The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is the most powerful production car ever from General Motors, and it's a technological landmark in the long lineage of Corvettes. It's also more affordable than you might think.

The 2015 Z06 starts at $78,995* – not chump change, but well below the price ranges of key competitors.

As was announced earlier today, the 2015 Z06 has a starting price of $78,995 for the coupe and $83,995 for the convertible, *including $995 in destination charges. That's not chump change, but it's well below the price ranges of several of its key competitors.

The Corvette has long been compared with the Porsche 911, but the Z06's 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque easily eclipses the most powerful 911, the Turbo S (560 hp, 516 lb-ft). The Z06 also costs less than half as much, as the Turbo S has a starting MSRP of $182,700, and then tacks on a $995-shipping charge.
A closer comparison – pricewise – would be the Porsche Cayman GTS, which comes in with an MSRP of $75,200 – that's $2,800 cheaper than the Vette. Thing is, it has 310 fewer hp.

The Audi R8 is a slightly more formidable competitor to the Z06 based on pure power. The V10 Plus has 550 hp, and its mid-engine configuration is a better layout for pure driving dynamics. But, its pricing starts at $173,500, not including a $1,250-destination charge. The base R8 with its 430-hp V8 begins at $115,000.

Then there's another long-running Corvette rival, the Dodge Viper SRT, and its 640-hp V10 engine. For 2014, the Viper costs $99,885, which is up $2,000 from 2013. Add in $1,995 shipping (your Viper does come in an enclosed trailer), and the total comes to $101,880. The price listed on the SRT website is $102,485, which includes the gas-guzzler tax, but not shipping. Regardless, it's about $22,000 more than the new Z06.

The all-wheel-drive Nissan GT-R, meanwhile, dials up 545 hp from a turbo V6 for $101,770, which rises to $103,365 with shipping.

The Z06 also grades out well in the world of exotics. The Ferrari FF produces 651 hp from its V12, which edges out the Z06 (barely), though the Ferrari only makes 504 lb-ft – all for a sticker of about $300,000 – though it does offer all-wheel drive.

Flipping the script on the Z06, the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat pumps out 707 horses for a price tag of $59,995 and a $995 destination charge brings the sticker to $60,990. That's more power for less money than the Corvette, but the Challenger is also a much larger car, and it's more of a muscle car than a sports car.

In this age of gaudy horsepower figures and prices, the Hellcat vs. Z06 is a fitting example of how modern sports cars are not all created equal. While the Hellcat can blow the doors off of the Vette with its power specs, the Z06 is assuredly a better track car. Porsche and Ferrari loyalists will naturally gravitate to and pay more for products from their brands, and no horsepower figure or "low-low" sticker price will change that. Plus, the sports-car segment is small enough in terms of sales so as to seemingly play by its own rules. No matter how much horsepower the Corvette has, it won't do much to erode GM's Corporate Average Fuel Economy standing.

While the Hellcat can blow the doors off of the Vette with its statistics, the Z06 is assuredly a better track car.

Still, the Z06 creates a seriously compelling value case for enthusiasts in search of power for a competitive price. Corvette spokesman Monte Doran reminded Autoblog that sharing parts and technology among Chevy vehicles has allowed the brand to keep prices of its high-end sports cars relatively low. The 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 is the first Z06 to use a supercharged engine, the first to have a true convertible variant and the first to offer an eight-speed automatic transmission.

"Chevrolet has developed a successful model for sharing components with Corvette and other models in the portfolio," he said. "For example, the eight-speed transmission was designed for Z06, and will also be used in full-size trucks with the 6.2L; the carbon-ceramic brakes are shared between the Camaro Z/28 and Corvette Z06. This enables Chevrolet to offer stratospheric-levels of performance without stratospheric prices."

Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for AutoPacific, an automotive research firm, concurs:

"By sharing parts and components with higher-volume vehicles, GM can keep the price down on the Corvette," he said. "The Z06 could prove to be one of the memorable bargains of the century."

Sullivan expects the horsepower wars to continue, which is only good for enthusiasts.

"Look at the Ford GT a decade ago," he said. "It was about $150,000 for 550 HP and 0-60 in 3.7 seconds. For a little more than half that, you can get more power, better performance, and a car that the manufacturer is committed to building for many years to come. Inflation? What inflation?"

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Months Ago

      Here's no car that comes close to the performance per dollar of this car. This thing is gonna be a monster on the track and set some records lie the last Vette. 

      Eduardo Martinez
      • 4 Months Ago

      gm changing the game

      • 3 Months Ago

      So... the old Z06 pretty much beat all of these cars to begin with. Can't imagine how much this new model will disgrace them even more. 'MURCA!

        • 3 Months Ago

        If I was driving a more expensive Porsche on the track, I would be nervous lining up against a competent Z06 driver.

      Rob Gomes
      • 3 Months Ago

      $79,000 is the same as a Porsche Cayman GTS with PDK.

      A F-Type S Coupe is slightly less at $77,000.

      It's certainly looking to be good value for money.  I was expecting the Z06 to start at more around $95-100K, but this is a pleasant surprise.  I say that taking delivery of a Cayman GTS in less than five weeks.  I'm looking forward to seeing these on track days next year!

        • 3 Months Ago
        @Rob Gomes

        From a former Cayman owner (base model), congratulations and enjoy in good health.  The Caymans and Boxsters are absolute gems and supremely capable on the road or track (with an oil starvation exception for the 987.1 models!!).

