'Vette Z06 revs in; Ford GT bows out
6 February 2006

As one reincarnation of an American legend starts to shuffle off the production coil, a new iteration of another icon appears: Ford's GT will be no more, but the Corvette Z06 is now available in Britain.

Bill Ford has announced the ‘idling’ of Ford’s plant in Wixom, Michigan, as part of the company’s ‘Way Forward’ plan. That adds a definitive note to the end of the GT, which is made there; production of it was scheduled to finish in 2007 anyway.

Meanwhile, GM has announced the arrival in Britain of the Corvette Z06. This spectacular machine is fitted with the most powerful engine GM has ever built for a production car – a 7.0-litre V8 lobbing out 504bhp and 467lb ft.

So this ‘Vette will scorch to 62mph in 3.9 seconds. It’s a good job the rear tyres are 19-inch 325/30s. That the chassis features some balsa wood composite and carbon fibre bodes well for the handling of this fastest-ever Corvette. And it’s reassuring to note the 6-piston front brake callipers grabbing the drilled discs. The V8 is also fairly high-tech. It features dry sump lubrication and the Z06 has been developed alongside the C6.R Le Mans racing car. The price – around £60,000 – is a bargain in performance terms. In overall desirability, build quality and refinement – both on the road and in the way it makes you feel – it may be just as far as ever from the exotica it goes as fast as. There is also the question of whether it is worth £15,000 more than a standard Corvette, which still manages 62mph in 4.2 seconds and to reach 186mph. You can read our first drive of the Z06 in this week's magazine.

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