The Z06 arrived as a 2006 model in the third quarter of 2005. It had a new 7.0 L (7,010 cc/426.6 cu in) version of the Small-Block engine codenamed LS7, which produced 505 hp (376 kW). In addition to the larger engine, the Corvette Z06 has a dry sump oiling system, and connecting rods made out of titanium alloy. The frame of the Z06 is constructed from aluminum, saving 136 pounds over the standard steel frame. Other weight saving measures such as balsa wood/carbon fiber composite floors and a magnesium alloy engine cradle were used. The Z06 officially weighed 3180 lb (1421 kg), giving it a weight to power ratio of 6.3 lb/hp (3.8 kg/kW), allowing it to achieve a fuel economy of 15 mpg-US (16 L/100 km; 18 mpg-imp) in the city and 24 mpg-US (9.8 L/100 km; 29 mpg-imp) on the highway.
Compared to the fifth generation, the “C6” gets an overhaul of the suspension geometry, all new bodywork with exposed headlamps (for the first time since 1962), a larger passenger compartment, a larger 6.0 L (364 cu in; 5967 cc) engine, and a much higher level of refinement. Overall, it is 5.1 inches (13 cm) shorter than the C5, but its wheelbase has increased by 1.2 inches (3 cm). It is also one inch (2.5 cm) narrower. The 6.0 L LS2 V8 produces 400 hp (298 kW) at 6000 rpm and 400 lb·ft (542 N·m) of torque at 4400 rpm.
With an automatic transmission, the Corvette achieves 15/25 mpg (city/highway); the manual-transmission model gets 16/26 mpg. The Corvette’s manual transmission is fitted with Computer Aided Gear Shifting (CAGS), obligating the driver to shift from 1st directly to 4th when operating at lower RPMs. This boosts the EPA’s derived fuel economy thus allowing the buyer to avoid paying the “gas guzzler” tax.
For the 2006 model year, the GM badges were added to the car.
For the 2008 model, the Corvette received a new engine, the LS3. With displacement increased to 6.2 liters (376 cu in; 6162 cc), power was increased to 430 hp (321 kW) at 5900 rpm and 424 lb·ft (575 N·m) of torque at 4600 rpm, or 436 hp (325 kW) and 428 lb·ft (580 N·m) with the optional vacuum actuated valve exhaust. The previous Tremec T56 transmission on manual Corvettes was replaced with a new version, the TR6060, in model year 2008. Manual Corvettes have improved shift linkage; the automatic model is set up for quicker shifts, and (according to Chevrolet) goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, faster than any other production automatic Corvette. According to automotive review website New Car Test Drive, the Corvette’s 0 to 60 time is actually 4.2 seconds, faster than both the Porsche 911 Carrera and the Jaguar XK8. From 2008 onward, steering was revised for improved feel and the wheels were updated to a new five-spoke design.