Under its Clark Kent Corvette suit, the Z06 is the Superman of affordable sports cars. Its 7.0-liter V-8 whips out 505 hp to reach a high-water mark for street-legal pushrod engines. Exhaust pipes as large as your forearm and mufflers that don't muffle beyond 3000 rpm give you a restrained burble around town and a banshee shriek when you rush the 7000-rpm redline. But what really sets this engine free is the efficient body and chassis wound around it. The Z06 weighs precisely ten pounds more than our favorite cost-no-object supercar, the Porsche Carrera GT. What Porsche achieves with semiprecious materials, lowly Chevrolet produces in fiberglass (body), aluminum (spaceframe), and cast iron (brake rotors), with a smattering of magnesium, titanium, balsa wood, and carbon fiber factored in to keep Porsche honest. Yes, the Porsche tops 200 mph, a speed the Z06 can't quite reach, and it leads the Chevy in the race to terminal velocity, but don't ignore cost. According to the MSRPs, you can just about buy a Z06 for each day of the week for the price of one Carrera GT. The point of this math class is that the Corvette Z06 is one of the best performance values ever created. You get more pure speed and sheer g-energy here per dollar than any amusement-park ride, reason enough for the Z06 to be an Automobile Magazine All-Star.
Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand pricesubscribe