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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Maisto 1:24 and Hot Wheels 1:64 2015 Chevrolet Corvette ZO6





Ever since 2001 the ZO6 has been the track-oriented Corvette of the line and even with some headier competition from within by the ZR-1 and low-end versions called Grand Sport the ZO6 is still the predominant track king.  For 2015 the ZO6 now becomes more suitable for the road with a convertible added along with a new eight-speed automatic transmission.  As for new replica's of the ZO6 the initial start was slow, but now there's a few more in this third-generation from Hot Wheels to Maisto.







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The ZO6 arrived in 2001 as a track-oriented Corvette for those who do their business on the track more than cruising on the street.  2006 saw a more fierce ZO6 to keep it the top dog of the Corvette line, then the ZR-1 arrived in 2009 with more power and better handling to go after high-end exotics.  This made the ZO6 in a puzzling state:  between the new ZR-1 being top dog and the regular Corvette coupe gaining a Grand Sport package with ZO6 styling and suspension for thousands less, what is the point of the ZO6 now?  For 2015 Chevrolet is now marketing the ZO6 as a track car that is also comfortable cruising on the street.  In past models the ZO6 was limited to a fixed-top coupe, but now the ZO6 can be offered with a removable targa panel for the coupe and a convertible for the first time.  Also offered alongside the 7-speed manual transmission is a new 8-speed automatic that is suitable for the massive power from the supercharged 6.2L pushrod V8 that produces 650 horsepower and 650 Ib-ft of torque.  Unlike the last-generation the platform is pretty much the same as the regular Stingray line with the exception of modified suspension tuning for track duty and the usual additional exterior vents and spoilers, the latter now offering an Aero package with a larger rear wing.







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For Maisto the ZO6 has been the typical for Maisto since their first one as a 1:18 scale back in 2001, but then somehow missed the last-generation model until 2010 when the GT-1 commemorative edition appeared as a 1:24 scale model.  Now they're back on top with the 2015 coupe offered in yellow (shown) or blue.  The front has that sharp Stingray nose of the C7 Corvette's with a larger lower grille that removes the chrome bars and adds brake cooling ducts.  The headlights are the same projector beam with L-shaped running lights as other corvette's, as are the hood vent for the flow-through radiator that is now larger and adds a large hood buldge accented by a separate black trim piece.  The lower chin spoiler to the front bumper is a first for the ZO6 and adds more downforce.  The sides show new side vents in black with ZO6 logo, the usual lower rear brake cooling ducts just ahead of the rear wheels, and new is the upper ducts on top of the rear fenders that cool off the transmission and rear differential coolers before exiting out of slots next to the taillights at the rear.  The exterior mirrors are made of plastic and at times do not flow with the rest of the car (the color difference between plastic and metal is more noticeable in the darker blue color).







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At the rear the tall rear spoiler sits with the center brake light nestled just below, larger vents on the sides of the bumper, Corvette badging, chrome quad exhaust tips, and a Texas license plate.  What I didn't like was Maisto's decision to use red for the taillight lenses when in fact they should be clear, so I added the correct look with a silver Sharpie.  The base underneath is flat, but unlike most other exotic cars of today there's not a lot of undercarriage covering so the drivetrain and suspension components are visible and stand out here with some additional detailing.  The wheels are the very cool blacked-out multi-spoke rims of the actual ZO6, though the downside is that they are attached to pin axles so the wheels do not steer at the front nor do they spin individually.  Open the hood to see the supercharged V8 ready to go with a few silver trim bits but overall it's just a plastic black tub of engine details; then again the engine bay is pretty tight on the actual car so i'll give some credit here.  The supercharger is in plain view and attention has been given to the flow-through radiator up front.







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Inside the interior is pretty drabby in black, especially when you can get a two-tone leather that is offered on the 1:18 scale Corvette Stingray's from Maisto.  Still you get the fantastic interior with supportive ZO6 bucket seats, the flow-through dashboard centered around the driver, and a generous cargo area for a sports car.  The flat-bottomed steering wheel is the only part that has details with the Corvette flags and the ZO6 logo, while the gauges up front has sticker decal for the gauges.  Adding silver to the pedals, shifter surround, steering wheel, and door handles improves the look but not by much.  Also note the pedals and shifter indicating that this is the eight-speed automatic version.  While most still prefer a 1:18 scale ZO6 Corvette (and there is one by AutoArt, though plan to fetch more $$$), this 1:24 scale ZO6 will still do for those on a budget who want a large-scale model of the ZO6.







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On the other hand there are those who prefer 1:64 scale and so far Hot Wheels is the only provider.  After the dismal 2015 arrival of the C7.R with its up-sloped chin, the street-oriented ZO6 finally arrives to correct those dismays.  Painted in yellow the new ZO6 carries much of the curves of the fantastic Stingray coupe and convertible castings of 2003 and 2004.  The front has a separate plastic grille with detailed vents and scoops inside.  The hood retains the black scoop while adding the black stripe and headlights to the front.  The roofline loses the tacky carbon fiber roof of the Stingray coupe for a cleaner look, while the rear adds the larger rear spoiler, quad exhaust tips, and larger vents.  Even the taillights have the silver lenses like the real car!  However, on the sides there is major lack of detailing as the car can be mistaken for a regular Corvette coupe unless you look up close to see the additional vents.  Using a black Sharpie not only adds those vents for a distinct look but also helps the rear spoiler stand out.  On the base aside from the front lower chin spoiler it looks the same as the Stingray coupe, as does the well laid-out interior.







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Finally i've driven the new ZO6 briefly with a 7-speed manual and I can say it is loud, powerful, fantastic, but don't make any tight turns as the large front wheels can bind into the wheelwells very easily.  While not the fantastic shark gray/tan interior of the car I drove these two are perfect to rekindle the experience of the mighty ZO6.


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