2006-2013 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe and Corvette 427 Convertible (6 Gen) Review

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Corvette Z06 C6

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Sixth Generation Chevrolet Corvette What Owners Say

  • The Z06 features a 7.0-liter V8 which is the largest displacement powertrain ever fitted to a factory-built Corvette. With this, you get impressive reliability, a generous amount of low-down torque, and a traditional American V8 engine note.
  • The Z06 only seats one driver and one passenger, but head and legroom are fairly generous for its segment.
  • Comprehensive revisions to the chassis together with the optional fitment of magnetic selective ride control mean that the Z06 has enough cornering capability to hold its own against more agile European competitors through corners.
  • Interior quality issues are disappointing in the Z06 due to several hard plastics applied throughout the cabin. Many owners note that the Z06's cabin does not live up to the expectations of the segment.
  • Although the engine is generally dependable, parts and labor for the Z06 in the event of a fault can be costly.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06 C6 Facelift

Like the base C6-generation Chevrolet Corvette range, the Z06 was not handed a facelift throughout its eight-year lifespan. The only noteworthy visual changes are some new wheel options that were introduced to later year models.

2006-2013 Corvette Z06 C6 Front View Chevrolet
2006-2013 Corvette Z06 C6 Front View
2006-2013 Corvette Z06 C6 Rear View Chevrolet
2006-2013 Corvette Z06 C6 Rear View
2006-2013 Corvette Z06 C6 Interior View Chevrolet
2006-2013 Corvette Z06 C6 Interior View

Engine, Transmission and Drivetrain

The pride of the Z06 is GM's LS7 7.0-liter OHV V8 with pushrod-actuated valves and multi-point injection. To date, this is the largest engine to ever be fitted to a factory-produced Corvette. To create it, GM took the LS2's aluminum block and sleeved the cylinders with a larger bore and longer stroke. Within this unit, you'll find a combination of steel and titanium components. This is a powertrain that was built by hand at the brand's Kentucky plant before being discontinued in the early months of 2022.

7.0L V8 Gas
505 hp | 470 lb-ft
Horsepower
505 hp
Torque
470 lb-ft
Transmission
Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic
Drivetrain
RWD

In the C6-generation Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and 427 Convertible, the LS7 delivers 505 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels via a Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission, with the added benefit of a limited-slip differential. Chevrolet made the 4L65-E automatic transmission available for the first two years on customer request, so there will be a handful of these sitting around the used listings. As per the brand's claims, the Z06 boasts some beastly performance figures. A 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds is possible in the first gear alone thanks to a lengthy gear ratio. An 11.7-second quarter-mile time at a speed of 125 mph is also claimed together with a top speed of 198 mph. While this engine sounds rather thrilling, it is not without its faults. Owners have noted that the LS7 is susceptible to problems with its harmonic balancer, rod bearings, and valve guides.

2006-2013 Chevy Corvette Z06 C6 and 427 C6 MPG

The LS7 may feature cylinder deactivation, but when you boast a capacity of seven liters, achieving a good mpg rating from the EPA is always going to be a challenge. Based on its tests, the Z06 and 427 Convertible boast a 15/24/18 mpg city/highway/combined estimate. Interestingly, some real-world owners have been able best this with a 26 mpg figure, but this is a small sample of drivers that may have varying driving styles and routes, so it should not be looked at as an official result.

EPA mpg (city/highway/combined)Real-world combined mpg*
LS7 7.0 V8 (2006-2013)15/24/1823-26

* Real-world mpg and MPGe figures are provided by the EPA. Once a car has been on sale for a significant period of time, the EPA gets real-world figures directly from the customer base. These figures are then provided on the EPA website. Real-world figures are not available for certain models due to a lack of sales, or not enough people partaking in this after-sales survey.

Safety

The Z06 and 427 Convertible were not crash-tested by the NHTSA, which is common for cars of this caliber. Regardless, the level of standard specification is fairly comprehensive as both models feature a driver and passenger airbag with optional side airbags which become standard on later models. The headlights feature automatic light control, and the cabin is protected by a remote keyless access system with a panic button and immobilizer. Tire pressure monitoring, cruise control, traction, and stability control, together with ABS for the cross-drilled braking system are included as well.

6th Generation Chevrolet Corvette Trims

There is only one trim for the Z06, but preferred specification levels are introduced to the model in later years, which means the list of features can vary from model to model. These include the 1LZ, 2LZ, and 3LZ specification groups. This is the same for the 427 Convertible which was only sold in 2013. Without ticking any optional boxes, the Z06 and 427 Convertible are both generously specced, so the ownership experience shouldn't feel incomplete, regardless of what model you land up with.

