Which Model Year C7 Z06 Corvette Is the Smart Buy?

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C7 Z06 Corvette

The C7 Z06 hasn’t changed a lot over the years. But there are some differences well worth considering.

We already know that the C7 Z06 Corvette is perhaps the current bargain performance buy of the century. Well, unless you believe the ZR1 is worth the extra $30k+. Otherwise, scoring a used C7 Z06 offers more bang for your buck than perhaps anything else on the market today. But now that we’re nearing the end of the C7 production run, it’s worth asking which model year is the best of the best. And thanks to Corvette Forum member tt350z, that very discussion is taking place right now in the forums.

“I’m looking for a C7 Z06 with the Z07 package with a 7-speed manual. With many cars, there are some years within that model’s production that feature minor upgrades that make those years more desirable than other years . Is this true for the C7 Z06?”

While differences between these models are relatively minor, several members point out one important upgrade.

“17+ models have some upgraded hardware for cooling purposes,” said Hotwire25“So if you track your car and that’s important to you, it MIGHT help with overheating issues.”

“On the 2017 or newer cars, GM added an additional heat exchanger and taller SC lid to help with cooling,” adds salcolkat. “There is a post on the forum comparing the ’15/’16 Zo6 vs the ’17, and the ’17 runs cooler and is much less likely to overheat.”

C7 Z06 Corvette

But for folks like RobGZ06, that added kit might not be worth the extra cost.

“I would get the ’16. If you track the car, you can add the secondary radiator for basically pennies. If you don’t track the car, you can get whatever year and all of them will be just as good. But if you get the ’17, be prepared to see a check engine light with ANY mod you do. You can look at your intake and a check engine light will pop up. That’s how sensitive the 17+ are.

’15-’16 are more mod friendly. And I drive my car in the dead middle of summer. Just 2 weeks ago when it was 108 degrees and 85% humidity. I was dying, but the car with the AC on full blast treated me well. Oh, and the temp gauge never exceeded 220F. These cars are fine on the street.”

Oskee notes that those aren’t the only upgrades the C7 Z06 received in 2017, however.

“Let’s also not forget a couple of small upgrades like the front cameras and the motorized pull down for the hatch on the ’17 and newer Z06.”

C7 Z06 Corvette

16/C7Z does a pretty good job breaking down the differences between all of these cars.

“2016 is the best year if you ever want to mod it. It has front cameras and Apple CarPlay. You can add a secondary radiator for under 1k from GM and you’re done. The ’17 lid and raised rear brick are good, better if you will. But once you tune it it will cost you with the engine lights, etc. Plus, ’16s or ’15s with a secondary radiator run the same temps as ’17s up. With a ’15 or ’16 add a 2300 Maggie and you’ve got the best of all worlds for 5k. No check engine lights and ZR1 power.”

All valid points, but this is only scratching the surface. Be sure and check out the dozens of responses and slivers of advice by heading over here. And while you’re there, drop some knowledge of your own and tell us which C7 Z06 you prefer!

Join the Corvette forums today!

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Corvette Forum, Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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