The new Z06 engine is just an inch taller than the LT1 in the Corvette Stingray, and there are few more powerful inches in the world: the LT4 is a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 producing "at least" 625 horsepower and 635 pound-feet of torque. The integrated 1.7-liter Eaton supercharger and intercooler sit in the engine's vee, that blower spinning beyond the ZR1's supercharger limit of 15,000 up to 20,000 rpm and utilizing shorter rotors to get up to speed more quickly. To keep gas mileage in check, you'll still benefit from Chevy's Active Fuel Management, as well as direct injection and variable valve timing. It's also been fitted with a dry-sump oil system that has a larger capacity than on the Stingray's Z51 package.
The Z06 will shift through either a seven-speed manual or the all-new 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission that we thought was going into the Corvette and not into the Z06. It's a conventional automatic with a torque converter overseeing four gearsets and five clutches, and it's lighter than the six-speed in the Stingray while fitting in the same space. Chevrolet says there's no performance sacrifice, declaring that "wide-open-throttle upshifts executed up to eight-hundredths of a second quicker than the dual-clutch in thePorsche 911." Naturally, it will come with paddle shifters. Those who prefer three pedals will find their seven-speed manual fitted with a new dual-mass flywheel and dual-disc clutch.
The cockpit gets a color overhaul to emphasize the driver, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, the choice of GT and Competition Sport seats, and Napa leather, aluminum, carbon fiber and micro-suede as the suite of materials. For the first time, you'll be able to enjoy it with the roof off, too: the race-ready aluminum frame has made a removable roof panel possible. With the panel removed, the 2015 Z06 is 20-percent stiffer than the ZR1; with it on, it's 60-percent stiffer.
It will go on sale in early 2015, but you can read about it now in the press release below and stay tuned for our live photos from the Detroit Auto Show floor.