There were also a handful of special editions introduced for the C6 Corvette Corvette Z06 coupe:

  • 2007 Chevrolet Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Champion Corvette Z06: Having achieved 27 wins in the ALMS, three-time champion and two-time Le Mans winner Ron Fellows was honored with this service to the Corvette badge with a limited model of his own. It features a unique red and white color combination with a maple leaf logo and his signature. Only 300 of these were produced for the USA.
  • 2008 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Limited Edition Z06: This unique model is a tribute to the big block Chevys of older days. Thi sports a Crystal Red Tintcoat paint with bespoke leather for the interior. Fittingly, only 427 units were constructed.
  • 2009 Chevrolet Corvette GT1 Championship Edition: After the C6.R completed a successful season in the American Le Mans competition, 600 of these commemorative cars were assembled in yellow or black with a chic black leather interior with yellow contrast stitching.
  • 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition: With the Carbon Edition, the focus was to improve the Z06's performance by attaching a set of Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes with 20-inch wheels sporting Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires. It also features some body panels from the ZR1 as well as magnetic ride control, and a leather and suede combination upholstery. 500 of these models were created.
  • 2012 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Centennial Edition: Chevrolet's 100th anniversary was celebrated with a special black and red Z06. Seats feature bespoke microfiber suede accents with commemorative embossed logos.
  • 2013 Chevrolet Corvette 60th Anniversary Package: This custom package celebrates 60 years of the Corvette by giving the Z06 a distinctive Arctic White body paint with optional contrasting Pearl or Silver Blue accents. The interior features Blue Diamond leather upholstery with suede microfiber accents. The brake calipers are painted in Gray while a ZR1 spoiler is fitted to the rear. 60th Anniversary badging can be found on the wheel caps.
  • 2013 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 427 Collector Edition: The 427 Convertible is a tricky one because it is an individual model, a special edition, and essentially an open-top Z06. We'll explain this further on down, but all you need to know here is that it is a unique parts-bin special that features the LS7 powertrain with the standard Corvette suspension and some ZR1 parts here and there. 2,552 of these cars were put together with only 1,000 featuring the 60th Anniversary Package.
Z06
2006-2013
Engine
7.0L V8 Gas
Transmission
Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic
Drivetrain
RWD

All Z06 models come standard with remote keyless entry with push-start ignition, electrically adjustable door mirrors, dual-zone air conditioning with a pollen filter, a head-up display with track mode instrumentation, and Z06-specific bucket seats upholstered in perforated leather. The driver's seat is electrically adjustable while the passenger's seat is two-way manually adjustable. An AM/FM stereo with a CD player and seven speakers is standard but this can be upgraded to the 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment with navigation and the Bose Premium seven-speaker sound system. Additional options include an electrochromatic interior and driver's side mirror, a cargo net, an electrically adjustable steering column, and a memory package that saves presets for the driver's seat, mirrors, sound system, climate control, and steering position. The Z06 sits on a set of 10-spoke 18-inch front and 19-inch rear alloy wheels.

The 1LZ, 2LZ, and 3LZ specification groups were incorporated in 2008. The 1LZ is fairly basic as it only features two airbags (reverted to four by the following year), a manually adjustable driver's seat, and a head-up display. 2LZ adds the side airbags, memory package, luggage shade, heated seats, an electrically adjustable multifunction steering wheel, and XM radio for the audio system. 3LZ includes a custom leather-wrapped interior package. 2008 also introduced a chrome finish for the alloy wheels. Later models have more modern features such as Bluetooth connectivity, a Bose nine-speaker audio system, and lumbar and wing adjustments for the sports seats. All Z06 models feature the LS7 7.0-liter V8 with a power output of 505 hp. The six-speed manual is the only transmission available if you exclude the small number of 2006 and 2007 models that were able to get access to the six-speed automatic transmission via special order.

427 Convertible
2013 - 2013
Engine
7.0L V8 Gas
Transmission
Six-speed manual
Drivetrain
RWD

Standard specification for the convertible is in line with the Z06, but there are some noteworthy differences. For starters, this model doesn't feature the coupe's aluminum frame due to the lack of a roof. Instead, it uses the steel rails from the base convertible. This model also made use of specification groups, namely 1SA, 1SB, and 1SC, with the highest tier including carbon fiber body panels, dual heated and electrically adjustable electrochromatic side mirrors, xenon auto-on low-beam headlights with halogen high beams, dual-zone climate control with a cabin filter, remote keyless entry with push-button start, electrically adjustable driver and passenger sports seats with lumbar and wing adjustments and heating, a head-up display, an electrically adjustable multifunction steering wheel, the 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, the Bose Premium nine-speaker audio system, and XM Radio. The aforementioned custom leather-wrapped package was available here too, as well as the 60th Anniversary visual highlight package. Appealing to the purists, this model was only sold with the TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission.

