Skip to main content

The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Versus the World in Cost, Performance

We announced last week that the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 comes with a stunningly low base MSRP of just $78,995 and after receiving a few complaints about me referring to the new super-Vette as a bargain, I wanted to offer up a closer look at how the new Corvette Z06 compares to other cars with similar performance and/or a similar price.

While there are plenty of EV owners and minivan lifers out there who are literally offended at the suggestion that the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is a bargain at $79,000, the fact of the matter is that in the high end performance car world – the new C7 Z06 offers more bang for the buck than maybe any car sold in the world. While the new Z06 certainly isn’t the most practical car sold in America, the people who buy high performance sports cars don’t care about practicality in much the same way that EV owners don’t care about style or performance.

However, among those folks who do understand the need to have a car that will hit 200 miles per hour or beat pretty much anything in the world around a road course – all while still being fully street legal – the 2015 Corvette Z06 is a pretty astonishing machine. With 650 horsepower, 650lb-ft of torque and one of the most advanced suspension systems in the world, the new Z06 offers better performance than almost any new production car sold in the world and with a price starting at just $78,995, the Z06 costs far less than any of the global performance cars with which it competes.

Sizing Up the High Performance Competition
The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is a supercar that will likely set track records on road courses all over the world. For the sake of discussion and familiarity, I have compiled a list of the top performance cars from the supercar builders who do business in the USA. This includes vehicles from Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Lexus, Nissan, Mercedes Benz, BMW and Dodge.

The most powerful cars from those brands above are listed below:
Audi R8 V10 Plus - 550hp, 398tq, $173,500
Porsche 911 Turbo S - 560hp, 516tq $182,700
Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 - 601hp, 413tq, $237,250
Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 - 690hp, 509tq, $397,500
Ferrari 458 Italia - 562hp, 398tq, $233,509
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta - 730hp, 509tq, $318,888
Lexus LFA - 552hp, 354tq, $375,000
Nissan GTR - 545hp, 463tq, $101,770
Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT - 583hp, 479tq, $221,580
BMW M6 Coupe - 560hp, 500tq, $111,900
Dodge Viper SRT - 640hp, 600tq, $102,385

If you scan through the list above quickly, you will notice that with the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 packing 650hp and 650lb-ft of torque, there is no production sports car in today’s market that offers more horsepower and more torque than the Z06’s LT4 V8. In fact, only two of the cars on the list have more horsepower – the Lamborghini Aventador and the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta – both of which cost well over $300,000.

2015 Corvette Galleries:
The Debut of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The First Images of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible
The debut of the C7R Chevrolet Corvette race car

The most affordable cars on that list of premium ultra-high performance production cars are the Nissan GT-R and the Dodge Viper SRT, which are both just a touch over $100k in base form. Like almost every car on the list shy of the F12 and the Aventador, the Viper and GT-R are both less powerful in both horsepower and torque while still costing a fair deal more. As for the rest of the cars on the list like the Lexus LFA, the Porsche 911 Turbo S, the Lamborghini Huracan and the Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT, the Corvette Z06 is more powerful and far, far less expensive. For the price of the Lexus LFA, you could buy four C7 Z06 coupes and still have almost $60,000 left over…and all four of those Z06 coupes would thrash the LFA in pretty much any performance environment.

Finding Comparable Prices to the 2015 Corvette Z06
So in looking at cars that are the most likely to compete with the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, you can see that the new Z06 is by far the least expensive production supercar available in the USA. Anything that you will buy from any of those aforementioned automakers to try to keep up with the C7 Z06 will cost you at least $30,000 more and – depending on the vehicle chosen – you could pay over $300,000 more for a car that likely won’t be able to beat the new Z06. With that in mind, here is a look at what you can buy from those high performance automakers that will come the closest to competing with the Z06 for a similar price. Since there will be tax, title and other fees associated with buying the 2015 Z06, I am using the figure of $85,000 for this comparison.

First of all, Lamborghini and Ferrari don’t offer a car that you can buy for anywhere near $85,000 so if that is your budget, you won’t be buying anything from Italy in place of the 2015 Corvette Z06.

- Audi - The most exciting performance model for under $85,000 is the 450 horsepower RS5 with a base MSRP of $70,900.
- Mercedes Benz and the high performance AMG division - The most powerful option under $85,000 is the C63 AMG Coupe, with 451 horsepower and a starting price of $63,000. The next step “up” the AMG ladder puts you up around $100k.
- Porsche - The only 911 model that you could get for under $85,000 is the base model Carrera with 350 horsepower for $84,300. You could also get the Porsche Cayman GTS with 340 horsepower for $75,200.
- Lexus - The LFA is sold out and has been for some time so even if it was closer to the price of the Z06, it is impossible to get one. However, someone looking for a sporty Lexus model with $85,000 in their pocket can opt for the 430 horsepower IS F sedan that costs “only” $63,600.
- Nissan has nothing that could even be compared to the Corvette Z06 outside of a joking context with the exception of the GT-R…although it should be noted that the GT-R is one of the most affordable competitors for the Z06 and, depending on the race track, the GT-R could take down the Z06.
- BMW - You could buy the new M4 Coupe for only $64,200 but with only 425 horsepower – it wouldn’t compete with the Z06 on any level.
- Dodge/SRT – The Hellcat powered Challenger and Charger both pack 707 horsepower and 650lb-ft of torque so they are both more powerful. The pricing for the Hellcat Challenger starts around $60,000 and I would expect the Charger with the same engine to start around $64,000…but those two cars would only truly compete with the Z06 on a drag strip or on the dyno – and the drag strip results stand to be proven.

To summarize everything above, there are two kinds of cars that compete with the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. On one hand, you have cars that cost substantially more yet have less power and are likely to fail in a head to head race. On the other than, you have cars that have a price in the same relative ballpark as the C7 Z06, but they all fall well short of the Z06. In some cases, those performance models from high performance brands that have a similar price to the new Z06 would struggle to even keep up with the base model Corvette Stingray that starts in the $50k range.

The fact that those sports cars that can compete on the race track all cost $30,000 to $300,000 more it a very clear sign that in the world of supercars – there is no better bargain than the new Corvette Z06.


Robert Haskell (not verified)    August 25, 2014 - 3:38PM

Tell em Patrick! This cars legendary. Reminds me of when the GTR launched a couple years ago, minds exploded.

jay (not verified)    November 24, 2014 - 6:02PM

Although the Huracan is more expensive, even though it has less power it will spank the Z06. Car and driver tested its 0-60 at 2.5 and qm at 10.4

Shawn (not verified)    December 23, 2014 - 6:53PM

In reply to by jay (not verified)

Yeah until the first corner where the corvette can break later and much less than the Huracan since the Huracan can only handle a 1.01 G lateral grip versus the Z06's 1.19 G lateral grip. And the Huracan stops from 70-0 in 144 feet VS the Z06's stopping distance 70-0 in 128ft. And after 50 minutes of driving on the Z06 you don't need to replace a coolant hose and let the transmission cool down. I'm just sayin'.

Jake (not verified)    December 15, 2014 - 12:43PM

Using the launch control on the GTR is the only way to achieve those numbers. Too bad the GTR has a glass transmission which are only covered for so many launches with their warranty in the past. The Z06 traps higher which means it's faster in a straight line and destroys the GTR on a road course. Z06 > GTR. Just wait until the ZR-1 is released and the pos Nissan will be even slower in comparison.