New Corvette Z06 is the most expensive yet

Though Chevy has been slowly raising the prices on its fastest Corvettes, the new $79,000 car is considered a 'screaming deal' by some enthusiasts.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 25, 2014 1:23PM
By Kyle Stock, Businessweek

Detroit has always excelled at delivering a lot of horsepower per dollar. Ferrari-style performance for less than $50,000 is the promise and careful market positioning of cars such as the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, and Chevrolet Corvette.

General Motors (GM) largely stuck to that strategy on Friday when it slapped a suggested price of $78,995 on its 2015 Corvette Z06, the high-performance version of its blue-collar supercar.

With a 650-horsepower engine, the car is considered by Road & Track to be  a "screaming deal" at less than $80,000. In a way, it's relatively cheap. The Ferrari FF, which is a hair more powerful, starts at almost $300,000. The Mercedes SLS Coupe, with an engine that's 10 percent weaker, starts at $221,580.

Chevy has been slowly raising the prices on its fastest Corvettes. The company made the souped-up Z06 three times in the past -- once in 1963 and twice since 2000. The first version was a $1,818 option that could be tacked onto the base model, which cost $4,252. In today's dollars, the first Z06 cost $47,262, 40 percent less than the new version. Granted, it wasn't nearly as powerful, but a half century ago the Z06 could still out-drag most other cars.

The next Z06 came in 2001 with a sticker price of $48,500 ($65,246 in today’s dollars). The 2006 version was more expensive yet. Here’s how the cars stack up in 2014 dollars:

There's more than one explanation for the accelerating prices. Carbon fiber, which is laced through the 2015 model, isn't cheap in any decade. Technology is pricey as well. The new Chevy has a lot of it, from an engine that shuts down cylinders when cruising, to heads-up instrument displays, to a "performance data recorder" that syncs high-definition video with the car's navigation system.Credit: © Paul Sancya/AP
Caption: The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., Jan. 13, 2014

The Corvette is also trying to be more than than just a big engine. In 1963, the car industry was far less global; there wasn't a Porsche in every blue-blood Michigan neighborhood. To compete today, Corvette has improved its interiors and added more bells and whistles.

The petrolheads who bought the 1963 Corvette Z06, however, get the last laugh. A cherry version of that car is now worth about $428,000, according to Hagerty Insurance, a classic car underwriter. A lucky owner of that machine could flip it and buy five of the new 'Vettes.

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Aug 25, 2014 2:28PM
This i sthe Z06 (high performance) version, not the entry-level Corvette, which in its own rights is a nice car for around $53k.  But yes, for the performance you get from the Z06, it is a bargain.
Aug 25, 2014 3:16PM
Yes the corvette isn't a Ferrari, that's the point its not in the same ball park, the point is you get performance for the dollar. And no it is not a 710hp challenger that can't stay on a track. The challenger is garbage compared to the corvette.
Aug 25, 2014 3:30PM

it looks like a nice sports car for the money.

Aug 25, 2014 2:08PM
And this car will run circles around the HellCrap Challenger.  On the strip, at the track it doesnt matter this car will simply make the Challenger look slow.
Aug 25, 2014 2:39PM
I've always wanted a Corvette, but I was told I'm too gay.
Aug 25, 2014 8:29PM
"Most expensive yet". You could probably say that about  most anything that has a new model that comes out each year, toasters, mowers, commercial enema machine's.
Aug 25, 2014 8:08PM
80,000 dollars,i hope they splurged for the 2 dollar ignition switch
Aug 25, 2014 6:02PM
I bought an '87 C4 about 10 years ago,,$4500 from the original owner. Graduated HS in '85,,wanted one since I first laid eyes on one,,,You couldn't wipe the smile off my face while driving this car. Not an easy car to get in and out of the older I get, but, this was my white picket fence in the suburbs. The people that will buy this new Corvette do so because they want one. A 1983-85 Ferrari 308(Magnum's ride) is another sports car on my bucket list,,25K will get a nice one,,, there is a lot more maintenance needed for these cars,, factory Ferrari mechanics shouldn't be too expensive right? We purchase the "dreams" we can afford. Any frugal sports car enthusiast knows the Corvette is/has been the benchmark for getting the most bang for your buck, new or used, for a long time. The Corvette has been "hangin" with, or leading, much pricier cars on test/race tracks since it's release. If I had 25K for a sports car I would be polishing my black '85 308, and adjusting the solid lifters regularly. Hand-crafted, impeccable fit and finish, performance, and graceful-flowing body lines define a Ferrari. How many times have you heard someone say "What an ugly Corvette?" If you don't believe pride or heart and soul, go into every Corvette made, do us all a favor and visit the factory in Bowling Green. This new Z06 is roughly 30K more than that 308 was 30 years ago. The 308  can't afford one, but, 80K is more than reasonable for this street-legal, asphalt-torpedo on rails
Aug 25, 2014 9:10PM
UMMMM WRONG!!!!! corvette ZR1 was the the most expensive. MSRP over 100k  
Aug 26, 2014 6:35AM
It's a CORVETTE! America's only production sports car!  the name speaks for it self.
Aug 25, 2014 4:29PM
   I buy a new car every 4 years, loved my 2010 SS Camaro and I just got my production date from GM for my new 2015 Stingray. I can't wait to be driving the 2014 car of the year to work every day. After a year and half of reviews I have yet to see anything bad said about the new Stingray, Power, Performance and Handling of a super car, but still affordable to the middleclass. The Z06 will be in my sights in 4 more years, but Tesla my have a better faster battery powered car by then and I will have to give it serious consideration. The fun never ends.
Aug 26, 2014 8:18AM
My 87 Yugo that my brother gave me, just like my wife that he let me have, is the best ever! I can outrun those fancy guys dressed in spandex on bicycles as long as I have a good tail wind and were going down hill !!!
Aug 26, 2014 7:05AM
I toured the Corvette factory in July and saw that it was in maximum production employing thousands of people in the area and targeting a production rate of 180 Corvettes per day. No Z06's were on the line at the time but the base model is a huge success in it's market segment. If GM could do as good a job with its other models I might even buy some of their stock.
Aug 25, 2014 6:40PM
Love my 2014 Dodge Hemi Charger R/T fully loaded, but the newly re-designed Corvette will be my next and last car.
Aug 26, 2014 8:31AM
Please name me one new model of any car that went DOWN in price?
♫ I got a fast car, go cruisin' down the highway...
A corvette stingray, I do it my way... ♫ --David Lee Roth, Sensible Shoes
Aug 26, 2014 11:14AM
I used to be in a pretty decent band. I guess if I had to put a label on myself it would be a gayer Freddie Mercury.
Aug 26, 2014 10:30AM
Is it just me, or is MSN a better place now that that pretentious hypocrite, "all-that," has been chased away ??
Aug 26, 2014 10:21AM
Kyle, if you can't be accurate (Ford has never positioned the Mustang as an alternative to a Ferrari) then at least try not to be condescending.  Whatever color your collar happens to be, the Corvette stands quite well on its own merits.
Aug 26, 2014 9:48AM
The comparisons with Ferrari and Mercedes is misleading. All that is compared are the engines and even then just the power factor. There is a lot more to the price than just the power plant. While they're improving, Vettes have historically featured below par interiors and not that many bells and whistles. I'd like to see the sticker on a Z06 that is loaded with every option available. Performance and appearance and comfort. As far as bang for buck the Corvette is the clear winner but I'd like to see a feature-to-feature comparison. Let's face it, with that kind of power we've got to be seeing some serious suspensions and braking systems.
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