Sixth Generation Corvette Features

Z06 1LZZ06 2LZZ06 3LZ427 1SA427 1SB427 1SCZ06
ABSSSSSSSN/A
A/CSSSSSSN/A
Bluetooth ConnectionN/ASSSSSN/A
Climate ControlSSSSSSN/A
Cruise ControlSSSSSSN/A
Driver Air BagSSSSSSS
Front Side Air BagSSSSSSS
Head-Up DisplaySSSSSSN/A
Heated Front Seat(s)N/ASSN/ASSN/A
Keyless EntrySSSSSSN/A
Keyless StartSSSSSSN/A
Multi-Zone A/CSSSSSSN/A
Navigation from TelematicsSSSSSSN/A
Passenger Air BagSSSSSSS
Power Driver SeatSSSSSSN/A
Power Mirror(s)SSSSSSN/A
Power Passenger SeatSSSSSSN/A
Premium Sound SystemN/ASSSSSN/A
Remote Trunk ReleaseSSSSSSN/A
Satellite RadioSSSSSSS
Seat MemoryOSSN/ASSS
Stability ControlSSSSSSN/A
Steering Wheel Audio ControlsSSSSSSS
TelematicsSSSSSSO
Tire Pressure MonitorSSSSSSN/A
Traction ControlOOOSSSN/A
Universal Garage Door OpenerOSSN/ASSS

Interior, Trim And Practicality

Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 6th Gen Interior Overview Chevrolet
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 6th Gen Interior Overview

Headroom and legroom measure in at 37.7 and 43.1 inches respectively which leaves more than enough space for anyone as tall as 6.4 feet. A trunk capacity of 22.4 cubic feet is possible thanks to the use of a rear fastback hatch rather than a conventional trunk. This provides enough room for two medium-size suitcases with a bit of space to spare for additional items. The 427 Convertible features the same head- and legroom, but trunk space is noticeably less at 11.0 cubic feet. This is due to the folding roof mechanism. Both cars feature plush leather upholstery for the seats and sections of the cabin, but there are some plastic trimmings that cheapen the overall feel.

Z06 1LZZ06 2LZZ06 3LZ427 1SA427 1SB427 1SCZ06
Bucket SeatsSSSN/AN/AN/AN/A
Leather SeatsSSSN/AN/AN/AN/A
Leather Steering WheelOSOSSSN/A
Color Combination OverrideOOOOOON/A
Ebony, Leather Seating SurfacesSSN/ASSN/AN/A
Ebony w/Red accents, Leather Seating SurfacesSSN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Ebony w/Cashmere accents, Leather Seating SurfacesSSN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Ebony w/Titanium accents, Leather Seating SurfacesSSN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Ebony w/Red accents, leather seating surfacesSN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Ebony w/Titanium accents, leather seating surfacesSN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Ebony, Custom Leather Wrapped Seating SurfacesSN/ASN/AN/ASN/A
Sienna, Custom Leather Wrapped Seating SurfacesSN/ASN/AN/AN/AN/A
Linen, Custom Leather Wrapped Seating SurfacesSN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Cashmere, Custom Leather Wrapped Seating SurfacesN/AN/ASN/AN/ASN/A
Dark Titanium, Custom Leather Wrapped Seating SurfacesN/AN/ASN/AN/ASN/A
Diamond Blue, Custom Leather Wrapped Seating SurfacesN/AN/ASN/AN/ASN/A
Ebony, Custom leather-wrapped interiorN/AN/AON/AN/AN/AN/A
Seat trim, leather, processing codeN/AN/AN/ASSN/AN/A
Red, Leather Seating SurfacesN/AN/AN/ASSN/AN/A
Cashmere, Leather Seating SurfacesN/AN/AN/ASSN/AN/A
Titanium Gray, Leather Seating SurfacesN/AN/AN/ASSN/AN/A
Red, Two-tone Leather Seating SurfacesN/AN/AN/ASSN/AN/A
Cashmere, Two-tone Leather Seating SurfacesN/AN/AN/ASSN/AN/A
Titanium Gray, Two-tone Leather Seating SurfacesN/AN/AN/ASSN/AN/A
Highwear Nuance Leather Seat TrimN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AS

