• Mar 10th 2010 at 12:01AM
  • 46
2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon - Click above for high-res image gallery

For the truly hard-core Corvette fanatic who likes to spend weekends thrashing his or her car at the track, there is only one Corvette worthy of consideration: the Z06. However, thanks to the ZR1, the lightweight, normally aspirated 7.0-liter coupe is no longer the absolute quickest Vette, but it is felt to have the most responsive handling. What it doesn't have is the uber-cool carbon-ceramic brakes, carbon-fiber body panels and magnetic ride active damping system of its supercharged sibling. That can now be changed to past tense with the birth of the Z06 Carbon edition announced today by General Motors.

The Z06 Carbon was created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of the Corvette at the 24 Hours of Le Mans when John Fitch and Briggs Cunningham won their class and finished eighth overall. The Carbon edition is essentially a Z06 with a ZR1 chassis and some of the carbon skin. When production starts this fall, only 500 examples will be made and they will only come in two colors, Inferno Orange and Supersonic Blue. All examples get black-painted wheels and a black interior upholstered in leather and suede. Follow the jump and we'll tell you more.

  • 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition. X11CH_CR004 (3/17/2010) (United States)
  • 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition. X11CH_CR003 (3/17/2010) (United States)
  • 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition. X11CH_CR006 (3/17/2010) (United States)
  • 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition. X11CH_CR007 (3/17/2010) (United States)
  • 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition. X11CH_CR005 (3/17/2010) (United States)
  • 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition. X11CH_CR010 (3/17/2010) (United States)
  • 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition. X11CH_CR009 (3/17/2010) (United States)
  • 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition. X11CH_CR008 (3/17/2010) (United States)
  • 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition. X11CH_CR011 (3/17/2010) (United States)

[Source: Chevrolet]

One element unique to the Z06 Carbon is its hood. The profile of the new carbon fiber hood is identical to that on the ZR1 but without a transparent window. That makes it the lightest hood ever on a Corvette and, according to chief engineer Tadge Juechter, it truly is a featherweight. ZR1 owners looking to swap out their hoods will be disappointed to learn that the Carbon hood will not fit their cars. Because of the absent window, the Z06 hood has different structure underneath that won't clear the ZR1 engine's intercooler.

The splitter, rocker extensions and roof of the Carbon are painted black instead of the super-expensive clear-coat used on the ZR1. The headlamp pockets and wheels are also painted a glossy black giving the Carbon a decidedly sinister appearance, particularly with the steel blue paint combination.

According to Juechter, the upgraded suspension and brakes give the Z06 a real boost on the track too. Even with the same powertrain, the Corvette circulates both Laguna Seca and the Milford Road Course three seconds a lap faster than a 2010 Z06. The addition of the magnetic ride damping system should also make the Z06 Carbon more livable on the road as well.

For those who don't manage to get one of the 500 Carbon editions, most of the good bits will be available as part of two option packages available for 2011 models. The Z07 package provides all the mechanical goodness of the Brembo brake system, wheels and tires and the MR suspension. The carbon fiber package includes the splitter, sill extensions and rear lip spoiler. Unfortunately, the hood is only available on the 500 limited edition cars. The Carbon and new option packages go on sale in late summer at prices that will be announced closer to launch date, so stay tuned.

Show full PR text
Taking track-to-street technology to a new level

DETROIT -- When the 2006 Corvette Z06 was introduced, it represented the closest connection to the Corvette race cars ever. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 closed the gap between racing and production even further. This year, Corvette continues its tradition of track-to-street technology transfer with the 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition.

"Designed to further incorporate technology developed through racing, the Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition is a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Corvette's first race in the 24 Hours of LeMans," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet General Manager. "With a limited production of 500 units, this car is a must-have for the true Corvette collector and driving enthusiast."

The Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition is another example of the expanded Corvette line-up. Five years ago, customers had the choice of a Corvette coupe or convertible. With the addition of the Z06, Grand Sport coupe and convertible and ZR1, Corvette enthusiasts now have more choices than ever.

"For track use, the Z06 Carbon is the best balanced Corvette yet. It combines the lightweight and naturally-aspirated Z06 engine with the road-holding and braking of the ZR1," said Tadge Juechter, Corvette Chief Engineer. "For technical tracks like Laguna Seca, the Z06 Carbon could shave up to three seconds off the Z06 lap time."

