I took a trip to Detroit last week (on GM’s dime – full disclosure) to tour the Pratt & Miller Corvette Racing facility and see the new C6.R being built for the GT2 class at this year’s Le Mans – but at the end of the tour, along with a sumptuous lunch, we got a special treat: the 2011 Corvette Z06 “Carbon” edition was making its debut in the race shop.
When the 2006 Corvette Z06 was introduced, it represented the closest connection to the Corvette race cars ever. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 closed the gap between racing and production even further. This year, Corvette continues its tradition of track-to-street technology transfer with the 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition.
The Z06 Carbon is the next logical step in Corvette Z06 evolution, pulling in the non-engine elements of the super-duper ZR1 edition.
“For track use, the Z06 Carbon is the best balanced Corvette yet. It combines the lightweight and naturally-aspirated Z06 engine with the road-holding and braking of the ZR1,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette Chief Engineer. “For technical tracks like Laguna Seca, the Z06 Carbon could shave up to three seconds off the Z06 lap time.”
The Carbon Z06 uses the Brembo carbon ceramic brakes of the ZR1 with model-specific dark gray metallic calipers. The Carbon also uses the same 20-spoke 19-inch front/20-inch rear wheels as the ZR1, but coated in black to set the car apart visually. The Carbon will ride on Michelin PS2 tires. Other mechanical features include Magnetic Selective Ride Control for the first time on the Z06 and enhanced cooling. The car also features a special carbon pattern engine cover.
The Corvette Z06 Carbon will be available in two colors: Inferno Orange and the all-new Supersonic Blue (shown). Having seen this car in person, we can tell you that the blue is absolutely gorgeous – understated, dignified, and all business.
The Carbon edition also comes with black headlamps and mirrors, a ZR1-style body color spoiler, body color door handles, carbon fiber raised hood, and black carbon fiber rockers and splitter. They took all the tricks from the ZR1 to reduce mass and aerodynamic lift. For track events, customers can also install the Euro-styled racing number stickers that come with each car. Thankfully, Chevy’s delivering those in the trunk instead of on the car.
The Z06 Carbon’s ebony leather and suede interior is complemented by blue or orange seat stitching to match the exterior color chosen. Other features include a unique steering wheel emblem, sill plate and logoed headrest. The suede used on the steering wheel, shifter, seat inserts, armrests and doors add to the luxury of this limited edition Z06. Seeing it up close and personal, it’s a really nice interior.
But if you’re not lucky enough to get your hands on a Carbon edition, there will be an optional Z07 performance package that includes the same mechanical upgrades as the Carbon, and you can add that option to a regular 2011 Z06. This package also includes Competition Gray 20-spoke wheels and all the chassis and cooling upgrades.
For the rest of the Carbon goodies, you will be able to order a CFZ Z06 carbon fiber package includes the black carbon fiber rockers, splitter and roof panel with the full-width body color spoiler. You can get the carbon fiber goodies with or without the Z07 package on regular Z06 models.
The 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition, as well as the new Z07 and CFZ Z06 option packages will be available in late summer of 2010.