Z06. Few monikers for horsepower obsessed Americans are as pleasurable to read. The Z06 nameplate has denoted powerful Corvettes for many years, the first appearing in the C2 in 1963. Since then, it’s been more widely recognized as the performance model of the C5 and C6 Corvettes with ZR1 models just above it at the factory’s top tier.
The new C7 Corvette Stingray is going to change all of that. With the addition of the Stingray nameplate, Chevy has shown it’s ready to mix up its model names. The next performance ‘Vette will likely be called the Z07.
This isn’t the world debut of the code, though. Before the C7, Z07 was a performance package offered on the C6 Corvette between 2011-2013, including magnetic selective ride control, upgraded brakes, lightweight wheels, aerodynamic bits, improved cooling capacity, and Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes.
Here’s a kicker: Car and Driver wagers that the ZR1 hyper ‘Vette won’t be produced for the C7. If Chevrolet does eventually make a C7 ZR1, it wouldn’t likely see the production floor until late into the life of the ‘Ray.
What will the Z07 include over the standard Stingray? First off, engine upgrades. General Motors has shown an affinity for turbocharging as of late. Consider the 500 horsepower 4.5-liter twin-turbo V8 in the Cadillac Elmiraj concept for example. Along those lines, the Z07 will likely follow turbo suit. A turbo’d Z07 could produce 600 to 700 horsepower.
That should be enough power to warn off pacemaker-powered codgers from the Z07 altogether, which is perfect because Chevy wants a younger buyer the Stingray and they seem to have their attention with the newest iteration.
As usual, you’ll have to pay to play with the Z07. The 2013 Z06 ran in the $76,000 range. A Z07 could very well peak past the $100,000 mark. For the first time in many generations, though, you’ll finally have a high-performance Corvette that both looks the price and has the power to keep up with its international rivals.