When the 2014 Corvette Stingray won car of the year at NAIAS this year, few were surprised. It’s an undeniably outstanding example of American engineering.

So heads turned last week when Chevy pulled back the covers on the Z06. Turns out, this would be the first Z06 to be fitted with a supercharger. That—and the 6.2-liter V8 and the seven-speed manual gearbox—means this thing cranks out 625 horses and 635 ft/lbs of towing power. Not too shabby.

Chevy worked with the ultra-successful Corvette racing team to develop it, giving it the same aluminum space frame as the race car. (The new ‘Vette laps faster than the outgoing Zr1.) Only one question remains: with the Z06 marking the middle of the range for Corvettes, where will the halo model ZR1 go?

If the 2014 Z06 is the new standard for American super cars, we think we hear some Italian boots shaking…

CorvetteZ061

Bryan Campbell