It’s the car that every Corvette enthusiast waits for after the launch of a generation. The first sub-model, the racing-derived version of the normal car. And it wears that special badge on its front fenders with honor: Z06
This legacy started with the C5 reviving the name from a C2 race car that had less than 200 units made. At the time, being honest as well, GM was making some pretty crappy cars.
And then out popped this 405 HP, snarling, barking beast of a Corvette, the C5 Z06, and it was built tight and strong. It saw a surge of interest in the Corvette name and the Chevrolet brand after the lackluster C4 and GM econoboxes of the 1990s.
This interest continued to the 505 HP Corvette C6 Z06. A proper 427 ci V8, hand-built and ready to render your rear tires bald in the space of about 30 seconds if you did a burnout. It was also the most pure “proper” Corvette since the 1970s, with power, poise, and communication with the road all major points.
After that, the Corvette C7 Z06 arrived on the scene, with a supercharger slapped on top of the V8 that pushed it to 650 HP. A rowdy, rough customer, the C7 Z06 was meant to attack the road, carve the corners, and obliterate miles with a sonorous roar that echoed across America.
As they say at the end of the video, there isn’t really a winner. All three Z06’s have their respected places in Corvette history.
Personally, however, if I had to choose which Z06 I’d take… I’d want the C6 Z06. Something about the sound, the purity of the build, and the ethos behind it just sits right with me.