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Last year, Chevrolet introduced the most sophisticated production Corvette ever, the almighty Z06. It made the front cover of about any magazine on the shelves and was also named Best in its class in the AJAC Car of the year contest. One would think that such a successful sports car would be carried over for 2002, no? No. Not for small block chief engineer Sam Winegarden and Corvette's chief engineer Dave Hill. While there are quite a few improvements on the car itself, it is the LS6 engine that gets the most. Indeed, the new Z06 now has a 405 hp engine! And the only way to recognize a new Z06 is by looking at its side ornament that says just that "Z06 405 hp"!

Now, how in the world did Chevrolet squeeze some 20 more horsepower of the already powerful LS6 5.7-litre overhead valve V-8? To get 405 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 400 lb-ft at 4800 rpm, Chevy engineers gave the engine such modifications as revising the air cleaner housing, modifying the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor, lightening the valve stems and giving the camshaft higher lift. Also, there were some minor modifications made to the exhaust system. You will then understand that Chevy engineers were trying to get more air in and out of the engine and as quickly as possible. The increased volume of air is creating more power.

The result? With a skilled driver, this 'Vette should reach a 0 to 60 mph (96 kmh) in 3.9 seconds! And, according to Chevy documentation, it should cover the quarter mile in 12.4 seconds at 116 mph (186.7 kmh). Last year's Z06 did the 0 to 60 in 4.0 seconds and the quarter mile in 12.6 at 114 mph. Corvette engineers tried the Z06 at full throttle on the five-mile circle track at GM's Milford Proving Grounds in Michigan. The car started with a full tank and at max speed of 171 mph (275.3 kmh), it took some thirty minutes to empty the tank!