by Alexander Stokiosa Photography by A.J. Mueller and Chevrolet
When the enemy is at the gates, you arm yourself and brace for an attack. When you are the enemy, you let loose a fusillade. With high-priced exotics and domestic sports cars alike in its crosshairs, we already knew the 2015 Corvette Z06 was out for blood; our deep dive on the car told us all we needed to know on that count. But official power figures had been kept secret. Now that they’re out, it’s clear that the Chevy is going to be beating down some gates.
Let’s end the suspense: The 2015 Corvette Z06’s supercharged LT4 engine will crank out 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, each figure being 25 more than Chevrolet’s coy estimates. In fact, the Z06 fairly crushes the last-generation Corvette ZR1, which packed 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque, reinforcing the notion that that model won’t be making a return in C7 guise any time soon. And forget the last-gen Z06, which eked out just 505 horsepower from its 7.0-liter LS7.
Chevrolet’s most-powerful production car ever—available in both coupe and convertible body styles—also humbles the 640-hp Dodge Viper, as well as the Porsche 911 Turbo S, McLaren 650S, and Lamborghini Huracán. In fact, in the horsepower wars, the Z06 is topped only by stuff like the Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari F12berlinetta, Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1, and Ferrari LaFerrari. Clearly, Chevy isn’t impressed with the current 662-hp Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, because it isn’t mentioned anywhere in the press release’s rundown of power brokers.
Dive into the LT4 engine’s arsenal of power-enhancing tricks, you’ll find it benefits from Rotocast aluminum cylinder heads, titanium intake valves, forged connecting rods, a 10.0:1 compression ratio, direct fuel injection, forced aluminum pistons, and dry-sump lubrication. The supercharger spins faster than the unit fitted to the outgoing ZR1’s mill—20,000 rpm versus 15,000—and the rotors are smaller so they can whip up to speed more quickly. Horsepower peaks at 6400 rpm, while full torque comes online at 3600 rpm. A hefty 592 lb-ft is available over the wide plateau from 2500 to 5400 rpm.
Even with the Z06’s mild weight gain versus the previous car, we have a hunch that it’s going to be silly quick with either the standard seven-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic. Even with a gate in its path.