This limited edition Z06 will boast Brembo carbon ceramic brakes with specific dark gray metallic calipers. These powerful brakes were first introduced on the ZR1. Black 20-spoke 19-inch front/20-inch rear wheels complement the car's Michelin PS2 tires. Other mechanical features include Magnetic Selective Ride Control for the first time on the Z06 and enhanced cooling. The car also features a special carbon pattern engine cover.

The Corvette Z06 Carbon will be available in two colors: Inferno Orange and the all-new Supersonic Blue. Black headlamps and mirrors, a ZR1-style body color spoiler, body color door handles, carbon fiber raised hood, and black carbon fiber rockers and splitter enhance the Z06's dynamic design and reduce mass and aerodynamic lift. For track events, customers can also install the Euro-styled racing numbers that come with each car.

The Z06 Carbon's ebony leather and suede interior is complemented by blue or orange seat stitching to match the exterior color chosen. Other features include a unique steering wheel emblem, sill plate and logoed headrest. The suede used on the steering wheel, shifter, seat inserts, armrests and doors add to the luxury of this limited edition Z06.

An optional Z07 performance package that includes the mechanical upgrades introduced on the Z06 Carbon can be added to a regular 2011 Z06. This package also includes Competition Gray 20-spoke wheels and all the chassis and cooling upgrades.

The CFZ Z06 carbon fiber package includes black carbon fiber rockers, splitter and roof panel with the full-width body color spoiler. It can also be purchased with or without the Z07 package on regular Z06 models.

The 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition, as well as the new Z07 and CFZ Z06 option packages will be available in late summer.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very hot Corvette!

      Update the (very) old interiors and this will be a killer.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ls2ls7, I agree with you... the interior is good. However, most people purchase sports cars based on looks. Take a look inside a 370Z, it has cool looking seats, some "racy" gauges on the dash and just looks like an interior fitting of a sports-car... never-mind that it shares it's chassis with an SUV and is a complete rattle-box-on-wheels, it looks cool! That's how most people perceive sports cars.
        I'm not saying GM should stick a noisy/unbalanced 90-degree V6 into a shortened Suburban frame and call it a day... but a well designed interior will bring more sales from both poseurs and enthusiasts alike.
        • 5 Years Ago
        While I agree that the steering wheel and the seats are very bad for a sports car... the rest of the interior is pretty good, especially with the with all the leather on the dash and doors. I think GM should at least change that econo-box steering wheel for one from a G8 GXP or the upcoming Regal GS. That would instantly make the 'Vette interior seem much more fitting of a sports car. But besides that and some old switchgear here and there, it's a rather nice interior.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ LS2LS7

        I'm sorry, but you have lost ALL objectivity on the interior subject. The Vette's interior is more on-par with the POS Aveo than it is with what the Vette represents - the crown jewel in GM's lineup. The Vette should at least have an interior as nice as the base $35k CTS (let alone the V).

        And again, I realize that for this generation, it's simply not worth them upgrading the interior. The entire car is going to get redesign in a couple of years, so realistically it's not a top priority, but that doesn't mean that the current car's interior is not a joke amongst the cars it competes against. Hell, even a car like the Mustang, which the Vette is on a whole other level in terms of performance, still beats the cobbled-together interior that this generation Vette has had to live with.

        The C7 NEEDS an interior at least as nice as the CTS (in terms of material and quality), but styled more along the lines of that double-bubble look that some past Vettes have had.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They were updated in 2008 with the cut and sew interior!

        Okay, the base stereo is a bit cheap, but otherwise, there's not really a lot wrong with the Corvette interior.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The steering wheel is clearly shared with cheaper cars. But that doesn't necessarily make it a bad steering wheel. The C5 had its own steering wheel that clearly wasn't shared with anything else and it really wasn't nearly as good a wheel. So I guess in this case you have to take a little family resemblance along with the improvement in function.

        As to the seats, I know people complain all the time, I don't see what they're talking about. They're not shameful for a $50K sports car. Like anything they could of course be better, but I don't mind them, didn't mind the C5 ones either, BTW.

        There's really not a lot wrong with the interior. Call me a fanboy if you want, but that's how I feel, and I think I'm being objective. The interior looks pretty good, it holds together and it does its function. It's nothing like the H.R. Giger interior of the C5. There's just not a lot wrong with it. If you get the optional radio, you even don't have to look at that cheap-looking thing, although as cheap as the base radio is, at least it isn't shared with an Astro or Pontiac like it was on the C5.

