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HOW DO YOU SPELL RELIEF?

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Apr 27, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

© All photos by Harvey Schwartz

FAST RELIEF FROM THE 'COMMON' CORVETTE By Harvey Schwartz

With the new 2009 ZR1 Corvette with 620 horsepower waiting in the wings for its launch later this summer, the mighty 505 horsepower Z06 Corvette will end its short three-year reign as the fastest Corvette ever with a scorching time of 3.7 seconds to 60 mph from a standstill, in first gear, and with a top speed of 198 mph. No one can deny that the Z06 is one of the world's fastest production two-seat sports cars. It is in very rare company. What many critics and consumers didn't like about the 2007 Z06 (and all 2007 C6 Corvettes) wasn't about the sexy styling or performance numbers, it was the interior. This year, Chevy puts that to rest by offering the optional, custom, two-tone, hand-cut and stitched leather-wrapped interior package for the 2008 Z06 and all 2008 C6 Corvettes. This has been the Corvette Achilles heel and the new custom interior fix includes two-tone upper and lower instrument panel, instrument cluster, door pads, console top, perforated sport seats; padded door panel armrests, Corvette embroidered on passenger-side dash pad, embroidered crossed flags logo on each headrest; a wrapped center trim plate with a Cyber bias pattern; new brushed aluminum accents around the shifter and dual cup-holders.

With the new, high-quality materials and craftsmanhip all around, you'll quickly appreciate the new attention to detail. The instrument cluster layout is very sporty with a big, Z06 signature 220 mph speedometer, 7,000 rpm tachometer, and smaller gauges for fuel, oil pressure, engine coolant temperature and volts. The Information Screen can give you readouts about almost anything to do with your drive. All buttons, switches and dials are within easy reach and fully illuminated for safe nighttime driving. Add to the mix the industry's only 'head's-up' display featuring three-different types of displays-regular, street and track, where you can view your speed, rpms, scroll through fuel, oil pressure and engine coolant temperature, all without taking your eye's off the road enhancing your precision and safety. The interior is truly unique and world class. The Z06 Corvette is instantly recognizable thanks to its sleek and sexy styling highlighted with a wide front fascia with large front-facing grille opening, air intakes to the front brakes, fog lamps at the sides, a splitter along the bottom, and wheel opening extensions along the side to provide aerodynamic downforce. A cold air scoop in front of the hood integrates an air inlet system to feed air directly into the engine MAS. Integrated HID headlamp cluster behind clear lenses help with aerodynamics and light up the way at night. The trailing edge of the front carbon fiber wheel opening is radiused to achieve improved drag, and protects the body finish with a tough molding. Large air extractors are located behind each front wheel and they fly the Z06 badge. The fixed roof body style optimizes body rigidity and mass and the wider carbon fiber rear fenders with flares cover the massive rear wheels and tires. Each rear carbon fiber rear fender contains a brake cooling scoop in front of the wheel, visually balancing the fender extractors. The rear features a tall spoiler on top of the trunk lid,, four large oval brake and taillights, four, and four polished stainless steel, 3-inch round exhaust tips set inside the rear diffuser that helps manage airflow out the rear.

Hands down, there aren't many sports cars that can beat the 2008 Z06 Corvette now in any category. Creature comforts abound in the new 2008 Z06 Corvette including dual climate control and heated seats, power express windows/door locks, dual map lights, custom floor mats, the latest Bose Audio Surround Audio System with XM satellite radio, seven speakers, and the newest GM Navigation System. Don't forget that the trunk is the largest in the sports car class enabling you to take long weekend trips. What more could you want for under $80,000.00? World-class power and performance comes from the race-bred, 7.0 liter OHV all-aluminum V8 engine. The dry sump oil lubrication system easily handles the extra g-loads that you can encounter during spirited driving times. This magnificent V8 engine is mated to a strengthened Tremec, smooth shifting, short-throw, six-speed, manual transmission that delivers world-class acceleration, power and speed, yet gives back an incredible 15mpg/city and 24mpg/highway, exceeding any other world-class sports car. The track-ready fully independent, double-wishbone suspension goes where you point the Z06 to go with ease, can handle up to 1.2g's of lateral acceleration when cornering, yet the suspension is tuned for everyday driving and is never harsh.

