- Helping you drive happy

GM charges Canadians a premium for Corvette ZO6

Automotive columnist: , Updated:

The trend to charge Canadians a lot more than Americans for sportscars continues with the ZO6 version of the 2006 Chevrolet Corvette.

GM of Canada announced on Friday, August 12, that the supercar would carry a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $89,900, which worked out to about US$79,000 at that day's exchange rate. The recently announced MSRP for the ZO6 in the U.S. is only US$65,800, which means Canadians are being charged US$14,200 or $17,050.

These price surcharges are completely in keeping with what GM is doing with the regular coupe and convertible models, which actually come with even greater premiums than the ZO6 when compared with the same cars in the U.S.

Bear in mind here that the precise figures will change repeatedly as the currency rate fluctuates, but the round numbers will give you an idea of what the surcharge will be.

Bear in mind further that it's not too hard to import GM cars from the U.S. into Canada.

The price positioning by GM of Canada mirrors similar moves taken by Ford with its GT40 roadster and Porsche Cars North America with virtually all of its products.

None of the companies offered any explanation as to why they're charging Canadians so much more for their cars than Americans.

Wherever you decide to buy a ZO6, it will certainly deliver a lot of oomph for either currency.

The primary appeal of the car is that it will go from 0 to 100 kmh in less than four seconds, and that only requires the first of the car's six gears.

That launch speed is the result of a max torque rating of 470 lb-ft at 4,800 rpm from the 7-litre V-8, and if you want to hit huge top speeds (say 300 kmh) the 505 hp at 6,300 rpm can help you with that.

As a lot of the new Z06's development was done in tandem with work on the C6.R race model, the ZO6 will be more aggressive on a race track than any previous street-ready production Vette.

A power-to-weight ratio of 2.8 kg per hp was partly achieved by the use of such as materials as carbon fiber, aluminum, titanium and magnesium, while the regular coupe weighs only about 20 kg more than that Z06's 1415 kg.

According to Dave Hill, Corvette's chief engineer, the new Z06 "is the dividend from competing so successfully in endurance racing."

Other important Corvette Z06 features include:

  • a 7000 rpm redline
  • aluminum body structure with one-piece hydroformed perimeter rails frame and magnesium engine cradle
  • carbon-fiber composite front fenders, front wheelhouses and floors
  • dry-sump engine lubrication system
  • the engine is hand-built at GM's new Performance Build Centre
  • unique design styling that includes a larger grille, cold-air scoop and lower air splitter, wide-body front and rear fenders and a taller rear spoiler, and
  • there are oil coolers for the engine, transmission and differential, and a steering cooler.

Z06 can be ordered in Machine Silver Metallic, Victory Red, Daytona Sunset Orange, Le Mans Blue Metallic, Velocity Yellow Tintcoat and Black exterior colors.
photo:GM of Canada