No one "needs a Z06," but if you know you really do, and are not now on a large allocation dealership's Z06 list, you probably need to act fairly soon. Here's some facts, or near certainties, that may help you decide, that if you are not currently on a dealership Z06 priority list, whether you need to get on a list now.
1. With its standard NPP performance exhaust, standard Z-51 goodies (most having received a serious injection of steroids), standard MSRC, standard "at least 625 HP/635 TQ" supercharged motor, the Z06 is probably going to base price between $80-85K (perhaps even in the mid/mid-high $70K's).
2. Z06 production will be a limited run during the 2015 model year. Notice how GM's first announcement said "late 2014 availability," the second one said, "early 2015 delivery," and now some spokespersons are even talking "first quarter customer deliveries." Couple this with the typical "slow initial model production run rate," -- as BGAP progressively ramps up production skills/speed (just as they did with the StingRay's rollout), there will not be mega-thousands of Z06's produced during the 2015 model year (MY). In a January 24th presentation, Corvette Performance Marketing Manager Harlan Charles said they would produce C7 Z06's next year, at the same rate as the early C6 Z06 years when they averaged 7,000 units per full production year. However, the early C6 Z06 model years were a full year long, and it looks as if the 2015 MY might be half that long, e.g. about 3,500 2015 Z06's.
3. There will probably be some constraints in 2015 MY Z06 production, specifically in the exposed CF aero and Z07 packages -- as detailed here:
4. The top three Corvette StingRay dealers by allocation, already, each, have many, many, many customers on their Z06 priority lists. In comparison, one of these three dealers, when I talked to its spokesperson on January 8th, five days before the Z06's reveal, then only had nine folks on its Z06 list.
5. We will learn a lot more about the Z06 at the April NCM Bash. Key Z06 development team members, including Tadge Juechter, Harlan Charles , Kirk Bennion, Ryan Vaughan and many more essential Z06 engineers will be there, giving presentations, answering questions, etc.
Just as the number of folks on a dealership Z06 priority lists swelled immediately following the release of information on "The Beast," at NAIAS in January, the information coming out of the Bash will bring another swell of folks to contact their dealers in the days and first couple of weeks after the event.
6. As with the StingRay roll out, dealers with large allocations will initially received a disproportionate amount of GM "Z06 order acceptances." As some members of forums have painfully learned this year, after having been on dealership lists (deposit/order placed up to four-to-six months ago, some with no progress yet), lots of dealerships will promise you that they can deliver a 2015 Z06, while more than a few of those will not be able to do so. Once again, suggest thorough research into your dealer's allocation capabilities before hitching your wagon to a horsepower-drawn train that has no horses to pull it. If you haven't yet read the following thread, it is just as applicable to ordering and receiving a Z06 as it was, and is, to having your dealer's order requests become a "GM acceptance reality."
7. No dealer yet knows either their 2015 MY StingRay, nor their Z06 allocation. While most believe it will be based on total 2014 new Corvettes sales, this has not been confirmed by GM. Z06 allocations MIGHT be given to the dealerships in April, though with delayed Z06 production, that could easily be months later.
8. The top StingRay dealers have confirmed that they are going to sell their Z06's at MSRP. Conversely, some smaller and medium sized dealers are already telling their customers that they will need $10K over list. Just talked with one local medium-sized dealer who originally said they were going to sell Z06's at list, but who recently backed away from that promise. Just as in StingRay sales, it would not surprise any of us that we will again see many southern CA and FL dealers asking up to $25K over list, perhaps a trend that might spread to other parts of the country during the 50%-shorter-than-typical 2015 Z06 production model year.
To summarize, can you afford to wait, while the Z06 priority lists increasingly grow, especially when you can now hitch your wagon to Corvette "dealership allocation leaders" who have committed that you will pay MSRP for your 2015 Z06?