500bhp 'Vette makes its European debut at the 2005 Goodwood Festival of Speed
21 June 2005

The stunning 500bhp Corvette Z06, the most extreme C6 yet, will make its European debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend (June 24-26), before officially going on sale after the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The car was first unveiled in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

For British buyers, the sixth generation Corvette remains a fringe sports car alongside such heavyweights as the Porsche 911 and BMW M3, but a re-branding initiative is under way to persuade buyers to consider it a more viable alternative to the prestige German marques. Parental guidance recently switched from Daewoo donors Chevrolet to the more prestigious Cadillac brand and the sports car firm is currently enjoying its most successful racing history in over 50 years, with a Class 1-2 at Le Mans last weekend.

This Z06 is claimed to be the boldest, most committed example of the American legend yet, which its makers say will be ‘the fastest and most powerful car ever offered by General Motors’. Carbonfibre composite front wings and extended wheelarches add to the car’s stance, with a larger grille, lower air splitter and cold-air scoop providing extra aggression. Complementing this visual drama will be a hand-built 7.0-litre V8, replacing the standard 6.0 litre and producing 500bhp with 475 lb-ft of torque. The figures are spectacular: 60mph in under four seconds and a 190mph top speed, with the Z06 available only as a fixed-head variant to retain body rigidity.

Our Verdict

Chevrolet Corvette

This smaller, lighter, faster Chevrolet Corvette continues to fly the flag for the old-fashioned, all-American sports car

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Suspension geometry and aerodynamics have been developed in conjunction with the C6R race car. The powertrain, body structure and chassis system are also unique to this particular C6, as are the 19in wheels.

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Our Verdict

Chevrolet Corvette

This smaller, lighter, faster Chevrolet Corvette continues to fly the flag for the old-fashioned, all-American sports car

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week