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2011 Chevrolet Corvette: the American Supercar

By Arv Voss, August 6th, 2011

It's truly amazing what the Chevrolet Corvette can deliver. The Corvette lineup is much broader than most people realize, but sports car enthusiasts know about the supercar capabilities of this iconic American marquee.

Chevrolet's 2011 Corvette model line includes the coupe, convertible, the Grand Sport in coupe and convertible trims, the Z06 and the ZR1. Pricing for the 2011 Corvette starts at $49,045. We had the unique opportunity to drive the Corvette Z06, a svelte supercar on or off the track.

The Z06 is a two-passenger, rear-wheel-drive, hatchback coupe. In terms of its appearance, the Z06 looks like a Corvette should look, but even racier, and with a more sinister attitude displaying several specific, yet subtle styling cues.

A potent 7.0-liter LS7 OHV, 16-valve V-8 with sequential fuel injection, generates the heartbeat of this super American icon. The mighty mill cranks out 505 horses at 6,300 rpm while delivering 470 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm. The front mounted engine meters power to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

The Z06 starts at $74,305. It is comparable to other sports cars costing twice as much or more, while delivering competitive performance more affordably.

The Corvette ZO6 is really like no other car, delivering elevated levels of prowess and technological content in a vehicle with a racing DNA-inspired powertrain and suspension componentry. The frame is aluminum and body panels, such as the fenders and floor panels, are made of carbon fiber contributing to the car's low 3,175-pound curb weight and rendering it the lightest and best-balanced Corvette model available.

It should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 is a screamer on or off the track. The powerful 7.0-liter LS7 V-8 propels the two-door hatchback coupe from 0-60 mph in a scant 3.7 seconds while in first gear, and moves it down the quarter mile drag strip in 11.7 seconds at 125 mph with a top speed capability of 198 mph.

Powertrain and drivetrain systems are carefully matched to the LS7 V-8's performance capability. Light, four-into-one headers dump into close-coupled catalytic converters through two-mode mufflers, each of which features a vacuum-actuated outlet valve that controls exhaust noise during low-load operation but opens for maximum power output. The sweet rumbling exhaust note exits from four large stainless steel outlets.

The fixed-roof body style's (no ragtop version is available) aluminum structure provides optimum stiffness and light weight, delivering superb stability and handling characteristics. The wheelbase is the same as other 'Vette models, but the wheels, tires and brakes are all-new, as are the rear spring and roll stabilizer.

Despite its race-bred functionality and elevated performance attributes, the 2011 Corvette ZO6 is still serviceable as a daily driver, with comfort and convenience elements held to a very high standard. It is loaded with a host of features that come as standard fare, including an up-to-date inventory of safety technology.

The two-passenger Corvette ZO6 coupe is extremely attractive and racy, with the performance ability to match -- and it is tamed to be driven in a totally docile manner on the street.

The Z06's abilities however, surpass the skill level of most drivers and can create difficult to control situations for individuals with less experience. But, the ZO6 is a dream come true for the "dyed-in-the-wool" Corvette buff.


Base price $74,305
Displacement 7.0-liter
Epa mileage rating 15 mpg city, 24 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 18 gal.
Horsepower (net) 505 at 6300 rpm
Motor type 16-valve OHV V-8 w/SFI
Overall length 175.6 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 470 at 4800 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Vehicle type 2-passenger RWD hatchback coupe
Wheelbase 105.7 in.
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