General Motors Media Press Release
FOR RELEASE: June 20, 2001
WARREN, Mich. - To say that the 2001 Chevrolet Z06 Corvette was launched to wide-ranging acclaim is an understatement, the Z06 has won the hearts of Corvette aficionados everywhere. For many, the 2001 Z06 represented as close to perfection as has ever been achieved in a sports car. It has been received with unprecedented praise for its ability to deliver performance, agility, and control - all wrapped in a visually stunning package. For 2002, Chevrolet engineers have provided a new definition of perfection.
Corvette has been synonymous with performance for nearly 50 years. Proving that you can never have too much of a good thing, GM engineers extracted an additional 20 horsepower from the LS6 engine that debuted in 2001. For 2002, the LS6 delivers an awe-inspiring 405 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.
"We could have chosen to remain satisfied with our achievements for 2001, instead, we set our sights on breaking the 400-horsepower barrier," said Dave Hill, Performance Cars vehicle line executive and Corvette chief engineer. "At 405 horsepower, the LS6 will match the highest peak power level of the legendary 5.7-liter DOHC LT5, which powered the ZR1 Corvette."
More Torque = Better Performance
"When you hear customers talking about wanting more power, what they really mean is that they want more torque. It's torque that gets you going, whether launching from a standstill, or accelerating out of a corner. At 385, last year's Z06 was already in an elite class. For 2002, we've upped the ante with another 15 pounds-feet of torque, for a total of 400 pounds-feet at 4,800 rpm. The result is one that must be experienced to be appreciated," said Hill.
The Z06 will continue to be outfitted with the unique six-speed manual transmission for 2002. It will enable skilled drivers to achieve 0-60 mph times of 3.9 seconds and to cover a quarter mile in 12.4 seconds at 116 mph. By comparison, the 2001 powertrain combination achieved 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds and the quarter mile in 12.6 seconds at 114 mph.
LS6 Clutch Improvements
To withstand the greater torque output of the new engine, the LS6 clutch was redesigned. Clamp load has been increased seven percent and durability has been augmented by the following enhancements:
The clutch-driven disc was redesigned, with the flange plate thickness increased by 20 percent - from 5 mm to 6 mm The damper springs were redesigned to increase wind-up rate, from 33 Newton-meter degrees to 35 Newton-meter degrees Premium alloy steel wire is now used for the damper springs.
These changes ensure long life and good performance for the LS6 clutch.
World-Class Agility and Handling
"While the 2002 Z06 is the quickest Vette to date, the Corvette team never lost sight of the fact that the Z06 is a total performance package. With this goal in mind, the suspension has been improved to keep the Z06 the well balanced sports car that it is, and the standard against which all other sports cars are measured," said Hill.
The valving of the Z06's rear dampers was also revised, allowing for smoother, more efficient transfer of the additional horsepower and torque to the pavement.
"Revising the damping allowed us to improve the track performance of the Z06, as well as its everyday ride quality," said Mike Neal, Corvette ride and handling development engineer.
In addition to generating more power, Corvette engineers also scrutinized every possible means to reduce vehicle mass, which in turn results in improved vehicle handling. Their efforts resulted in:
Cast aluminum front stabilizer links (versus rolled rod steel links), resulting in a 0.2 kg (0.44 lbs.) weight saving Cast-spun aluminum wheels (versus forged aluminum), for a total mass savings of 0.6 kg (1.3 pounds).
These are further enhancements to the world-class FE4 suspension system that debuted in 2001.
A Solid Foundation
"The 2002 Z06 Corvette is the complete package, a vehicle that can be driven at the limit with supreme confidence. It's a true driver's car, designed to provide the driver with the information and feedback required for enthusiastic driving," said Hill.
This latest Z06 builds upon the solid foundation established by the previous model-year offering, one that had already raised performance to a whole new level.
The 2001 Z06 introduced a standard Second-Generation Active Handling system, providing a great deal of assistance to the Corvette driver and an added level of safety to occupants.
The 2001 Corvette coupe, convertible and Z06 models broke new ground in the areas of refinement, with better noise isolation, better idle quality, reduced maintenance costs and improved fuel economy.
Greater emphasis on performance is further enabled with a standard Head-Up Display (HUD) for 2002 Z06 models. It provides critical vehicle information - including tachometer, vehicle speed, oil pressure, coolant temperature and fuel gauges, among others - promoting a "hands on the wheel, eyes on the road," philosophy.
"We realize that the Z06 is not for everyone. But, for the extreme performance enthusiasts, the race-bred 2002 Z06 provides them with a vehicle that challenges the threshold of performance and handling, with absolutely no compromises," stated Tadge Juechter, Performance Cars assistant chief engineer. "The 2002 Z06 is a total performance package!"