The Chevy Corvette has been a formidable opponent in sports car racing, particularly at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where it's ruled its class every year since 2001. As such, Chevrolet will bestow upon Europeans a very limited edition 'Victory Edition' model of the Corvette to celebrate the cars aptitude for auto racing. Only 250 units will be produced of the 'Victory Edition', which features either a Black or Velocity Yellow paint job that mimics the colors of the real race cars. Out back each car is fitted with a body-colored wide rear spoiler and sits atop a set of Competition Grey aluminum wheels. The interiors will get contrasting stitching on their two-tone leather seats, as well as Competition Grey sill plates to match the wheels, faux-carbon fiber trim and of course a numbere badge to cement each car's collector status. Other than that, these cars are a basic loaded Corvette Coupe, which feels anything but basic when you're behind the wheel of one.
Check out our high-res gallery of pics showing the Chevy Corvette 'Victory Edition' and the official press release after the jump.
Corvette: Limited-Run 'Victory Edition' and Refinements
GENEVA – The sixth-generation Corvette, available as a Coupe or Convertible, is Europe's most popular Corvette model ever. At the beginning of March, Corvette will launch the Victory Edition, a limited-edition model of the Corvette Coupe that commemorates racing success at Le Mans. All Corvette models receive equipment enhancements and refinements for the 2007 model year.
The Corvette Victory Edition celebrates the success of Corvette in sports car racing, particularly the Le Mans 24-Hour event. Since Corvette Racing made its debut in 1999, the team has won more than 50 races, including five class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans between 2001 and 2006.
A limited run of only 250 examples of the Victory Edition will be produced.
The Victory Edition is available in two colors, each reflecting Corvette's racing heritage: Black or Velocity Yellow. It is also distinguished on the outside with a body-color, wide rear spoiler and Competition Grey aluminum wheels (18-inch wheels in front and 19-inch wheels in the rear). The interior features two-tone leather-covered seats with Corvette flag emblems and contrasting stitching. Cars with the black exterior feature an Ebony and Red color scheme, while Ebony and Titanium Grey mark the interior of Velocity Yellow cars. Both interiors also feature Competition Grey door sill plates, a carbon-look interior trim package and a unique, numbered Victory Edition badge.
The Corvette Victory Edition features a DVD navigation system with touch screen and voice guidance, along with a Luxury Package. This includes heated seats, a memory package with presets for two drivers for the six-way power driver's seat, exterior mirrors and powered telescopic steering wheel. A head-up display, including G-force meter, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror and a premium Bose seven-speaker sound system also are included.
Every Corvette Victory Edition will get a numbered identification interior badge. And, as part of their ownership experience, buyers are invited to participate in a complimentary one-day Corvette Drivers Training event, with professional instructors, at selected race tracks across Europe.
Corvette Coupe and Convertible
The LS2 6.0L small-block V-8, the standard engine in the Corvette, is based on GM's Gen IV small-block family of engines. It has raised the bar for performance in the Corvette, with peak output levels of 297 kW (404 horsepower) and 546 Nm (402 lb.-ft.) of torque.
The Corvette Coupe and Convertible are equipped with the Tremec T56 six-speed manual transmission. The Tremec transmission is available with two sets of ratios; the more aggressive gear set is reserved for Corvette's standard Z51 Performance Package, and is tailored with numerically higher gears to improve acceleration.
Also available is an electronically controlled six-speed paddle shift automatic transmission, featuring clutch-to-clutch operation, manual control shift operation and an integrated 32-bit electronic controller. A wide overall ratio helps deliver exciting acceleration performance along with good fuel economy.
Configured with the six-speed automatic transmission, the Corvette is capable of reaching a top speed of 300 km/h (approximately 186 mph) and 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration in just 4.8 seconds.
Chassis and suspension
The overall Corvette design philosophy is founded on its low-weight, hydroformed steel rail backbone structure, cored composite floors, an enclosed center tunnel, rear-mounted transmission and aluminum cockpit structure. The sixth-generation Corvette generation also has robust brakes and tuned body acoustics to deliver a quiet, pleasing ride.
