The Answer to Many Corvette Owners' Prayers
by: Andy Roderick - Team NCM
Just to have been invited to participate in the Long Lead Press Preview for the Z06 was more than I could have hoped for. To drive test cars on the flooded track at Goodyear's facility, and the track at Mid Ohio were memories of a lifetime. Add the great hospitality provided by Chevrolet and it all adds up to a weekend for the history books.
The first Z06 was built in 1963 and had 360 HP. Chevrolet resurrected the Z06 name for their 385 HP hardtop because it serves much the same purpose as the original Z06 did. Yes you can drive this 6 speed only brute on the street, but the track is where it belongs. Chevrolet made this Corvette lighter and more powerful than any other C5 Corvette to date.
The Z06 is the only Corvette that gets the new titanium exhaust system for 2001. It also gets air intakes in the front end and brake cooling ducts just forward of the rear wheels. The wheels and tires are Z06 only items also. Appearance wise you also get the Z06 badges on the front fenders, and red calipers on the brakes. The engine is called the LS6 and has many improvements that allow it to produce the extra 40 HP; it also looks different from the LS1 in that it has red coil covers.
Inside, the Z06 has its own look also. The seats have the Z06 logo on the headrest and you can order the red seat inserts as an option. The gauges have a different style of numbers and they also have the Z06 logo on them. The Z06 only comes in the Hardtop body style and you can't get some of the options on this one that you can on the other body styles. You also get a special 6-speed transmission in the Z06 called the M12 6-speed manual.
The Z06 is not the only Corvette that gets improvements for 2001. The LS1 gets 5 more HP and many other changes enhance the Corvette experience again for 2001. The torque comes on at earlier rpm's; this improves the lower end power for the LS1 engine. The convertible gets more sound proofing and a new 5 layer quiet top, and all Corvettes get improved ride and fuel efficiency. Option R8C will still allow you to have your Corvette delivered at the National Corvette Museum. All the technical information on the Z06 and the other 2001 Corvettes can be found on this website.