2006 - 2013 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 6th Generation Maintenance and Cost

Like all other LS powertrains, the LS7 is generally dependable if well-maintained and respected. It shares its maintenance schedule with the LS3, which means that you will have to conduct an oil and filter change every 7,500 miles. A new cabin filter is needed every 22,500 miles. New clutch fluid is required every 30,000 miles. 45,000 miles is when the LS7 will need a new engine air filter. Spark plugs need to be exchanged at 97,500 miles. Drain, flush, and fill the engine cooling system and brake fluid every 150,000 miles. It is essential that you ensure this schedule is adhered to because the LS7 is susceptible to issues with the valve guides, rod bearings, and harmonic balancer.

6th Gen Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Basic Service

The LS7 uses the same oil type as the LS3, but as you can expect, its oil capacity is more. An oil and filter replacement should cost no more than $122. An air filter should set you back $49 while a set of eight spark plugs is likely to cost in the region of $120.

2006 - 2013 Chevrolet Corvette Tires

Z06
Front Tire Size:
P275/35ZR18
Front Wheel Size:
18" x 9.5"
Rear Tire Size:
P325/30ZR19
Rear Wheel Size:
19" x 12.0"
Z06 1LZ
Front Tire Size:
P275/35ZR18
Front Wheel Size:
18" x 9.5"
Rear Tire Size:
P325/30ZR19
Rear Wheel Size:
19" x 12.0"
Z06 2LZ
Front Tire Size:
P275/35ZR18
Front Wheel Size:
18" x 9.5"
Rear Tire Size:
P325/30ZR19
Rear Wheel Size:
19" x 12.0"
Z06 3LZ
Front Tire Size:
P275/35ZR18
Front Wheel Size:
18" x 9.5"
Rear Tire Size:
P325/30ZR19
Rear Wheel Size:
19" x 12.0"
427 1SA
Front Tire Size:
P285/30ZR19
Front Wheel Size:
19" x 10.0"
Rear Tire Size:
P335/25ZR20
Rear Wheel Size:
20" x 12.0"
427 1SB
Front Tire Size:
P285/30ZR19
Front Wheel Size:
19" x 10.0"
Rear Tire Size:
P335/25ZR20
Rear Wheel Size:
20" x 12.0"
427 1SC
Front Tire Size:
P285/30ZR19
Front Wheel Size:
19" x 10.0"
Rear Tire Size:
P335/25ZR20
Rear Wheel Size:
20" x 12.0"

Check Before You Buy

The 2006-2013 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe recalls list is not very long. The 2006 and 2007 Chevy C6 Corvette Z06 were recalled for a loss of low beam headlight problem that was due to electrical problems. Some models also had to be recalled for a steering wheel position sensor that would render the system inoperable after repeated movement. There was also a recall for the power steering hose which was not the manufacturer's specification and could lead to breaking, fracturing, or leaking under extreme use. A small number of 2011 and 2012 models were recalled for a rear hatch that could detach while driving due to faulty rear hatch hinges.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and 427 Convertible Common Problems

Failing Alternator

6th-gen Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and 427 Convertible models that have covered high miles may suffer from alternator failure. This is not due to wear and tear, but rather a high level of heat that the part is subjected to. With this in mind, you will likely notice a decrease in performance from your alternator before it becomes inoperative. Detecting this problem is fairly simple, as the most common fault will be an inability to start the car, even if your battery is still relatively fresh. A replacement alternator is costly, but the installation cost should not be too steep.

Mileage: Alternator issues are likely to surface after 100,000 miles of driving in hot weather conditions.

Cost: A new alternator for the Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06 is likely to cost $872. Labor costs are not likely to be more than $300.

How to spot: A battery that fails to charge while driving could point to a failing alternator. This will be the case if your car is not starting even though your battery is less than five years old and has not been standing for an extended period.

Worn Fuel Level Sensor And Leaky Fuel Tank

C6 Corvette Z06 models built after 2007 may be prone to leaking fuel tanks, resulting in the P0442 error code, but you may notice this across all model years. It is understood that the tank can suffer from cracks, but the sending units and pumps may also be prone to premature failure. A service bulletin was issued by General Motors for this flaw, but there was no recall. You would smell gasoline if your tank is damaged. If this is the case, you will need to remove it so that it can be repaired. Some owners have also reported that the fuel level sensor tends to erode on higher mileage cars. In this case, you'll notice an inaccurate fuel reading and will need to replace the part together with the fuel pump module.