A short-long arm and transverse leaf spring independent suspensions at both the front and rear are Corvette hallmarks, and contribute greatly to its exciting driving character. Goodyear Extended Mobility Tires take advantage of the latest sidewall design and compound technology for run-flat capabilities. Optimized suspension and steering geometry, along with advanced compounds in the tires, result in a fast car that is easy to drive. Two suspension choices allow drivers to choose the setup that best suits their driving style.
The optional F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension features magneto-rheological dampers able to detect road surfaces and adjust the damping rates to those surfaces almost instantly for optimal ride control. The system has been improved to deliver more differentiation between the system's "Tour" and "Sport" settings.
Three dynamic chassis control systems – anti-lock braking, traction control and Active Handling – operate in concert to provide a strong but unobtrusive safety net for spirited driving. The stability controls share sensors for steering angle, wheel speed and acceleration and deceleration in all directions.
Four round taillamps continue as a Corvette rear styling trademark. Four circular exhaust tips are also integrated into the rear diffuser and pick up the circular theme established by the taillamps. At 0.28 coefficient of drag, the sixth-generation Corvette is the most aerodynamic ever, with improved anti-lift characteristics that improve high-speed stability. The ability to keep lines and surfaces smooth was supported by technology. For example, the Keyless Access system replaces traditional mechanical door and hatch handles with solenoids and electronic actuators.
The Corvette has an overall length of 4,435 mm (174.6 in.) and an overall width of 1,844 mm (72.5 in.) – efficient packaging that enables generous interior space and class-leading cargo space that can easily accommodate two golf bags.
The Corvette Coupe offers a removable roof panel that can be stowed under the hatchback in the luggage area. Painted body color as standard, it is available with an optional tinted clear panel.
GM's Keyless Access with Push Button Start technology allows access by detecting the proximity of the key fob. The system both unlocks the doors and allows it to be started. An AM/FM radio with CD player and MP3 capability is standard. New technology enhances conventional radio reception despite the antenna being completely concealed within the windshield glass. Optional features include a DVD navigation system with voice touch screen and guidance.
A menu-selectable head-up display can be projected onto the windshield in the line of sight on the road ahead, allowing the driver to focus on driving while still being able to monitor vehicle speed and other critical vehicle information. There are two settings: "Street" and "Track." Each setting is pre-programmed to display relevant information for either driving on regular streets or on a race track.
As the Corvette was designed from the outset to be an open car, there is no compromise in ride, handling or performance when compared to the Coupe. The Corvette Convertible features a power-operated soft top, a feature that last appeared on the car in 1962. The power top features a single-button control and completes its cycle in 18 seconds. The canvas soft top is available in three colors: Black, Beige and Grey. In its closed position, the canvas top has a smoother, more contoured appearance that conceals the underlying structure better than traditional soft tops. In addition to aiding a clean appearance, this also helps preserve the outstanding aerodynamic characteristics.
The Corvette's structure, including an aluminium windshield frame, was designed using computer airflow models to improve top-down quietness – especially for noise frequencies in the range of passenger conversations. The top material itself is made of a thick fabric called Twillfast, constructed in five layers for strong durability and insulation.
Several more details combine to make the convertible more pleasing to drive. Every option available on the Coupe can be specified on the Convertible. A bulkhead has been added to better contain small items in the trunk and enable the addition of a storage area behind each seat. Rear visibility is improved with a glass backlight that is 18.5-percent larger than the previous model. Like its predecessor, the backlight has a standard rear defogger. The Convertible is equipped with a luxury package: memory package, heated seats, head-up display, power telescoping steering column, seven premium Bose speakers and auto-dimming rear-view mirrors.
The Corvette Z06 is the fastest, most powerful production car ever offered by General Motors. At its heart is the LS7 V-8 engine, achieving 377 kW (512 horsepower) at 6,300 rpm. In first gear it delivers a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) performance of 3.9 seconds and it has a top speed of 320 km/h (approximately 198 mph).
