GM’s big surprise for the 2014 New York International Auto Show has been unveiled! Ladies and gentlemen, we present you the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible. According to the official press release, the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible is the most powerful convertible ever produced by Chevrolet, as it comes with the all-new LT4 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that it is expected to develop at least 625 hp (406 kW) and 635 lb-ft (861 Nm) of torque.
The LT4 V8 comes as standard with a seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match but as an option, Chevrolet offers the 8L90 eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission. This new 8-speed automatic transmission fits in the same space as the six-speed automatic used on the 2014 Corvette Stingray and thanks to the extensive use of aluminum and magnesium it is also 4 kg (8 pounds) lighter than the six-speed.
Moreover, the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible is the first Z06 Convertible offered from the factory since 1963. For those who don’t know, back in 1963 the Z06 option package was introduced for endurance racing and records show that only 199 Corvettes were ordered with a Z06 package that year, including one convertible.
What’s more interesting is that thanks to the aluminum structure the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible is 20 percent stiffer than the previous Z06 Coupe. The new Z06 Convertible doesn’t need any structural reinforcements and as a result, its curb weight is almost identical to the Z06 Coupe. Furthermore, the convertible shares the same chassis tuning, powertrain output, driver technologies and equipment options as the coupe.
This means that the Z06 Convertible is available with the Z07 Performance Package, which adds several features such as Brembo carbon-ceramic matrix brakes, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires and adjustable front- and rear-aerodynamic components. Comparing it with the coupe, the Z96 Convertible shows minor design changes as it features an electronic top that can be lowered using the car’s key fob.
Still, the top can be opened or close when the vehicle is in motion but only at speeds of up to 30 mph or 50 km/h. Chevrolet offers the retractable soft top in four colors along with sound-absorbing padding and a glass rear window. When the roof is opened, we can observe Corvette Stingray’s signature “waterfall” design that originates in the valley between the nacelles.
Behind the seat backs, dual accent panels – either Carbon Flash-painted or available with exposed carbon fiber – enhance the character lines of the tonneau cover. Just like the coupe, the Z06 Convertible comes with lightweight, spin-cast aluminum wheels (19-inch on the front and 20-inch at the rear) wrapped in Michelin tires (Pilot Super Sport tires for the Z06; Sport Cup 2 tires with the Z07 package), P285/30ZR19 on the front and 335/25ZR20 at the rear.
Behind these wheels we find the massive Brembo brakes. The Z06 features two-piece steel rotors, measuring 14.6 x 1.3-inch (371 x 33 mm) front and 14.4 x 1-inch (365 x 25 mm) rear, with aluminum six-piston and four-piston fixed calipers, respectively. Meanwhile, the Z07 package adds larger 15.5 x 1.4-inch (394 x 36 mm) front and 15.3 x 1.3-inch (388 x 33 mm) carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors for consistent performance lap after lap.
The new rotors are 23 pounds lighter over the standard Z06 rotors. Z06 Convertible is available with three levels of aerodynamic levels: the standard model features a front splitter, spats around the front wheel openings, a unique carbon-fiber hood with a larger vent and rear spoiler; the second option is an available cabon-fiber aero packages which adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce (this package is available in black or a visible carbon-fiber finish); the Z07 package adds larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler.
Two seating choices are available: a GT seat or the Competition Sport seat which offers a better support on the track. The flat-bottomed steering wheel features with a carbon fiber center spoke. 2015 Chevrolet Z06 Convertible comes in five interior colors, where two – blue and dark grey - are unique to the Z06.