Mileage: After 132,000 miles, issues with the fueling system may start to appear.

Cost: An all-new fuel tank may cost in the region of $2,200. Replacing the fuel pump is likely to set you back $196. A new fuel sensor and pump module should cost $1,200.

How to spot: You'll notice strong fuel smells and an increase in gas consumption if cracks in your fueling system have developed. An incorrect fuel level reading is likely to be due to a failed fuel level sensor.

LS7 7.0-Liter V8 Engine Problems

The most noteworthy LS7 C6 Corvette engine problem is failing valve guides. The consensus is that this isn't exactly a common problem for the unit, but it is an issue that keeps a lot of owners awake at night because it involves a costly and labor-intensive repair process. The appeal of this 7.0-liter V8 powertrain is that Chevrolet gave it an impressive rev limit of 7,100 rpm, but what owners who frequented this range noticed was a rapid wearing of the valve guides which resulted in an audible rattle. Over an extended period, this results in oil seeping into the combustion chamber which can wreak havoc on the spark plugs and catalytic converter. If left unchecked for too long, engine failure can occur. According to GM, this issue was due to an incorrect cylinder head it acquired from one of its suppliers and is only likely to be prevalent in 2008-2011 Z06 models. Replacement heads were made available to owners, but it is still an area that you'll need to inspect before purchasing.

Rod bearings are another issue that plagued the LS7. This isn't necessarily a design flaw, but rather because of an aluminum-steel compound that was needed to adhere to European regulations. This material wears out faster than the previous steel and bronze compound. This is a fairly easy issue to spot as you'll notice metal shavings in your oil when the rod bearings start to wear. It's also more likely to occur on Z06 models that frequent the track. Rod bearing replacement is a costly procedure as it requires you to open up the engine.

Harmonic balancers are also an area of concern for the LS7. This part absorbs any shocks that the crankshaft may be subjected to so if it wears out, it will throw your powertrain's timing off. In serious cases, it can even rattle the engine's components apart. If the balancer separates and vibrations travel down the crankshaft, it may result in damage to the oil pump, block, or the crankshaft itself. The only way to resolve this problem is by fitting a new aftermarket balancer that is more reliable than the one supplied by Chevrolet.

Mileage: Valve guide wear, rod bearing failure, and worn harmonic balancers are likely to present themselves after 100,000 miles. These are most likely to occur on cars that frequent the track.

Cost: Expect to pay in the region of $2,700 for parts and labor to have the valve guides of the cylinder head repaired. New rod bearings, with fitment could cost anywhere between $2,000 to $3,000 depending on how extensive the damage to the internals is. Replacing the crankshaft harmonic balancer on the LS7 is likely to cost just north of $205, including parts and labor.

How to spot: Worn valve guides will emit an audible rattle. In extreme cases, oil will seep into the combustion chamber. If the rod bearing starts to fail, you will see metal flakes in your oil. Eroded harmonic balancers will translate to harsh powertrain vibrations.

Less Common Problems And Problem-Free Areas

Less prevalent issues that you'll be subjected to on the C6 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and 427 Convertible include a failing steering wheel position sensor, a check engine light that is caused by a worn gas cap, the random illumination of an airbag light, and a malfunctioning radio. Transmission and electrical problems on the 2006 to 2013 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 coupe and 2013 427 Convertible are highly irregular.

Which One To Avoid

Early year models from 2006 to 2011 should be avoided as they were subject to the most recalls and are most susceptible to the fast-wearing valve guides. In general, you should also not consider examples that have been modified or frequently used on track as these are likely to have been subjected to more wear, which can result in more problems.

Which One To Buy

2013 Z06 models should be getting your attention as these do not feature any recalls whatsoever and are noted to have fewer powertrain issues. Be sure to inspect the full service history with a careful eye, as the LS7 is only dependable if it has been looked after and routinely maintained. Low mileage models that have never been modified or tracked are usually going to be better options. The 427 Convertible in particular is an appealing option for Corvette enthusiasts.

6th Gen Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe Verdict

The C6 Z06 is arguably one of the best iterations of the Corvette as it combines the moniker's heritage with modern technology and a beastly 7.0-liter V8 powertrain. If treated with respect, these are performance cars that should not translate to too many issues but can be enjoyed close to the limit for those who wish to explore the borders of their potential. Cabin quality may be a letdown due to the vast use of plastic trimmings, but leather upholstered seats are plush and surprisingly comfortable.

Corvette Z06 C6 (6th Generation) Alternatives

If you're shopping for 2006-2013 Chevrolet Corvette you should consider these alternatives
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