Chevrolet plans to unleash a 650-horsepower Corvette Z06 late this year.
The automaker said it will be among the few cars with more than 600 horses that you can buy at a dealership in the United States. It will be the most powerful production car ever from General Motors, Chevy’s corporate parent.
GM is already comparing the Z06 to supercars such as the V-12-powered Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and the Porsche 911 Turbo S. It will have a zero-to-60-mph time under 3.5 seconds.
The Z06’s LT4 supercharged 6.2-liter, V-8 engine produces 650 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 650 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm, GM claims. Torque is a measure for the pulling power of an engine.
“The engine also puts the new Corvette Z06 on par with the most powerful supercars offered in America, while delivering performance with impeccable manners that make it suitable for daily driving,” said Steve Kiefer, vice president of GM powertrain engineering.
GM engineers said that like the standard engine introduced in the 2014 Corvette Stingray — the seventh generation of the sports car — the LT4 is compact and light, giving it among the highest power densities for an engine of its size.
GM started with the same engine block used in the Corvette Stingray’s LT1 6.2-liter naturally aspirated engine.
To get more power, it installed special aluminum alloy cylinder heads that are stronger and handle heat better than conventional aluminum heads. GM also added lightweight titanium intake valves and forged aluminum pistons that can withstand high cylinder pressures.
The automaker cranked up the compression ratio and installed a supercharger that spins at up to 20,000 rpm (5,000 rpm more than the supercharger on the Corvette ZR1’s engine), generating a bigger power-enhancing boost as the engine spools up.
The high-powered ’Vette is set to go on sale at near year-end as a 2015 model. GM hasn’t talked about pricing yet, but you can be sure the price will be well above the $53,000 starting price for the standard 455-horsepower model.
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