Corvette History

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Z06 2001

In 1963 Zora Duntov created a racing package for the all-new Stingray. The idea behind the ZO6 package was to provide a car that was factory-ready for the racetrack.  Buyers could literally take delivery at the showroom and drive straight to the track to compete with Cobras, Jaguars and the like.
For 2001 Chevrolet has resurrected the ZO6 option to provide a race-ready car to today's buyers. Based on the former hardtop model - already the lightest and stiffest Corvette ever made - the ZO6-equipped cars are designed to be the fastest, best-handling production Corvettes ever. Here's how it's done...
The heart of the ZO6 is the new engine configuration, designated LS6. It puts out 385 horsepower (6000 rpm) and 385 lb-ft of torque (4800 rpm), up from 345 hp in the basic Corvette. The LS6 - based on the LS1 smallblock - has been modified for better management of crankcase pressures, faster oil return from the valve area and a more aggressive cam.  New Intake manifold architecture and higher compression heads (10.5:1 vs 10.1:1 on the LS1) with improved porting allow a larger volume of air into the combustion chambers.  Stronger valve springs handle higher rpms and larger fuel injectors provide the engine with its go-power.
The LS6 designation is a bit of nostalgia also. In 1971 Duntov's team created a special 425 hp big block for Corvette racing enthusiasts. It was second only to the legendary fullblown L88 racing engine available in the '67-'69 Vettes. Only 188 Corvettes were sold with the LS6 engine.
Mated to the LS6 engine is a new titanium exhaust system, the first-ever use of the metal in a mass-production car. The new system is 50 percent lighter than the previous stainless exhaust. The new engine burns so cleanly that the EPA has classified it (and all other Corvette models) as NLEV, or National Low Emission Vehicles.
The recommended oil change interval for the LS6 - and all other Corvettes - is an astounding 10,000-15,000 miles or one year, whichever comes first.
     Unique to the ZO6 is a new 6-speed transmission (M12) with an optimized set of ratios to increase torque in almost every gear. Acceleration is the goal in the ZO6 and with this transmission the car can easily do 0-60 mph in 4 seconds with quarter-mile times of 12 seconds.
The ZO6 mod's don't end with the drivetrain. The car has a thinner windshield and rear backlight and the option list is very short to maintain weight reduction. In total, the ZO6 is 36 pounds lighter than the C5 hardtop and 117 pounds lighter than the coupe and convertible. The car has a suspension system all its own, designated FE4. Not available on other Corvette models, it features a larger front stabilizer bar, stiffer rear leaf spring and revised camber settings, all calibrated for maximum control during high-speed operation.
Forged aluminum wheels, specific to the ZO6, are one inch wider in the front and rear than those used on standard Vettes. New Goodyear Eagle SC Supercar tires were created for the ZPO6. They feature reduced mass, asymmetric tread design and a more compliant sidewall for better on-track handling and durability.
On the outside the ZO6 features center air inlets on the front fascia and air scoops on the rear rocker panels that funnel air to the rear brakes. Special emblems are positioned on the front fenders, disc calipers are painted red and the LS6 engine cover is red. Inside the car is a unique instrument cluster with stylized graphics to reflect the performance orientation of the ZO6. The tachometer has a 6,500 redline.
Lastly, all seating surfaces in the ZO6 are black leather with additional side bolstering. ZO6 logos are embroidered into the headrests. An optional interior with Torch Red accents on the seat inserts, lower instrument panel and lower door panels is available.
If racing (or just owning maximum performance) is our desire, the ZO6 is the best Vette yet!