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When the 2006 Corvette Z06 was introduced, it represented the closest connection between street and racing Corvettes since the high performance 427 cubic inch L-88 cars of the 1960s. The C6 Corvette's designers took elements in the suspension, engine, and drivetrain from Pratt & Miller's successful Corvette Racing program and integrated them into a state-of-the-art street performance car.
The 2009 Corvette ZR1 closed the gap between racing and production Corvettes even further, adding more chassis and suspension refinements and putting it all underneath a 638 horsepower supercharged V8 engine.
Chevrolet has recently unveiled the first of the 2011 Corvettes, bringing forth the limited-run 2011 Corvette Z06 "Carbon" edition. The special part of the Carbon is that it pulls in all the non-engine elements of the ZR1 and delivers them with the 505 horsepower normally aspirated ZO6 engine.
"For track use, the Z06 Carbon is the best balanced Corvette yet. It combines the lightweight and naturally-aspirated Z06 engine with the road-holding and braking of the ZR1," said Tadge Juechter, Corvette Chief Engineer. "For technical tracks like Laguna Seca, the Z06 Carbon could shave up to three seconds off the Z06 lap time."
The Carbon Z06 receives the same Brembo carbon ceramic brakes of the ZR1, with Carbon model-specific dark gray metallic calipers. The Carbon also gets the same 20-spoke 19-inch front/20-inch rear wheels as the ZR1, but the Carbon wheels will be black to set the car apart visually. The Carbon will ride on Michelin PS2 tires, which the engineers told us were developed especially for the Z06 and ZR1 Corvettes. Other mechanical features include an enhanced cooling system and Magnetic Selective Ride Control for the first time on the Z06. The car also features a special carbon fiber engine cover.