By now most car enthusiasts are familiar with the C5 Corvette and its high performance version the ZO6. Some say this exotic looking Vette gives the highest bang for the buck of all sports cars and there is a lot to substantiate that idea. Power rack and pinion steering, ABS brakes, traction control, active handling stability system, dual zone air conditioning, keyless entry, heads up display windshield all give this 170+ mph sports car the ability to cover lots of ground quickly and safely at the comfort level one used to reserve for the BMW / Mercedes crowd.
All C5s are manufactured in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This ZO6 is the last limited edition, designed to honor Corvette’s multiple wins in the GTS class at the 24 hours of LeMans. The LeMans special edition comes with polished lightweight wheels, carbon fiber hood –10.6 lbs over the standard ZO6 hood, electro chromatic mirror package and special paint / stripe package. The standard entertainment package for this car is the 10.5 to 1 compression ratio 5.7L LS6 all aluminum V8, delivering 405hp and 400ft/lbs of torque. Power is delivered to the rear mounted aluminum cased 6-speed transaxle with a 3.42-limited slip differential. Most of the front mounted engine resides behind the front axle. With both the trany and differential in the back the weight bias front to rear in stock form is excellent giving a very predictable handling car.
The CNC machined aluminum front and rear suspension mounting platforms are beauties visually and give the car the suspension rigidity required for many years of street life not to mention holding up well for those fun lap days at your favorite track.
The ZO6 comes in at about 3,100 lbs. with the very solid fiberglass body mounted on a steel framed structure with hydro formed side rails and a load carrying driveline tunnel with composite panels and floorboards. The air drag rating is an amazing 0.31 even with the wide body and fat F1 Supercar tires mounted on 17 x 9.5” front and 18 x 10.5” rims on the rear.
Stock performance times listed for this vehicle are typically in the range of:
0-60mph 4.3 seconds, 0-100mph 9.9 seconds, 1/4mile in 12.4 seconds at 116 mph. While on the 200-foot skid pad the car pulls an impressive 0.98g.
The owner of this low mileage ZO6 wanted his car to be better performing and even more exclusive. Autobahn has performed the following modifications to take this ZO6 sports car to an even higher level of overall performance. First the ZO6 side badges were removed, new ones will be supplied with the car at purchase, the car was fine polished and sealed with the Bilstein R-2000 paint sealant for extra depth and ease of maintenance. Next the chrome fender spears and mesh were installed in the front fenders. The brake calipers were painted with a two-stage high temperature paint. These subtle changes give a smooth, dramatic side view to the car. The suspension was next visited. Factory shocks were replaced with special Bilstein shocks and both front and rear anti sway bars were replaced with the hollow Hotchkiss bars and their very strong heim joint end links. Next the car was lowered about ½”, corner weighted on the scales and load weight aligned. Granatelli's front bumper savers have been added to provide front protection when entering steep driveways. The already strong performance of the LS6 engine was complemented by adding Borla stainless headers and Borla Stainless exhaust system. The intake system has a modified front cowl with Icebox and K&N filter feeding an oversized air bridge. Magnecor ignition wires help the coil packs deliver all they can to the spark plugs. Fuel system modifications are in the form of larger Bosch injectors. The engine was then tuned by us on the open road using LS Logic and detailed OBD data acquisition, this yields superior performance and safety over dyno tunes. The liquid acid battery was one of the first parts removed from the new ZO6 and was replaced with the Optima battery. As the ECU is located under the battery, if it leaks it is goodbye ECU and wire harness. The Optima cannot leak do to its design. Lubrication on all rotating assemblies is Redline synthetic oil. For driver protection a Beltronics RX75+ concealed remote front and rear radar and laser system was installed. The front antennas are completely concealed in the fascia. This system also has the active laser blocking which is legal in most states. Finally a Viper anti theft system was added to give peace of mind when the car is out of site. The results of the performance modifications have yielded a very special ZO6 that is just a total grin to drive. The power comes on real strong and is a noticeable improvement over the stock ZO6. All of the standard safety systems such as traction control and torque management have been retained in the custom tune; this is not the case with other canned or custom tunes we have seen. The sound of the car is nothing short of glorious and you just want to blip the throttle all the time to hear the engine. Ride quality has actually improved and the car is much more sure-footed, particularly on washboard road surfaces. The car is very flat in the corners and so predictable one can hang the tail out for fun and steer with the throttle if you wish. Fuel economy is a little over 30mpg during 75mph highway cruising and the car is still emission legal.