Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
Subscribe to the Free

2009 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - Target Acquired

Locked-on dedication spawns a carbon clad Z06 with crosshairs

D.J. Randall Feb 17, 2014
View Full Gallery

Forget flying beneath the radar, hiding in the shadows, and lurking behind corners. Sure, the whole stealth strategy has its advantages, but sometimes, standing out in the open has its benefits too. Thanks to the bright Victory Red paint, Zoltan's delightfully menacing C6 Z06 cannot hide. The sharp lines resemble an afterburning fighter, and the carbon bits suggest a race machine that is egging on the competition. The anti-sleeper calls out the beasts, who crawl out from the darkness, and the fight is on. The rumbling sound waves slice through the air, and the scent of unrestricted exhaust fumes overwhelm nostrils. The smell of victory is immediately apparent, for the Z!

Let's introduce Zoltan Ambrus. The man from Riverview, Florida is the perfect pilot for his ground-level airspace-enforcing Corvette. Delving into Mr. Z's background is a clearance-only ordeal, so just trust our suggestion of proficiency. Nowadays, he's his own boss, a small business owner with new objectives on his hands. His first new objective was to finally fulfill his latest life's desire, and own a C6 Z06. He chose wisely, tirelessly searching for the perfect combination. Instead of going with a bland black, or boring blue, Zoltan cherry-picked a barely-used 2009 Victory Red Z06. Keeping his eye on the light at the end of the tunnel, Zoltan waited for the ideal moment, finally able to wrap his hands around the ‘Vette's red-stitched, leather steering wheel. For now, he says, "This is my dream car in the making."

Before we delve into Zoltan's current intentions, and in order to fully understand the potent potential of the Z06, we should note the performance figures from the factory. The stock LS7, from General Motors, is a high-strung seven-liter that produced 505 horsepower when it rolled off the factory floor. Not bad, especially considering the 7:22.68 Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time (with optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires, and Z07 package). You know, the track where automakers' performance claims are validated, and automobiles of all kinds are put through the ultimate test. Just for reference, that's faster than the Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 GT2 RS, and Ferraro Enzo. Folks, that's substantially quick. Sometimes, it's not all about straight-line speed, or sheer horsepower numbers…okay, most of the time it is. However, when considering a triple-threat category of ride, applicable road course achievement is essential. Being able to turn-heads and low numbers at drag strips, road courses, and on the street is an addicting concept. Feeling at home, the C6 Z06 is surely holding strong in the triple threat category, and modifying an all-around effective factory platform opens the door for success. This time, Zoltan's onboard, and his aim is diligently locked-on with plans of modification success.

Mr. Z's Z06 was completely capable of holding its own unmodified, but who wants to read about that? Remember, the combat ready, blood red C6 essentially has a target on its back, and can't get away from the completive nature of the color scheme. It was time for Zoltan to validate his aftermarket performance desires, and finely tune the Z06 for afterburner-like power. On startup, the first thing an inadvertent bystander would notice is the pure bass of the rumbling idle. Thanks to the custom grind LSA COMP camshaft, the Z06 is pleasingly drivable, while possessing an intimidating growl. Zoltan says, "I wanted to give the car the power it deserved, so I had the stock heads and cam removed. I upgraded to a better cam and a machined and rebuilt set of heads." For the heads, Zoltan decided to have West Coast Cylinder Heads modify the stock ones, opening up some space for more horsepower to be created. Once that happens, the rich exhaust gasses travel through Pfadt perfection, starting with the headers and leading into the high-flow catalytic converters, and mid-pipe. From there, Corsa mufflers take over, adding a crisp crackle of ear pleasing excellence. On the dyno, the newly modified Z06 enforcer spun up a respectable 567-rear-wheel horsepower, sporting a custom tune from Matt at Florida Speed and Power in Bradenton, Florida. With the components under the hood accounted for, it's time to move on to the stiff suspension, and ground effects.


Improving the factory handling only benefits the performance capabilities, and Zoltan's Z06 has the full treatment from LG Motorsports. Both the front and the rear suspension components are all LG, for pure maneuvering superiority. Aggressive coilovers and stiffer sway bars keep the Corvette connected to the asphalt, optimizing the C6's corner carving capability. On ground level, the super-concave 360 Forged 5s are made from carbon fiber. Yes, carbon fiber. Speaking of the woven goodness, take a look around. Almost every lip of the Corvette is touched by carbon fiber. Just take a look at the front splitter, side skirts, and intake. It's a subtle touch that screams competition, and Zoltan's Z06 is up for the challenge. Opening up the door reveals an essentially stock cockpit, with other little carbon crumbs here and there.

Hard work and determination generate experience, but the road to success takes time. Like we said in the beginning of the story, the bright-red Corvette is Zoltan's dream car in the making, and he is undoubtedly not done modifying it. We can respect that; the timeline for a car is often endless. So, when asked what he had in store for the future, Mr. Z said, "My plans are to add a blower kit or a turbo kit and upgrade the rear end and transmission to be able to handle the added power. For now, it has plenty of power to keep me happy." Perhaps, Zoltan's satisfaction is one of the best factors about the Z06. You see, Zoltan waited for the right time, and gave himself a present after retiring. With that being said, Zoltan would like to take a second to thank his wife, "for letting [him] take [his] garage back," which really means a lot to a car guy, and from the sounds of it, Zoltan is no stranger to the sports car lifestyle. In fact, he's previously owner a C5 Corvette, a 1968 Camaro (Pro Street), a 1989 Pontiac GTA, and a 1987 Camaro - assuring us that he is a GM enthusiast.

Similar to most bowtie brethren, he enjoys any horsepower-hoarding ride, but his Z06 seems to possess different goals from any of his previous rides. You can't ignore his loud mouth Corvette, with the carbon fiber accents, and Victory Red paint. Triple threat capable, he can bring the competition to your drag strip, road course, and cruise back home to his garage. From inside, he's sporting crosshairs, thanks to nearly 600 horsepower on tap with his right foot. He's ready to go, and you're the tango.


Data File

Car: 2009 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Owner: Zoltan Ambrus
Block: GM LS7, 427.6cid
Compression ratio: 11:1
Heads: GM cast aluminum, West Coast Cylinder Heads modified
Cam: COMP Cams, custom grind LSA
Pushrods: Stock
Rocker arms: Stock
Pistons: Stock
Rings: Stock
Crankshaft: Stock
Rods: Stock
Throttle body: Stock
Fuel injectors: SFI (sequential fuel injection)
Fuel pump: Stock
Ignition: MSD coils
Engine management: Florida Speed and Power
Exhaust system: Pfadt headers/X-pipe, Corsa muffler
Transmission: TR6060
Clutch: Stock
Driveshaft: Stock
Front suspension: LG coilovers, LG sway bar
Rear suspension: LG coilovers, LG sway bar
Rear end: Stock
Brakes: front and rear power-assisted disc, six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers, cross-drilled rotors
Wheels: 360 Forged Concave 5, carbon fiber finish
Front tires: Nitto Invo, 285/25ZR20
Rear tires: Nitto Invo, 345/25ZR20
Fuel: 93-octane
Race weight: 3180 lbs
Best ET/mph: Unknown
Best 60-ft. time: Unknown
Current mileage: 6,250
Miles driven weekly: Classified



Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

sponsored links

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print