotors measure 14 inches in front and 13.4 inches in the rear. ABS is standard.
The new Chevy Corvette has all performance systems including engine, transmission, chassis, tires and suspension. Standard Active Handling works in conjunction with Traction Control and ABS on select 03 and 2005 2006 Chevrolet Corvettes, making maximum use of available traction to assist the driver, when needed, in keeping the car in line with steering input.
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About the author:
Jenny McLane is a 36 year old native of Iowa and has a knack for research on cars and anything and everything about it. She works full time as a Market Analyst for one of the leading car parts suppliers in the country today.