What Is the Difference Between a Corvette C5 and C5 Z06?by Harry Havemeyer
The C4 Corvette offered a ZR1 package that included a more powerful engine than the base model C4, but this trim level did not carry on to the next generation. The absence of the ZR1 trim level gave birth to a Z06 performance package that was offered in the C5 Corvette from 2001 to 2004.
The base model C5 Corvette got its power from General Motors' 5.7-liter LS1 engine that produced 350 horsepower. The C5 Corvette with the Z06 package was powered by GM's LS6 engine, which produced 385 horsepower in the 2001 model. The 2002 to 2003 models received a power increase to 405 horsepower.
The base model C5 Corvette was offered as a hatchback coupe, a targa-top coupe with a removable roof panel, a convertible and a hardtop coupe. The performance-minded Z06 was offered exclusively as a hardtop coupe, which gave it an aggressive silhouette.
The performance-oriented C5 Corvette with the Z06 package had a 0-to-60 miles per hour time of 4.3 seconds, a half-second improvement over the base model. The Z06 is capable of reaching 150 mph in just 28 seconds, which is 2.4 seconds faster than the base model.
The top speed for the Z06 was 168 mph. The base model was actually faster; it was able to reach 175 mph. This was due to the shorter gearing in the Z06, which gave it better track acceleration.