For 2001, Corvette coupe and convertible models get a healthy injection of power, especially at lower speeds where it is most noticeable. They also get more agility, with the enhanced Second-Generation Active Handling system - a system that is now standard on all Corvettes.
In the area of refinement, Corvette buyers will appreciate better noise isolation, better idle quality and many other changes made to improve the overall ownership experience - and 2001 Corvettes even offer reduced maintenance costs and better fuel economy.
Perhaps the biggest part of the Corvette story for 2001 is the introduction of the new Corvette Z06, a production vehicle that's ready for the racetrack. Based on the former hardtop model - already the lightest, stiffest and quickest Corvette - it is a car aimed directly at diehard performance enthusiasts at the upper end of the high-performance market. It is very simply the quickest, best handling production Corvette ever, setting new standards in every part of the high-performance spectrum.
The Z06 designation was chosen to honor the efforts of Zora Arkus-Duntov, Corvette's first chief engineer, who in 1963 created the original Z06 package. Zora's special package was intended to make the then-new Sting Ray race-ready right out of the showroom, and today's Z06 has been developed with the same concept in mind.
Corvette coupe and convertible models for 2001 get more horsepower from the standard LS1 V8 - 350 hp (up from 345) - but the real story is a big boost in low-end torque.
Torque is what most customers really mean when they ask for "more power," and down low in the torque curve is where 2001 Corvette drivers will really feel the difference. Corvette engineers opened up the intake system, enabling the LS1 engine to pull in more air and the camshaft profile to be moderated in lift and overlap. The results are significant.
The new Z06 takes the term "performance" and raises it to a whole new level. At the heart of the Z06 is a new engine, the LS6, which delivers 385-hp and 385 lb-ft of torque. The LS6 is the only engine available for the Z06, and is not offered on other Corvette models.
Unique to the Z06 is a new 6-speed transmission (M12) with more aggressive gearing to increase torque multiplication in almost every gear and allow for more rapid acceleration. Z06 achieves 0-60 mph in 4 seconds flat, and quarter mile in 12 seconds.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in June of 2010 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, San Diego, California.
Sources: Chevrolet press, RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel