2016 Corvette Stingray Z51 Overview

Planned since 2007, the seventh-generation Corvette, the “C7”, made its debut as the 2014 Corvette Stingray at Detroit’s International Auto Show on January 13, 2013. Wearing exciting new sheet metal and characterized by tremendous performance and technological advances, the new Vette became the first to roll out of Bowling Green under the shelved “Stingray” moniker since 1976. In addition to the “1LT”, “2LT”, and “3LT” trim levels, the 2014 Stingray was offered with the famed “Z51” performance package. In an examination of the C7 performance and styling advances made two years into the production run, this article provides an overview of the 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51.

red 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51 Overview

History of the 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51

GM and other companies have historically used many internal codes to represent options packages for their vehicles. Sometimes the options codes have made it to the marketing or branding point. Legendary codes at GM that made it into the American vernacular include “Z28”, “Z34”, “Z71”, “Z06”, etc.

The “Z51” designation was assigned to a performance handling package that was initially introduced on the 1984 Corvette at the launch of the C4 generation. The 2014 Corvette Stingray Z51 package included many performance upgrades that were carried over and expanded in the 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51.

6 Most Popular 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51 Features

Engine and Transmission

The 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51 continued the employment of the proven pushrod V-8 that has powered Corvettes in various forms for generations. The 2016 version, the 6.2 Liter, 16-valved “LT1”, maintained the use of an aluminum block and heads with direct fuel injection. It was rated at 460 hp at 6000 rpm and produced 465 lb-ft of torque. This potent power plant sent the 2016 Z51 to 60 mph in an almost inconceivable 3.8 seconds. It did the quarter mile in 12.2 seconds at 117 mph and logged a top speed of 190 mph.

The engine is also very efficient. Working with the lightweight body components of the car, such as the carbon fiber hood, and the gearing ratios, the 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51’s engine produced EPA fuel estimates of 17 and 29 mpg.

The 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51 came with two transmissions. A 7-speed manual transmission, which was available on all trim levels, came with “active-rev matching”. This is a feature that enables the car to match the engine’s rpms with the appropriate gear. This allows for smooth transitions while shifting, especially during spirited driving. Also available for 2016 was an exciting new 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

Suspension and Braking

Handling is optimized in the 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51 through the use of aluminum upper and lower control arms and high-performance Bilstein shocks at the front and rear. It’s also equipped with an electronic limited slip differential that helps manage traction at the rear wheels.

Magnetic Selective Ride Control was made available for those who wanted the ability to temper the car on demand. This system measures the road hundreds of times per second and subsequently adjusts the shocks for optimal ride and handling.

Mode Selector

A special feature of the 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51 is the mode selector. This feature allows the driver to “dial up” a specific driving characteristic for the car based on road conditions or the current mood of the driver. With the turn of a dial, the driver can choose between “Weather”, “Eco”, “Tour”, “Sport”, or “Track” modes. The selection of each of these modes electronically manipulates up to 12 variables that have distinctive effects on how the car launches, handles, sounds, and uses fuel.


In addition to the refined interior surfaces and supportive sports seats carried forward from the 2014 redesign, the 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51 was fitted with a new flat-bottom steering wheel. This creates more room in the driver’s compartment and a convenient power latch for the rear hatch.

With the 3LT trim option, a 9 speaker base stereo system could be upgraded to a 10 speaker boost system with a base box and two subwoofers. These features along with the infotainment system are present across the entire corvette line-up.

Infotainment System

Technology and infotainment needs were also addressed in the 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51. The My Link infotainment system offered AM/FM and satellite radio, navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and a host of apps including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, all controlled on an 8-inch full-color monitor.

Performance Data and Video Recorder

Drivers can analyze and record every drive made in the 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51 using the car’s unique Performance Data and Video Recorder. Real time audio and video can also document a scenic drive through the country or a day on the track. One can record and review numerous bits of performance data, such as 0 to “X” times and top speeds.

2016 Corvette Stingray Z51 interior

Getting Support for the 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51

2016 Corvette Z51 owners can find plenty of support on and offline for their car. Popular Corvette communities include the National Corvette Owners Association and Corvetteforums.com. One can obtain aftermarket custom and performance parts through respectable providers such as LG Motorsports of Lewisville, Corvettecentral.com and Lingenfelter Performance Engineering.

Further Options for the 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51 and Fun Stuff

General Motors has gone out of its way to show their appreciation for loyal Corvette owners and enthusiast by fostering a feeling among them of being “in the club”. 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51 and other Corvette owners could take advantage of programs that allowed them to watch or participate in the construction of their car, take delivery at the National Corvette Museum, and have a personalize engraved plate affixed to the dash of their car.

The 2016 Corvette Stingray Z51 successfully blends the lines of performance, luxury, technology, and fuel efficiency to further solidify Corvette’s long held standing as a world class sports car at a bargain price point. Be sure to check out on-line comparisons with competitors like the 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350 and the 2016 BMW Z4.