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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible First One Built Since 1963

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible First One Built Since 1963

By Jeff Youngs,
In 1963, Chevrolet built 199 Corvettes equipped with the performance-oriented Z06 option package, and one of those cars was a convertible. Now, for the 2014 New York International Auto Show, Chevrolet has built a second Corvette Z06 convertible, and plans many more to come.

General Motors says the 2015 Corvette Z06 convertible is the most powerful drop-top ever built by Chevrolet. A supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 engine revs beneath its carbon fiber hood, generating an estimated 625 horsepower and 635 lb.-ft. of torque. That's 165 more horsepower and 175 more lb.-ft. of torque than a standard Corvette Stingray generates.

"Until recently it was not possible to create a lightweight, open-roof structure strong enough to cope with the braking, cornering, and acceleration of Corvette's top performance models," said Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter. "The frame for the Z06 convertible leverages advancements in computer-aided engineering, metallurgy, and manufacturing techniques--many of which were not available just five years ago."

As a result, the new 2015 Corvette Z06 convertible's aluminum structure requires no additional reinforcement, the car weighs about the same as the Z06 coupe, and, aside from minor structural and ventilation changes required to accommodate the convertible top, the Z06 convertible is identical to the Z06 coupe.

The new 2015 Corvette Z06 convertible is equipped with a special mesh grille that maximizes air intake, a larger hood vent designed to reduce the potential for aerodynamic lift, dedicated brake cooling intakes front and rear, and more aggressive aerodynamic detailing intended to increase downforce. Flared front and rear fenders cover the Z06 convertible's lightweight, spun-cast 19-in. front and 20-in. rear wheels, wrapped in P285/30ZR19 front and P335/25ZR20 rear performance tires. The Z06 convertible also features wider rear styling with taillights that are a full 3 in. further apart.

The supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 is equipped with Active Fuel Management to conserve fuel when the driver isn't exercising the car. A 7-speed manual gearbox with Active Rev Management, a dual-mass flywheel, and a dual-disc clutch is standard equipment, while an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is optional. Every Z06 convertible includes Brembo brakes with 2-piece steel rotors and 6-piston front/4-piston rear calipers, a Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension, and a Driver Mode Selector that accesses vehicle performance profiles and systems including a Track mode, Weather mode, Launch Control, and Performance Traction Management. A Z07 Performance package is optional, adding Brembo carbon ceramic matrix braking components, an adjustable rear spoiler, and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires.

The Corvette Z06 convertible's fabric top can be operated remotely using the key fob, and can be raised or lowered at speeds up to 30 mph, according to Chevy. Available in one of four colors, the top includes sound-absorbing material and a glass rear window. A "waterfall" panel between the front seats matches the exterior paint color, and seat-back accent panels are rendered in Carbon Flash paint or real carbon fiber.

Standard and optional interior materials include leather, aluminum, carbon fiber, and suede microfiber. Like the Stingray convertible on which it is based, the Z06 convertible includes a steel-reinforced grab bar for the passenger and softly padded spots where occupants are most likely to brace their knees during hard cornering. Standard GT seats with magnesium frames face a flat-bottom steering wheel with a carbon fiber center spoke, and Competition Sport Seats are available at extra cost. Chevrolet provides five different interior colors for the Z06 convertible, including unique blue and dark gray colors.

Chevrolet says the Corvette Z06 will go on sale in early 2015.

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