2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Rivals ZR1 in Performance

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Corvette’s first race in the 24 Hours of LeMans, General Motors Company has announced the release of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition. GM has taken a less is more approach to its redesign of the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition. The new Corvette delivers approximately the same driving experience of the iconic ZR1 at a fraction of the cost.

The Z06 Carbon Limited Edition is equipped with the same 7.0-liter 505 hp V-8 engine found in the standard Z06 as well as the tires, wheels and brakes found in the ZR1. The body features black mirrors and headlight surrounds and a body colored spoiler like the one found on the ZR1. Chevy also fitted the Carbon Edition with a carbon-fiber roof, raised hood and rockers as well as a front splitter.

Compared with the ZR1, the Z06 Carbon comes up 133 hp short but the performance is nonetheless impressive. The 505 V-8 is capable of hurling the Z06 Carbon from 0-60 in a mere 3.7 seconds and the new Corvette devours a quarter mile track in 11.6 seconds at a top speed of 123.6 mph. The ZR1 is slightly faster, with a 0-60 capability of 3.3 seconds and a quarter mile time of 11.2 seconds at 130.5 mph.

When it comes to braking, the Carbon Limited Edition outperforms the ZR1, going from 60 mph to dead stop in 93 feet compared with 97 feet for the ZR1. The two Corvettes are nearly indistinguishable in their cornering capabilities. In a Motor Trend comparison, the Carbon Edition lapped the figure eight test track in 23.3 seconds with only 1.07 lateral g. On the same track, the ZR1 turned in a time of 23.1 seconds with 1.10 lateral g.

The Carbon Z06 Limited Edition weighs about the same as the standard Z06 but Chevy’s engineers have redistributed the weight to give it a more sure-footed feeling.

Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter said, “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. For technical tracks like Laguna Seca, the Z06 Carbon could shave up to three seconds off the Z06 lap time.”

Although GM has done a good job of approximating the feel of the ZR1, the Carbon Edition Z06 is not without its shortcomings. Although most Corvette enthusiasts could probably overlook the use of lesser-grade materials in the Z06’s interior, most would find the seats severely lacking. When you build a car that can pull upwards of 1 g laterally, you should be sure its seats can hold the occupants firmly in place. GM apparently overlooked this detail when they designed the Carbon Edition Z06.

GM says only 500 Z06 Carbon Limited Edition Corvettes will be built and that they will be available later this summer.

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