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2007 Chevrolet Corvette

by Martha Hindes

2007 Chevrolet Corvette
2007 Chevrolet Corvette Interior

How fast is fast? A blur of motion from something too speedy to identify? A stopwatch that barely starts before it stops? A synonym for Corvette? Undoubtedly, Chevy would like to choose all three.

We all know about those larger than life hunk-power escapades that thrill us beyond belief and seem utterly inconceivable anyplace but on-screen or by joystick. A Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise or Matt Damon escaping from an unfathomably dangerous situation in a string of daemonic challenges. A George Clooney or Brad Pitt finessing fate with an impossibly risky scheme.

Chevy must be taking a comparable dare with the Z06 rendition of its fabled Corvette super sports car by announcing its spectacular capabilty. An auto that claims a breathtaking zero to 60 speed of a scant 3.7 seconds in first gear, or can roar to a dizzying, ungoverned 198 MPH top speed has to live by the motto: "Be prepared for the ultimate white knuckle ride."

So much for track talk. We're convinced. But most 'Vette's don't live on American LeMans Series pavement. They cruise along America's Main Street, or on one of the U.S. I-ways, or are put to the test on weekends at a raceway that lives via local auto parts superstore sponsorship. Such habitat doesn't diminish its allure, or its stature, one bit.

In the real world of model years and accessories, the '07 'Vette sports some changes. Among them: A power-operated convertible top, upgraded audio and acoustics, improved braking for models with GM's performance enhancing magnetic ride control, signature two-tone modified seating, and a knock-out Atomic Orange Metallic Tintcoat exterior color.

Corvette's three versions come with two engines. Coupe and Convertible models ride on a 6.0-liter, 400-HP V8 with standard six-speed manual (18/28 MPG) or optional six-speed automatic with paddle shift manual override (17/27 MPG).

Base pricing (add $825 destination) is $44,995 (coupe) and $53,335 (convertible). An available Z51 high performance package for sportier handling adds $1,695.

The top performing Z06, manual shift only, that enters life at an even $70,000, is powered by a 505-HP, 7.0-liter V8 hand built by white-gloved technicians in a studio near corporate headquarters. On premium-only, it churns out a surprising 16/26 in fuel economy numbers, and avoids any gas guzzler penalty.

There's one other notable 2007 option. GM's seemingly every-where OnStar communications/safety system becomes available on the Z06. Not a bad addition if one should happen to find a bend in the road of one of those "Great Escape" escapades.