To our surprise of course a company in QLD, Performax International, formerly Corvette Queensland have taken it upon themselves to bring this icon to our shores.
Performax International imports the vehicles and converts them to right-hand drive and Australian Design Rule requirements in-house at its Gympie factory. As Corvette Queensland, it has had an 18-year history in importing and converting American cars and trucks. It is the biggest and most experienced such company in Australia and is certified for ISO Quality Assurance.
The Corvette Z06 comes in only one highly-defined version - a coupe with manual transmission- and is priced at $240,000, plus on-road costs. It is retailed directly by Performax International. Other cars in the Performax international stable include
- Corvette C6 Coupe automatic ($180,000), Convertible automatic ($190,000)
- Hummer H2 ($149,000)
- Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks, fitted with 6.6 litre Duramax 890 Nm turbodiesel V8 ($115,000)
- Cruiser 5th-wheel caravans ($115,000)
- Chevrolet Camaro (by request),
- Corvette C5, (by request)
- Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, (by request)
- GMC Yukon and Plymouth Prowler (by request)
Anyway, enough about Performax International, and back to the Corvette Z06. Housing a LS7 7.0 litre alloy V8 engine, hydroformed lightweight body structure, carbonfibre panels and race-bred suspension, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is the fastest production car General Motors has ever made.
The Z06's LS7 engine delivers 505 horsepower (377 kW) in a 1421 kg package. According to GM official figures, this produces 0-60 miles an hour (97 km/h) performance of 3.7 seconds in first gear, A quarter-mile time of 11.7 seconds at 125 mph (102 km/h) and a top speed of 198 mph (319 km/h) - the last recorded on the German Autobahn.
At the heart of the Z06, the highly-developed LS7 returns the legendary moniker"427 cubic inch" engine to the Corvette vocabulary. Unlike the earlier "big-block" 427 engine, the 7.0-litre LS7 is a small-block unit - and the largest-displacement small-block ever produced by Chevrolet and GM.
LS7 shares the same basic Gen IV V8 architecture as the Corvette C6's 6.0-litre LS2, but uses a different block casting with steel cylinder liners. The dry-sumped LS7 also has a different front cover, oil pan, exhaust manifolds and cylinder heads, among many other special components.
Internally, the LS7's reciprocating components make use of racing-derived lightweight technology, including titanium connecting rods and intake valves, to help boost power and rpm capability - the rev limit is reached at 7100.
Special LS7 features include:
- Dry-sump lubrication
- Unique cylinder block casting with large, 104.8 mm bores and pressed-in liners
- Forged steel main bearing caps
- Forged steel crankshaft
- Titanium connecting rods with 101.6 mm stroke
- Cast aluminium flat-top pistons
- 11.0:1 compression
- High-lift camshaft
- CNC-ported aluminium cylinder heads with titanium intake valves and sodium-filled exhaust valves
- Low-restriction air intake system
- Hydroformed exhaust headers with unique"quad flow" collector flanges.
A single-mass flywheel and lightweight, high-capacity clutch channel torque to the rear transaxle. The six-speed ZF manual gearbox - only manual is available in the Z06 - has been strengthened to handle the LS7's increased torque. The transmission includes a pump that sends oil to a front radiator for cooling. The fluid removes additional heat from the differential before returning to the transmission.
The gearbox connects to a limited-slip differential and then through strengthened half-shafts with tougher universal joints to the rear wheels.
The Z06 has a unique aluminium body structure for optimum stiffness and light weight. Perimeter rails are one-piece hydroformed aluminium members featuring cast suspension nodes, which replace many welded steel components on other Corvette models. Other castings, stampings and extrusions are combined into the structure with state-of-the-art technologies.
Advanced structural composites featuring carbonfibre are bonded to the aluminium. The wider front wheelhouses, for example, are carbon composites and the passenger compartment floors combine carbonfibre skins with an ultra-lightweight balsa wood core.
A magnesium cradle serves as the attachment point for the engine and some front suspension components. The lightweight cradle helps improve the front-to-rear weight distribution, as do carbonfibre front guards and wheelhouses.
The battery is re-located from the engine compartment to the boot.
The Z06 retains the 2686-mm wheelbase of other Corvette models, as well as the short-long arm (SLA) suspension and transverse leaf spring design, but it rides on all-new wheels, tyres and brakes, as well as its own rear spring and roll stabiliser.
Wheels are cast-spun aluminium, 18 in. x 8.5 in. with P245/40ZR18 tyres at the front and 19 in. x 10 in. rims with P285/35ZR19 tyres at the rear. It's the largest wheel-and-tyre combination ever offered on a Corvette.
Tyres are Goodyear Eagle F1. Ironically, due to Australian regulatory requirements, the original new tyres are replaced with identical tyres that must be certified as "new" and fitted locally.
Fittingly, the Z06 comes with enormous stopping power - 355 mm vented and cross-drilled front rotors and 340 mm vented and cross-drilled rear rotors.
Red-painted six-piston calipers incorporating six individual brake pads are employed at the front. Individual brake pads are used because they deliver more equalised wear compared to what would otherwise be a very long single-piece pad.
At the rear brakes, four-piston calipers are used, again with four individual pads. ABS is a Delphi four-channel system, coupled to traction control and an Active Handling system, incorporating a"competition" mode.
The Z06 has an unmistakable and aggressive appearance, with design cues that include:
- A wide nose with a large grille opening and splitter below, and wheel opening extensions along the sides to provide aerodynamic downforce
- A cold air scoop in the bonnet that integrates an air inlet system for the engine
- The trailing edge of the front wheel opening is radiused to achieve improved drag, but protects the body finish with a tough moulding, and a large air extractor is located behind the wheel
- Fixed-roof bodystyle optimises rigidity and mass
- Wider rear guards with flares cover the massive rear tyres and a brake cooling scoop in front of the wheels visually balances the front guard extractor
- 10-spoke wheels
- Four larger stainless steel exhaust outlets
- Z06 badging on the carbonfibre front guards
High-Intensity Discharge lighting, fog lamps, leather seating, dual-zone air conditioning, cabin air filtration and head-up display (HUD) with track mode and G-meter are standard.
Australian versions feature supportive sports seats upholstered in perforated leather with crossed-flag embroidery and contrasting stitching. An AM/FM radio with CD player and MP3 capability is standard.