The Z06 was developed alongside the Corvette C6.R race car, for the enthusiastic driver seeking supercar performance in a vehicle that can be used daily, and offers an unmatched horsepower-to-price ratio. The Corvette Z06 combines the attributes that have made the sixth-generation Corvette a sales success across Europe, with raw power, endurance and race-winning know-how.
Derived from the Corvette racing program, the Z06 is a totally unique vehicle that has its own powertrain, body structure and chassis system and a different body structure compared to Corvette Coupe and Convertible. The phrase "technology transfer" has never been more appropriate than when used to describe Corvette Z06 road car.
LS7: GM's most powerful passenger car engine ever
The Corvette Z06's 7.0L V-8, LS7 engine delivers 377 kW (512 horsepower) at 6,300 rpm and 637 Nm (470 lb.-ft.) of torque at 4,800 rpm. In a car weighing 1,418 kg (3,126 lb.), that adds up to 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration in 3.9 seconds in first gear and a top speed of 320 km/h (approximately 198 mph). The engine is also designed to rev to an unprecedented 7,000 rpm limit.
Unlike the previous 427-cubic-inch (6,997 cm3) engine, which was a big-block design, the LS7 is a small-block V-8, the largest-displacement small-block ever produced by GM and a tribute to its 50 years as a performance icon. The LS7 is easily identified under the hood by red engine covers with black lettering.
Clear examples of the LS7's race-bred technology are its titanium connecting rods; a forged steel crankshaft; forged aluminum flat-top pistons; racing-derived CNC-ported aluminum cylinder heads with titanium intake valves and sodium-filled exhaust valves; and titanium pushrods and valve springs. The engine also features deck-plate honing of the cylinders, a procedure normally associated with the building of racing engines and almost unheard of in a production-vehicle engine.
The LS7 has a dry-sump lubrication system designed to keep the engine fully lubricated during the high cornering loads the Corvette Z06 is capable of producing. An engine compartment-mounted reservoir delivers oil at a constant pressure at cornering loads exceeding 1g. At the rear of the LS7 engine, a single-mass flywheel and lightweight, high-capacity clutch channel torque to the rear-mounted six-speed manual transaxle with upgraded limited-slip differential. Stronger axle half-shafts with tougher universal joints transmit power to the rear wheels.
Unique body structure and distinctive, efficient styling
The Z06 has a unique fixed-roof body-style, with an aluminum body structure for optimum stiffness and light weight. Perimeter rails are one-piece hydroformed members featuring castings, stampings and extrusions that replace many welded steel components on other Corvette models. Advanced structural composites featuring carbon fiber are bonded to the aluminum structure in key areas.
The Z06 retains the 2,686-mm (105.7 in.) wheelbase of other Corvette models, but it rides on all-new wheels, tires, brakes and rear spring and roll stabilizer. Distinctive 10-spoke, 18-by-9.5-inch cast-spun aluminum wheels carry 275/35ZR18 tires in the front, and 19-by-12-inch cast-spun aluminum wheels with 325/30ZR19 tires in the rear. Using Goodyear Extended Mobility run-flat technology, they are the largest wheel-and-tire combination ever offered on a Corvette. These make room for huge 355-mm (14 in.) cross-drilled front disc brakes with six-piston calipers and 340-mm (13.4 in.) cross-drilled rear disc brakes with four-piston calipers.
A cold air scoop in front of the hood and a large air extractor located behind the wheel are functional features that mark the Z06 apart. Wider rear fenders with flares cover the massive rear tires, while a rear spoiler both houses the center high-mounted stop light and provides sufficient down force to balance the front splitter without adversely affecting aerodynamic drag. The Z06's coefficient of drag is 0.31. Four, larger-diameter stainless steel exhaust tailpipes provide a final visual identifier.
Z06 features include a Bose audio system with an in-dash six-CD changer, a telescoping steering wheel, side-impact air bags and a navigation system with GPS, along with dual-zone air conditioning, cabin air filtration and head-up display (HUD) with standard track mode and g-meter. Heated seats with available two-tone leathering surfaces, Z06-logo embroidery and contrasting stitching have fixed side bolsters that are more aggressively shaped to better hold the driver when cornering. The acoustic package is revised to reduce weight and allow more aural feedback from the powertrain.