FOR EVIDENCE of how the special relationship lives on between Britain and America, look no further than the new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z06 convertible. Revealed last week at the New York motor show, the high-performance roadster will be one of the most exhilarating on the road, and Chevrolet is keen that British drivers won’t miss out on the action.
The company hopes the flagship roofless Corvette will go on sale here as early as next year. If it does, buyers can expect a distinctly different flavour of sports car from European-built models. The Z06 convertible delivers a super-size helping of power — 625bhp — at relatively fast-food prices. It is likely to cost £80,000 — by comparison, a Porsche 911 Turbo S cabriolet is more than £150,000.
Under the enormous bonnet sits a supercharged V8 engine driving the giant rear wheels. Chevrolet has not confirmed the performance figures, but it’s a safe bet that the Z06 will accelerate from 0-62mph in about 3.5 seconds and have a top speed of more than 200mph. Just don’t ask about fuel economy.
The latest-generation Corvette is built around an aluminium chassis and will offer drivers the choice of a seven-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic with paddle shift. Specialist tyres — a pair of massive 335/25 ZR 20s at the back — and carbon-ceramic brakes are designed to help manage the power and torque of the Z06’s engine.
Will Brits warm to such an unsubtle approach, especially in a left-hand-drive car?
Traditionally the ’Vette has been very much an outside contender in a market that is as preoccupied with badge status as it is with performance statistics. But the likelihood is that enough drivers will be tempted by the opportunity of getting the most bang for their buck that the special relationship will be visible for all to see on British roads next year.
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z06 convertible specifications
- Engine 6.2-litre supercharged V8
- Performance 0-62mph: 3.5sec (estimated)
- Top speed More than 200mph (estimated)
- Fuel Don’t ask
- Price £80,000 (estimated)
- Release date Next year