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We recently took a vacation down south to get away from the cold northern weather.
The kids were out of school and work was slow, so it seemed a perfect time to take a break.
True, the entire arrangement is specifically designed to take gasoline and transform it ruthlessly and rapidly into raw speed and a sound that will make you curse the quiet.
But in mild-mannered freeway cruising, you can get the Z06 up around 20 mpg, which is sort of mesmerizing when you consider that while I was doing this on the Long Island Expressway, a Lamborghini Aventador came screaming up alongside and I thought, "Well, it's pretty much you and me, bub, on this stretch of road — nothing else can touch us." And, for the record, I didn't act on that knowledge as the Lambo wailed off into the distance, achieving something like 12 mpg for its exertions.
The design of the Z06 is best described as the Stingray with just MORE.
More pronounced angles, more aggressive adornments, and more aerodynamic elements. The overall package does feel completely different from the Stingray, even though the bones of both cars are effectively the same. So only thing standing between a lot of folks and a Z06 is the stigma associated with Corvette ownership.
The performance is dismaying and actually rather difficult to properly assess without access to a track. In my case, it was mated to a seven-speed manual transmission (you can also get an automatic) equipped with a nifty rev-matching feature that will rhyme your engine speeds with your downshifts and match them better than you can with your left and right foot.
When we reviewed the Stingray, we pointed out that for its sub-0,000 price, you get a car that, although front-engined, could be every bit as much the track warrior as a mid-engined, 0,000 Ferrari 458. You don't need to flirt with escape velocities to derive gobs of unholy human pleasure from that powertrain setup.
But driving it is like piloting a Honda Civic when compared with the Z06's snarling mechanical dragon, which quite often feels as if it's powered by a Saturn V rocket that woke up on the dark side of the Moon. This Z06 can trace its heritage back to the 1960s, when the designation first emerged. That monumental LT4 eight-banger is a good example; General Motors says it's the most powerful engine it has created in its more than 100-year history.Business Insider readers already know that we like the Chevy Corvette Stingray. The stats: 650 horsepower, 650 pound-feet of torque.We named it our 2014 Car of the Year, concluding that although it might not be the mythical Corvette of the Mind — that honor goes to the second-generation version of the car from the early 1960s or the third-gen Vette, built from 1968 to 1982 — it was certainly the best Corvette to yet emerge from the storied bluegrass assembly line in Bowling Green, Kentucky. You'll know this because Chevy has included a small plaque with the data, located on the center console.That said, it's hard to tell if it will actually work.When Vettes were for guys going through changes, Porsche, BMW, Ferrari, and Lamborghini were exotic imports. It used to be rare to spot a Porsche 911 in the American wild.