once sported the phrase, "Baseball, hot dogs,
apple pie and Chevrolet," to claim ownership
of the red, white and blue at heart. They missed
a natural. Their motto should have simply been
it's on a good 'ol boy amateur track, throwing
constant up and downshifts through the copper-toned
mountains of America's West, or blazing along
tortuous kilometers of the 24 Hours of LeMans
in France, this true-hearted domestic dominator
can claim it all. Like a more youthful Kevin Costner
on a baseball diamond in "Field of Dreams,"
the fabled Vette gives plenty of reason to dream
on. After all, what super star can meet the potential
of 2006 Corvette power, particularly in Z06 stature,
as it celebrates its 50th year of racing. Folks
such as the impossible Tom Cruise pale in comparison.
top to toe, Vette is thrill personified. Count
up the Z06's 505 wild horses under hood prancing
at the ready, the 198 miles-per-hour potential
(only the bravest need try), a head-snapping 3.7
seconds from zero to 60, the glued-to-the-road
feel as the short-throw, six-speed shifter flies
through gates as it gobbles up hi-revved switchback
curves. The addition is simple. It's blast-off,
fireworks, New Years, Fourth of July in one single
is the fastest Corvette ever delivered to drivers,
with the 'hunas to roar past those pesky Ferraris,
Porsches, Lotuses and other elitist immigrants
with exotic blue-blood papers in tow. Here at
home, the Vette's 7.0 liter LS7 small block V8
is hand assembled with white glove treatment before
being stuffed under that snarly, low-slung hood.
(The 400-HP's 6.0-liter V8 is a standard factory
build.) This gen's Corvette has banished the signature,
sleepy-eyed look of headlamp flaps for the wide-awake
glare of a hungry predator.
2006, the Z06 offers a precision driving thrill
and 16/26 MPG thanks to "supercar" advanced
lightweight construction. The manual trans standard
V8 turns in 18/28 in fuel consumption numbers,
matching or besting many mundane road wanderers
seen in every driveway. Also available for coupe
or convertible is a six-speed paddle shifter,
three-spoke sport wheel, improved airbag system,
and premium interior trim with XM satellite radio.
For the Z06's $65,690 base (lop off some $20 K
for coupe or $13.5 K for convertible), there's
a lot of rightful ownership of the American road.