Note: All information and pictures on this page are courtesy of GM Media Archives.
Interior sound isolation has been improved on all Corvettes with the addition of expandable foam and/or new seals in strategic areas.
A new convertible top provides better sealing, better sound isolation and a smoother appearance.
Two new paint colors are available for 2001 - Speedway White replaces
the former Arctic White, and Quicksilver replaces Sebring Silver.
A new Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery, sometimes referred to as a "starve" battery, - which is lighter and more durable than the current Corvette battery - becomes the standard battery on all Corvette models.
In the AGM battery fiberglass mats are impregnated with electrolyte, then compressed along with the lead plates into a sealed and well-reinforced case. The resulting more-compact battery is capable of being run down and recharged more often than a common lead acid battery, has better heat resistance and is 5.7 pounds lighter than the battery it replaces.
On the Z06, both the windshield and backlight have been thinned to save weight, but resistance to stone chipping has been maintained. A total of 5.7 pounds was eliminated. There is some loss of interior noise isolation as a result, but in a car like the Z06 this may not prove to be a "turn-off" because the additional sound level inside tends to put driver and passenger more in tune with the machine. There are "good" noises and "bad" noises, and real enthusiasts know the difference.
Reducing the Z06's weight by more than 36 pounds overall, boosting its power output by 40 hp, and broadening its operating range, made a significant improvement in the car's power-to-weight ratio. The result puts it in some every good company, as indicated below:
Power-to-Weight Ratio Comparison
|2000 BMW M||2899||240||12.1|
|2000 Audi TT||2655||225||11.8|
|2000 Porsche Boxster||2855||250||11.4|
|1999 C5 Coupe||3250||345||9.42|
|1995 Corvette ZR-1||3535||405||8.73|
|1999 Porsche GT3||2975||360||8.26|
|2000 Ferrari Modena||3241||395||8.21|
|2000 Porsche Turbo||3400||415||8.19|
|2001 Corvette Z06||3133||385||8.13|
|1999 Dodge Viper||3380||450||7.51|
Having the best of both worlds - reduced weight and increased power - the Corvette Z06 will be a force to be reckoned with, on or off the track.
"When you think about how fast we were with the C5 over the C4," Mike Neal says, "and how much faster the Z06 is than the C5, it's obvious that this isn't just a little tweak."
Other Z06 Refinements
The Z06 receives several other refinements in addition to its unique engine, suspension, wheels and tires that either help it to be more functional or serve to differentiate its appearance -sometimes both.
Inside, the Z06 includes a different instrument cluster with stylized graphics imparting a greater sense of performance and speed, as well as signifying the car's new higher 6,500 rpm redline.
The Z06's solid-black leather-trimmed seating surfaces include additional side bolstering to hold driver and passenger firmly in place during high lateral load maneuvers, and a Z06 logo is embroidered into the headrests. An optional interior with Torch Red accents on the seats, lower instrument panel and lower door panel is also available.
In the spacious glove box all Corvettes owners will find a portfolio and a video that explains how (and how not) to use the car. The Z06 comes with its own portfolio, covering the features that are unique to it.
The Z06 video features quotes from well-known enthusiasts and automotive writers, and it also provides valuable tips on how to drive the car, including an interview with John Heinricy
The video also provides technical information regarding special GM High-Performance service parts that have been released for the car - like special brake pads, additional chassis enhancements and a transmission oil cooler - plus other valuable competition information. There is even information on driving schools where owners can go to learn to race, or hone their existing skills.
Every GM car and truck is subjected to stringent durability test schedules, some of the toughest in the industry, and Corvettes go through all of them. Then the fun begins...
Corvette has a well-earned reputation for being a car that you can drive out of the showroom and onto the racetrack with little or no modification. To protect that reputation, Corvette engineers do things to the car that would probably curl the hair of the average (and frequently fussy) Corvette owner.
All test Corvettes, not just the Z06, undergo 250-miles of full-bore autocross testing, 24-hours of road course testing at competition speeds, and a grueling wide-open throttle test that has the car being run at its 175-mph top speed until the gas tank runs dry - about 30 minutes later.
During these added test procedures vehicle systems are carefully monitored for any signs of weakness. Following the testing the cars are disassembled and carefully inspected for signs of wear. None of these tests or procedures are required - unless you want to go on producing the world's finest high-performance sports car.