Further enhancing the great feel and control of the new Z06 is the unique, world-class aluminum body structure for optimum stiffness and light weight for the fixed-roof bodystyle. Perimeter rails are one-piece hydroformed aluminum members featuring cast suspension nodes, which replace many welded steel components on other Corvette models. Other castings, stampings and extrusions are combined into the innovative structure with state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies. Advanced structural composites featuring carbon fiber are bonded to the aluminum structure. The wider front wheelhouses, for example, are carbon fiber composites and the passenger compartment floors combine carbon fiber skins with an ultra-lightweight balsa wood core. The Z06 has a new magnesium cradle that serves as the attachment point for the engine and some front suspension components. Magnesium is lighter than aluminum yet incredibly strong. Taken together, the mass reductions are offset by several added performance enablers, including the dry-sump lubrication system, exhaust system with outlet valves, larger wheels and tires, larger brakes and larger roll stabilizers. The Z06 rides on giant 18X9.5 cast-spun aluminum wheels are wrapped with sticky Goodyear Eagle 275/35ZR18 F1 Supercar extended mobility tires up front, and 19X12 cast-spun aluminum wheels wrapped with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar Extended Mobility tires. These amazing low-profile tires enhance grip and gives a very compliant ride over rough road surfaces.

Quickly and safely slowing the Z06 down from speed are huge brakes, 14-inch. slotted and vented discs clamped with six-piston calipers up front, and 13.8-inch slotted and vented rotors clamped with four-piston calipers in the rear. Standard ABS, Traction & Stability Control help keep you on your chosen path, and when you want to hang the rear out you can shut off the Traction & Active Handling System by simply pushing a console mounted button. The Z06 Corvette is so fun and simple to drive that sometimes you forget that it is also one of the highest performing vehicles on any road. What even further sets the new 2008 Z06 Corvette apart from the over $150,000 competition is its very reasonable price, starting at $70,175.00, and $79,595.00 fully loaded. Wow! That's a bargain in today's supercar world. © Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz

SUMMARY JUDGMENT Virtually the fastest, highest performing production sports car that $80,000 can buy. For more information about Chevrolet products, go to www.chevrolet.com More photos from Harvey Schwartz can be found at www.autofotos.com

SPECIFICATIONS Name: 2008 Chevrolet Z06 Corvette Price: $70,175.00 base/$79,595.00 loaded Engine type: 7.0 liter, cast aluminum block/cylinder heads, OHV 2-valves per cylinder, 11:1 compression ratio Horsepower: 505 at 6,300 rpm Torque: 470 lb-ft at 4,800 rpm EPA mileage specs: 15mpg/city, 24mpg/highway Drive configuration: Front engine/rear-wheel-drive Transmission type: Rear-mounted Tremec HD 6-speed manual transmission Front suspension: Short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper & lower control arms, transverse-mounted leaf springs, monotube shocks absorbers, stabilizer bar Rear suspension: Short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper & lower control arms, Transverse-mounted leaf springs, monotube shock absorbers, stabilizer bar Wheels/tires: Front:18X9.5 cast-spun aluminum wheels/275/35ZR18 Goodyear F1 Supercar Extended Mobility tires Rear: 19X12 cast-spun aluminum wheels/325/30ZR19 Goodyear F1 Supercar Extended Mobility tires Brakes: Front: 14-in. vented and slotted rotors clamped with 6-piston calipers Rear: 13.8-in. vented and slotted rotors clamped with 4-piston calipers ABS, Traction Control, Stability Control Overall length: 175.6 in. Overall width: 75.9 in. Overall height: 49 in. Curb weight: 3,162 lbs

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