CONs: Sub-par interior, handling may be twitchy for some, shaking off that old Corvette stigma.
FINAL THOUGHT: The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is a hammer of an automobile that gives you all the super car performance you’ll ever need in a package that costs a hell of a lot less then its competitors.
When I found out that I was going to take possession of a 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with the Ultimate Performance Package for a week, I was more then a little excited. You see I’m a big Corvette fan as I truly believe that out of all the sports cars on the market today, the Corvette gives you the best bang for your buck. They pack gobs of power, handle like rock stars, have a traditional front engine rear-drive layout and lets face it, look aggressive as hell. It used to be that the Corvette had a reputation as a mid-life crises machine that was only purchased by balding baby boomers wearing gold chains. Now, while that may have been true years and years ago, I’m here to tell you to forget it, because truth be told, this car kicks some serious ass.
On the surface you may think these two cars are similar, but one look under the hood of a ZR1 and at its wider stance and you’ll see that these two cars are very different. As mentioned the ZR1 came out in 2009 and when its performance numbers were released the super car world not only jumped up and took notice, but ran for cover. With 638 hp, magnetic ride control, the same carbon ceramic brakes as a Ferrari FXX and a top speed of 205 mph, the Corvette ZR1 literally rewrote the book on what an American sports car could be. For 2011 Chevrolet has decided to once again up the ante, but not in the traditional sense. You see they still offer the Corvette Z06, but now you can get it with the Z07 Ultimate Performance Package as well as the Z06 Carbon Fiber Package. That means that this particular Z06 came equipped with the ZR1′s carbon-ceramic brakes, carbon-fiber body panels, magnetic selective ride control and 20-spoke staggered aluminum 19 and 20 inch wheels, BUT retained that magical, naturally aspirated 7.0-liter LS7 V8.
The dash and center stack of the Corvette are actually beautifully laid out, showing you everything you need and nothing you don’t. A big analog tachometer and speedometer greet you, as do oil pressure, fuel, battery and temperature gauges. I love the fact that GM kept these babies analog and didn’t go over to digital. On that note however, there is a wonderful heads up digital display. Now some of you may think that having two tach’s and two speedo’s is redundant, but honestly, I loved it. On the Corvettes that I’ve tracked, having the HUD was a godsend for the simple fact that I never had to take my eyes off the track. It’s a system that works and one that I hope the engineers don’t do away with. The Corvette, regardless of model, is also one of the few super cars that you can literally drive everyday. They’re super reliable, are plenty comfortable and have loads of room under that massive hatch. Plus and get this, they’ll get around 25-30 mpg when loping along on the highway in 6th gear… crazy right?