The Z06 was born in 1963 as an option package on the iconic “split-window” Corvette, and was then resuscitated in 2001 for the C5 generation Vette. Developed by Corvette’s engineer and racing advocate Zora Arkus-Duntov, the idea of the original Z06  was for GM to offer a modified Vette package out of the factory for customers with serious track intentions for their new car. GM promises the latest version, just revealed at the NAIAS in Detroit, will be the most capable racing Corvette ever built. Developed in conjunction with the American Le Mans Series’ Corvette C7.R race car — and obviously based on their superb C7 Stingray (which we’ve reviewed here) — the Z06 incorporates a suite of racing technology developed to deliver greater aerodynamic downforce, cornering grip and braking performance. With the available Z07 Performance Package – again fitted with Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires and enhanced braking capability with carbon ceramic-matrix brakes – the new Z06 is faster on a track than the last C6 generation’s top tier Corvette ZR1. The new 2015 Corvette Z06 is the first Z06 to offer a supercharged engine, an automatic transmission and a removable roof panel — an advancement made possible by the C7’s stiffer aluminum frame. Powered by a 625 horsepower (466 kW) supercharged 6.2L engine, the Z06 is one of the industry’s only supercars to offer the choice of two transmissions: a seven-speed manual and an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. As far as external modifications go, the Z07 package adds carbon a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill — a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce. In all, the 2015 Corvette Z06 not only looks nastier than nearly any other supercar in the world, it will also deliver the most aerodynamic downforce of any GM production car ever. No word yet on pricing, but GM says the 2015 Corvette Z06 will hit showrooms in early 2015.

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