        Totally different car from the Corvette but choice is good for us.

      Omar S.
      • 3 Months Ago

      But Z06 engine in an escalade platinum and call it V-Series

        • 3 Months Ago
        @Omar S.

        Frankly they should just slop the Corvette engines into every rear drive platform they have, from the ATS, to the CTS, the SS, the trucks, the mid-sized trucks, etc, etc. This is Amurca, dammit. Power to the people!

      Andre Neves
      • 3 Months Ago
      How can anyone choose a Z28 over this for $4k?  Nope.
        • 3 Months Ago *Edited*
        @Andre Neves

        Easy.  The Z28 is better equipped off the showroom floor for use as a dedicated track car.  It has an N/A motor so no worries about heak soak when you are spending all day at the track.  It has carbon ceramic rotors which are not only bigger, but can deal much better with brake fade over the course of a track day.  And finally it has a square wheel setup, which is preferred at the track because it gives more predictable performance and keeps the price of tires down.  The 305 series tires on the front of the Z28 are also the widest front rubber on ANY production car.  In order words, for guy planning to spend lots of time on the track the Z28 is still the better/cheaper choice.  To similarily equip the new Z06 to do the same would cost you another $10,000 in mods & upgrades for the Z07 & CFZ option.. and you'd still be dealing with a supercharged engine thats guaranteed to run hotter than a N/A engine.

        Look Im a Vette lover.  I'm a C6 owner.. and eventual C7Z06 owner.   But for those in the in the know and have experience at the track.. the Z28 is still a helluva deal for $70k.  

          Matt Mossberg
          • 3 Months Ago

          I thought it was a bit cheaper getting the z07  (which makes you add the carbon ceramics package ) around at around $7k. seeing on forums, there is a market for the z/28 and even though the z06 starts a little higher, people love their camaros and would rather have them over the vette. What's cool about gm is they let the camaro do whatever it wanted to in order to make the z/28 in that gm didn't care if there was a chance of canablizing either the camaro/vette sales. For example the  z/28 has the same carbon ceramics from the z06 which will ultimately drive the cost down for consumers since it's being shared. 

          • 3 Months Ago

          z28 is a pig though... way too heavy! 

      Chris Burns
      • 3 Months Ago

      I just love the fact that the Challenger went from an also ran versus mustang and camaro to being mentioned in the same breath as a Z06 vette lol. HellCat is a huge success by that alone

        Daniel Rodriguez
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Chris Burns

        Speaking of which, I'm really curious as to what the Ford team has cooking up in their next high end Mustang. It's a nice time to be a sports/muscle car fan if you have the cash avialable. Has for me I can barely afford the Ecoboost Mustang (sad but true).

        • 3 Months Ago
        @Chris Burns

        It's all hype. 

        It's still going to lose on most tracks to the GT500. 

        About the same torque. 800 pounds lighter. 

      • 3 Months Ago

      Z06 is extremely compelling but if I had to choose I would probably take a Cayman. Why? Because I don't need all that crazy power. I would never use it and I don't even know how to handle it. The Cayman also has a classier and less loud design.  If i was a racer, Z06 is probably the sweetest deal on the planet.

        • 3 Months Ago

        I can respect your opinion. The Cayman is gorgeous, is amazing to drive and is really all the sports car anyone needs on or off the track.

        I on the other hand, would get the Z06 over anything under 200k because I feel that too much of a good thing is just right. And the Z06 delivers that in spades. 

        • 3 Months Ago

        Not long before we see pics of these wrapped around utility poles.  I just bought a new Cayman and I don't see the need for 300 more HP other than to say "I have 300 more HP".  HP means nothing if it handles like a barn door in a tornado.

          • 3 Months Ago

          "HP means nothing if it handles like a barn door in a tornado."

          Which would be relevant if the Z06 handled poorly, but it doesn't.

      • 4 Months Ago

      Numbers, price, exterior looks, Vette does win. The only downside is the interior isn't quite on par with some of its more expensive competitors. Having been in a few myself I found it to be nice, but not really "over achieving" in beauty or materials. The brown leather scheme on some models does look better but the black and gray schemes seem only incrementally better than domestic sport cars. 

        Jhambi Man
        • 3 Months Ago

        Have you been in a new C7? I'm not gonna argue that it is on par with the Ferrari FF or something, but it is a big step up from any previous vets, and not a bad interior, especially for the price.

          • 3 Months Ago
          @Jhambi Man

          I have. It was nice for a GM. But the design leaves much to be desired. It's utility wrapped in leather I suppose? Nothing really sumptuous but enjoyable for the price tag. 

      Sergey R
      • 3 Months Ago

      America does it again... and again... and again! I like this new Vette and Vette z06 is a beast! Regarding interior - you may try to hydrodip or wrap some plastic interior panels into carbon wrap (then put some clear coat) and also try to swap leather parts by more quality leather/suede.

        • 3 Months Ago
        @Sergey R

        Why not just wait for the OEM leather to wear out. If it ever does.

      Jay Riemenschneider
      • 3 Months Ago

      more power and torque,new body style and most assuredly better performance and quality than last ZR1 for a MSRP 48 thousand dollars!!! less...gotta love that

      • 3 Months Ago

      Viper needs a gamechanger fast!  FIAT better adapt Ferrari FF's front axle power coupling unit and hurry.

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