Here’s How You Can Convert Your 2014 Chevrolet C7 Corvette Into a Z06
Without some serious fabrication, it’s impossible to convert a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette into a C8 Z06. Luckily, the possibility of converting it into a C7 Z06 is alive and well. It’s not going to be cheap, and there are a lot of stages to move through, but by the end, you’ll have a Chevrolet C7 Corvette Z06 that you built with your own hands or paid a shop to do. Unfortunately, the conversion goes beyond a simple supercharger. Chevrolet gave the Z06 sharp track-biting fangs, and even after it’s all done, the car still needs to be tuned.
Start with the Chevrolet C7 Corvette engine
Base C7 Corvettes come with 6.2-liter LT1 V8s making 450 horsepower. The LT1 is all-aluminum with pushrods, active fuel management, and variable valve control. It’s mated to a Tremec 6070 7-speed manual transmission or a paddle-shifting automatic. That might be good enough for some Corvette owners, but not for someone who wants a Z06.
Chevrolet C7 Corvette Z06 power comes from an LT4 V8 producing 650 horsepower. The LT4 is fundamentally the LT1 with a supercharger, but it has a few differences to accommodate the boost. Notably, LT4s have upgraded cylinder walls and unique forged aluminum pistons, along with beefier cylinder heads. The camshafts also differ, and the LT4 gets its own fuel system. The LT4 also uses titanium intake valves and a better cooling system.
The suspension is essentially the same
The suspension components are the same between the base and Z06 models, but the Z06 has magnetic ride control. You can use a dial to select a suspension setup between track, wet weather, and comfort. Magnetic ride control also comes in the Z51, so if you opted for the Z51 package, you already have Z06 suspension. You can tell if the car has magnetic ride control by spotting the black shocks and having a wire sticking out of the top.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 brakes bolt right up
Converting base Stingray brakes to Z06 brakes, thankfully, isn’t an outrageous proposition. Z06 calipers bolt to the spindle without complication. The only problem you might face is clearance. You may need to upgrade to Z06 wheels, which is something you’d want to do anyway. You’ll need more traction to handle the extra 200 horsepower. Fitting a set of larger wheels incites the final stages of converting a base Stingray into a Z06.
You’ll need a widebody
The C7 Z06 has a lot of upgrades to its exterior. It’s wider to accommodate bigger wheels and has aerodynamic advantages over the base Stingray. Various websites like West Coast Corvettes sell C7 Z06 widebody kits. Owners quote $4,700 for a shipped body kit, minus the side skirts and spoilers, which cost another $2,000. You’ll need the downforce to handle the horsepower and generate as much grip as possible. It’s not as straightforward as swapping body panels and will require some cutting and fitting.
You may be asking if all of this is worth going through instead of just buying a Z06. With how high used car prices are, it could be worth the trouble. The engine rebuild is going to cost the most, but the suspension and brakes are bolt-ons. If you already have a Stingray, or better yet, a Z51, a conversion could be cheaper than buying the car outright.