It’s a scientifically proven fact that the low weight plus high horsepower equal thrilling performance and the Corvette has been a perfect example of this phenomenon for six long decades, as increasing power output matches the use of advanced materials to minimize curb weight. And the 2013 Corvette Z06 is all set to take this legacy ahead. With a curb weight of only 3,199 pounds (1,451 kg) and 505-horsepower (377 kW), it is not only one of the lightest sports cars available in America, it has one of the best power-to-weight ratios of 6.33:1. That’s better than the Aston Martin DBS (7.5:1 – 510 horsepower/3,836 pounds), Porsche 911 Turbo S (6.7:1 – 530 horsepower/3,561 pounds) and Nissan GT-R (7.1:1 – 545 horsepower/3,887 pounds).
“Corvette has never been focused on an exclusive material – be it aluminum, carbon fiber, or fiberglass,” said Corvette Executive Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter. “Instead, we are constantly looking for the best materials structure, powertrain, and chassis to improve the performance of Corvette.”
“Horsepower isn’t the only measure of performance,” said Harlan Charles, Corvette’s marketing manager. “Balance and low weight are just as important and that’s where the Corvette excels. It has a heritage of employing cutting-edge technologies and materials to help optimize performance.”
The material used in Corvette Z06 is so light and all most every part is designed to reduce weight like the Corvette’s all-new chassis, which used beefy rails and hydroformed sections to provide strength with less complexity and weight. The floor sections used a sandwich of materials including featherweight balsa wood – a renewable material – to minimize mass. The Corvette ZR1 uses the same aluminum chassis structure as the Z06 and incorporates even more carbon fiber body parts, including the roof panel, rocker panels and more. The new 2013 427 Convertible model also uses lightweight carbon fiber in the hood, fenders and floor panels.
Another advanced material found on today’s Corvette is the carbon ceramic brake rotors that are standard on the ZR1 and available on the Z06. These space-age composite components deliver a significant weight savings over conventional iron brake rotors, while offering exceptional wear resistance. These all together make the Corvette Z06 the lightest sports car in America.