HD 2016 Corvette convertible ZO6

Corvette is a triumph of design and engineering. But Chevrolet didn’t stop there. With advanced technologies, a race-proven bloodline and a supercharged engine, the all-new 2015 Z06 is a world-class supercar.

You’d have a hard time proving the **** 2015 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 convertible isn’t the best sports car on Earth.

With 0-60 m.p.h. times as low as of 2.95 seconds — quicker than the moment between your phone’s first and second rings — it’d be easy to call the ZO6 scary fast, but there’s nothing remotely frightening about Chevrolet’s 650-horsepower supercar.

Sure, the Corvette ZO6 is the most powerful Corvette ever, but it’s also a great value, remarkably fuel-efficient and so easy to drive you may forget you’re at the wheel of one of the world’s great cars.

2015-chevrolet-corvette-z06-sports-car-mo-exterior-980x600-01But not for long.

Every time you walk up to the gorgeous convertible, every time you accelerate, turn or brake, this best ‘Vette ever reminds you GM’s engineers and designers have achieved something very special.

The Corvette ZO6 convertible competes with other legendary convertibles like the Aston Martin DB9 Volante, Audi R8 Quattro V10 Spyder , Bentley Continental GT Speed, BMW M6, Ferrari California, Mercedes SL65 AMG and Porsche 911 S turbo. “Compete” may not be the right word, though. The ZO6 convertible beats them soundly. It costs $35,000 to $175,000 less than those other great cars. It also out-accelerates and has more horsepower than any of them.

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You’d have a hard time proving the **** 2015 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 convertible isn’t the best sports car on Earth.

With 0-60 m.p.h. times as low as of 2.95 seconds — quicker than the moment between your phone’s first and second rings — it’d be easy to call the ZO6 scary fast, but there’s nothing remotely frightening about Chevrolet’s 650-horsepower supercar.

Sure, the Corvette ZO6 is the most powerful Corvette ever, but it’s also a great value, remarkably fuel-efficient and so easy to drive you may forget you’re at the wheel of one of the world’s great cars.

But not for long.

Every time you walk up to the gorgeous convertible, every time you accelerate, turn or brake, this best ‘Vette ever reminds you GM’s engineers and designers have achieved something very special.

The Corvette ZO6 convertible competes with other legendary convertibles like the Aston Martin DB9 Volante, Audi R8 Quattro V10 Spyder , Bentley Continental GT Speed, BMW M6, Ferrari California, Mercedes SL65 AMG and Porsche 911 S turbo. “Compete” may not be the right word, though. The ZO6 convertible beats them soundly. It costs $35,000 to $175,000 less than those other great cars. It also out-accelerates and has more horsepower than any of them.

The ZO6 comes with a 6.2L supercharged V8 and a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. My test car had a manual transmission, heated and cooled seats, Bose audio, Bluetooth phone and music compatibility, USB ports, voice recognition, navigation, rev matching for seamless shifts, a one-touch power soft top and more. It stickered at $93,240. All prices exclude destination charges. The 2016 ZO6 adds trim and appearance options, a couple of features and a race-inspired C7.R model.

The supercharged V8 produces 650 hp, 650 pound-feet of torque and delivers a top speed of 195 m.p.h. Manual transmission models like mine reach 60 m.p.h. in 3.2 seconds, about 10% slower than GM’s slick eight-speed automatic. The rev-matching feature, which allows you to shift manually without lifting the throttle, performs seamlessly.

The seven-speed manual is smooth and pliable, with a light shifter and clutch effort and short throws. Indicators in the heads-up display and instrument panel show what gear you’re in.

The engine note, throttle response, adaptive suspension, steering and other functions offer modes for regular and sporty driving, winter or track conditions. Even in the normal touring mode, the engine delivers stunning power and a lovely sound.

The ZO6’s EPA fuel economy rating of 15 m.p.g. in the city, 22 on the highway and 18 combined is impressive. It’s the most powerful car in its class, but the ZO6’s combined rating trails only the 560-h.p. Porsche 911 S turbo.

The adaptive magnetic suspension provides a fine combination of comfort and handling. It muffles the impact of broken pavement that would chatter your teeth in most sports cars, but also holds the ZO6 flat and stable in spirited driving.

The Corvette’s stiff aluminum frame allowed Chevy to offer a convertible version of the ZO6 for the first time. The body work is lighter because of extensive use of carbon fiber and wider to accommodate the ZO6’s very sticky Michelin Super Pilot run-flat tires.

The massive carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes could have stopped the asteroid that exterminated the dinosaurs. They’re smooth and easy to modulate.

My car’s interior was wrapped in soft leather, with carbon fiber and microfiber trim. It has impressive interior storage room thanks to an ingenious compartment behind the touch screen in its center stack. The touch screen, conventional controls and voice recognition make all the ZO6’s functions easy to operate.

I was surprised such an advanced car lacked blind spot/cross traffic alert and adaptive cruise control. But the standard camera makes backing up easy.

But if there were ever a street car that begs the racing adage “what’s behind me doesn’t matter,” it’s the Chevrolet Corvette ZO6. This car is unlikely to finish second in speed, beauty or value.

Contact Mark Phelan: mmphelan@freepress.com or 313-222-6731. Follow him on Twitter @mark_phelan.

Behind the Wheel

2015 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 convertible

Rear-wheel-drive two-passenger roadster

Price as tested: $93,240 (excluding destination charge)

Rating: **** (Out of four stars)

Reasons to buy: Performance, looks, value, fuel economy

Shortcomings: Blind spot alert and adaptive cruise control not available

Competitive EPA fuel economy ratings

(Convertibles; manual transmission models where available.)

Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 convertible: 15 m.p.g. city/22 highway/18 combined. Premium gasoline.

Aston Martin DB9 Volante: 13/19/15. Premium gasoline.

Audi R8 Quattro V10 Spyder: 12/19/14. Premium gasoline.

Bentley Continental GT Speed convertible: 12/20/15. Premium gasoline.

BMW M6 convertible: 15/22/17. Premium gasoline.

Ferrari California: 16/23/18. Premium gasoline.

Mercedes SL 65 AMG: 14/21/17. Premium gasoline.

Porsche 911 S turbo: 17/24/20. Premium gasoline.

Source: www.fueleconomy.gov

Comparative base prices (excluding destination charges)

(Convertibles; manual transmission models where available.)

Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 convertible: $83,000

Aston Martin DB9 Volante: $203,295

Audi R8 Quattro V10 Spyder: $166,100

Bentley Continental GT Speed convertible: $258,025

BMW M6 convertible: $118,200

Ferrari California: $198,973

Mercedes SL 65 AMG: 201,674 (est.)

Porsche 911 S turbo: $194,600

Source: Autotrader and KBB.com

Specifications as tested

Engine: 6.2L supercharged 16-valve V8

Power: 650 hp @ 6,400 r.p.m; 650 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 r.p.m.

Transmission: Seven-speed manual

Wheelbase: 106.7 inches

Length: 177.9 inches

Width: 77.4 inches

Height: 48.6 inches

Curb weight: 3,582 lbs.

Where assembled: Bowling Green, Ky.

Key features on vehicle tested

Standard equipment: Antilock brakes; stability control; side impact air bags; run flat tires; backup camera; ZO6 performance suspension; magnetic ride control; slotted brake rotors; electronic limited slip differential; 19-inch front, 20-inch rear painted aluminum wheels; performance exhaust; active rev matching; speed-sensitive variable ratio power steering; drive mode selector; LED parking lights and turn signals; high-intensity xenon headlights; carbon fiber hood; power heated side mirrors; power convertible top; power windows and locks; power adjustable seats; power tilt and telescoping steering column; voice recognition; Bluetooth phone and audio compatible; USB port; head-up color display; leather-wrapped steering wheel; Bose audio; 8-inch touch screen; six months of OnStar service.

Options: Memory for driver settings; Nappa leather; three months XM satellite radio service; carbon fiber interior trim; microfiber-wrapped upper trim; heated and ventilated seats; premium audio; performance data recorder; premium paint.

 

America’s sports car continues into 2016 with a choice of four models—two engines, each available in coupe and convertible bodies. From a base Stingray to a supercar-baiting Z06 convertible, you’ll find the Corvette range to offer some of the very best bang for the buck in the industry. The seventh-generation Vette’s styling has gone…
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