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2006 Chevrolet Corvette

2006 Chevrolet Corvette New Car Review
Martha Hindes

Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet Corvette Interior

Chevy 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 "Corvette."

Whether 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.

From 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 vehicle.

Z06 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.

For 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.