This is the most hardcore Corvette you can get. For now.
Chevrolet has been posting a series of videos about the all-new Corvette Z06. It's the ultimate nerd-fest, as you get to see the leading engineers behind the project talk about the suspension setup and the glorious flat-plane V8 engine. The V8 video used to be our favorite, but now Chevy has finally introduced a Gearhead Ted Talk about the Z07 Performance Package.
The standard Z06 should be a good track car without it, but ticking the Z07 box will allow you to go even harder on your favorite circuit. Chevrolet calls it a track-dominating machine, and the main goal for the development was mostly just lap time.
To minimize lap time, Chevy focused on three areas. Going faster, stopping better, and turning harder, in other words, tires, brakes, and aerodynamics. And no, not a supercharger bolted on top because it would defeat the purpose of the car. You don't need enormous power to provide the ultimate track experience. For reference, see the Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
The Z06 with the optional (on all three trim levels and both coupe and convertible body styles) Z07 package comes with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires, which straddle the line between street legal and race ready. According to Chevrolet, the speed lasts for an entire track session. The degradation over time will be negligible unless you somehow get the car sideways with these sticky tires.
Aluminum wheels are standard, but you can upgrade to carbon fiber wheels as a standalone option. The carbon fiber units weigh 41 pounds less than the aluminum wheels and apparently make a big difference. Chevy says the steering feel, precision, and acceleration are enhanced, which results in a noticeable lap time reduction. The carbon wheels are only available with the Z07 package, and you can have them painted ($9,995) or in naked carbon fiber for $11,995.
The brakes are carbon ceramic and the largest ever on a Corvette. We don't really need to remind you why carbon ceramic brakes are so awesome, but you get consistent and excellent braking power throughout a track session. Carbon ceramic brakes are more resistant to fade, and you can really lean on them. Hard.
Finally, we have the aerodynamic enhancements, which are a dead giveaway. The Z07 has a longer front splitter, dive planes on the side, and a fixed rear wing. Underneath are rubber strakes that force air out behind the rear wheels, removing dirty air from the front of the rear wheel. Chevrolet does not say how many pounds of downforce all of these systems provide, so we'll have to wait to get a turn behind the wheel.
Upgrading to the Z07 Performance Package is not cheap. If you want all of the above, you're looking at $8,995 for the package, $10,496 for the Carbon Aero Package in visible carbon fiber, and $11,995 for matching naked carbon fiber wheels.
Starting with a Z06 3LZ Coupe, the total is $150,335. That's expensive for a Corvette, but not too bad when considering a base 911 GT3 RS without options costs $223,800.