The 2006 C6 was the Corvette fans were waiting for. In 2006, Chevy reintroduced the Z06 and it’s 7.0L LS7 engine. The lightest Corvette built to date, the C6 Z06 used an aluminum frame and was 30% lighter than the steel-framed coupe. The small-block LS7 generated 470 lb.-ft of torque and 505hp, a Corvette first. It used a dry-sump oiling system, achieved a compression ratio of 11:1, and the redline was set at 7000rpm.
The Z06 may have been the star of the show in ‘06, but its $65,800 MSRP was nearly twenty thousand dollars more than the base coupe. The standard convertible and coupe were plenty fast, as their LS2 engine generated 400 hp, and the new six-speed automatic was available as an option exclusively on the coupe and convertible. This transmission offered computer control and multiple driving modes, and shift-paddles were affixed to the new three-spoke steering wheel.
All 2006 ‘Vettes benefitted from the new chrome accents on interior trim, and various trim packages could be optioned. For example, package 3LT on the Convertible included the head-up display, the power-telescoping steering column, auto-dimming mirrors, heated seats, a built-in garage door opener, and an upgraded sound system with XM radio.
Total production for ‘06 reached 34,021, but the convertible gained ground over the previous year, and sold 11,151 cars.