        As far as I know, they are already at work on the C7, so I don't think you'll see an all new interior for the C6 no matter how low sales go.
        • 5 Years Ago
        while the corvette has its fans who don't mind or even like the interior, the sales are dropping. a nicer interior would bring more buyers and i'm sure most of the hardcore Corvette fans wouldn't mind to sit in a nicer environment.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They've finally done what I do in every racing game that lets me; I see them headlights and I want them painted black...
      • 5 Years Ago
      No wonder Government Motors are looking for talent outside of the U.S. Every 5 minutes GM has another variant of this played out car. I'll be glad when they give it a rest. The Corvette is already aging horribly anyway. I'm from generation Y, and the Corvette is history. It is no longer a poster car the generation.
      • 5 Years Ago
      those wheels are hott!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think this is a great in-between trim, which takes the best from the ZR1.

      That said, a couple things prevent me from liking the Vette, and it comes down to aesthetics. From B-pillar to back the design looks too conservative and derivative, and while the stitching upgrade for the interior is very nice, the console and steering wheel look fitting for a Cobalt.

      I wish they'd use the wheel design from the C6R, which are awesome-looking
      • 5 Years Ago
      They've finally done what I do in every racing game that lets me; I see them headlights and I want them painted black...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey, somebody picked up on it!
      • 5 Years Ago
      LS2LS7, hp/l doesn't count in the US , but it counts in other countries because of taxes, insurance , etc. also it counts in sports with displacement limits.

      the V8 in the M5 is 8 years older than the LS2 and the M5 is a lot heavier car than the Corvette.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Comparing specific displacement of OHV versus OHC isn't useful. The physical size, weight and cost of the OHV engine can be smaller even when the displacement is higher.

      BMW's M5 5.0L V8 made 80HP/liter (394HP). GM's 6.0L LS2 also made 400HP, and had a lower 66HP/liter, but the GM engine was smaller, lighter, cheaper and more fuel efficient. So what's the big deal with HP/liter?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Corvette is King!

      This is a sweet package! I envy those who get to own one, chances are they are all spoken for. While some folks I'm sure would prefer a 911 over this, I think that GM has some great stuff going on here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And the Corvette has honest to goodness rwd. No awd to save your ass when you plant your foot on that LS7 too quick.
        • 5 Years Ago
        For the record I own a 2009 Nissan GT-R, this is the first Corvette that could tempt me away from Godzilla. Great job Chevy! The ZR1 is an amazing piece, but for a track weapon the Z06 has always had more appeal to me with it's honest 427 motor. Happy to see the best bits are working there way into the racers choice.

        Still not ready to leave my Nissan though, but *VERY* happy to see the competitors continue to get better. When Nissan, Porsche and Chevy go after each other, it's folks like you and me that win with a constant array of ever better cars to satisfy our track lust with. :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh my god, this is beautiful.
      In terms of being a looker... this steps up to ultra $$$ import supercars... don't you think?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Indeed, shes certainly is a hooker.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Indeed, it certainly is a looker.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It looks nice, but no where near the level of an exotic. I mean, it doesn't look THAT much different from a regular Vette.

        However, I do love the lights. Always hated the color of the car being inside the headlight.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am glad to see GM bring out new "special edition" Vettes. Even with this limited run model, there are really not that many versions of the car. And unlike something like the 10208349034 special edition Mustangs, you just don't see Vettes on a daily basis.

      Still though, as awesome as this generation has been, I am very eagerly awaiting to see what their next-gen model will look and perform like. The C6 is most definitely a car built by the "old GM," and they are pumping out some VASTLY superior cars now, so I just can't wait to see what the "new GM" will be able to do with a car like the Vette.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There really aren't many countries anymore where engine displacement determines your taxes. It used to be the case in countries in Europe, but now those use CO2 output for taxes. Insurance companies hire enough actuaries that they aren't fooled by HP/liter either, they really only care about risk, and if that correlates to the engine at all, it goes up with HP, not HP/liter.

      In sports with displacement limits it counts? Well, in sports with fuel limits, the efficiency of pushrods matter. And when cost counts, pushrods win again. Unless you're in a heavily modded series, they win on power to weight ratio too.

      The V8 in the M5 is 8 years older than the LS2, but I don't see how that has to do with anything. I'm not asking which is a technological tour-de-force, I'm asking which would you rather have in your race car? If HP/liter really is so important, then you'd rather have the larger, heavier, more expensive, less fuel efficient M5 engine since it has a higher HP/liter.
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