(CNN) – General Motors does not want to sell anything other than electric vehicles by 2035, but it is still 2021, and the company’s petrol consumption is not over yet. On the same day that GM announced investments in electric vehicles, V8 introduced the new 670-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette with a petrol engine.
Enjoy it as long as it is. General Motors has not confirmed this, but given the deadline, it could be the last Corvette Z06 with a petrol engine. Every new generation Corvette has had a Z06 version since 2001. As GM moves toward electric vehicles, it is unclear if there will be another gas-powered Corvette model after this.
More powerful motor
The 5.5-liter V8 in the new Z06 is more powerful than the 6.2-liter, 490-horsepower V8 in the base Corvette Stingray. Unlike the last generation Corvette Z06 that went out of production in 2019, the new Z06 did not use a supercharger to push air into the engine and increase its power. GM calls this new engine the most powerful “naturally desired” V8 ever offered in a production car.
To get its extra power, the new Z06 engine relies on lightweight engineering, which allows the engine to run at very high speeds. The red line of the new Z06 engine, the range of speeds at which it can run, is 8,600 revolutions per minute with a maximum power of 8,400 RPM. The entry-level Corvette Stingray strikes full power at just 6,450 rpm.
In particular, the Z06 engine crankshaft has a lightweight, streamlined design that allows the engine’s eight pistons to push the shaft to generate power at breakneck speeds. Called the “flat crank”, it gives the machine a distinctive scratch sound. According to GM, the engineers worked for two years to complete the sound coming out of the Z06’s tail pipe.
A radical change
The new Z06 is based on the current Corvette model, which, unlike previous Corvettes, features an engine behind the seats without a front under the hood. The reason for that drastic design change, GM engineers said, is that the car can handle higher power output better. For one, moving the engine behind the driver puts more weight on the rear tires, which allows better traction, especially when accelerating.
The new Z06 is 9.1 inches wider than the Stingray, allowing for wider tires. The extra width allows more air to flow through its larger side vents. The front of the car is also designed to let in more air for cooling. A larger rear spoiler provides more downforce at higher speeds for pressing the rear tires toward the sidewalk.
Unlike the Corvette Stingray, the Z06 is not available with a manual transmission. Instead, it is only available with a quick-change eight-speed automatic transmission. There will be hardtop and convertible versions with folding hardtop.
On the same day that GM announced the Z06, it also announced plans to install 40,000 electric vehicle chargers nationwide, starting next year with its US dealers. This is part of a $ 750 million GM commitment announced before expanding EV charging. GM says it plans to sell only electric vehicles, including battery and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, by 2035.
The first Corvette Z06 was released in 1963 as a special custom set designed for racing. It had a 360 horsepower engine. At the time, the option was not promoted and only 199 units were made. The Z06 package was not reissued until 2001. Today, the best-selling original 1963 Corvette Z06 will be worth more than $ 450,000, according to Hagerty, a company that monitors prices for collector cars.
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