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A blue 2024 Chevy Corvette Stingray 3LT with Z51 Performance Package driving on a bridge.

Do You Need the Z51 Performance Package for Your Corvette Stingray?

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for: it’s time to find a Chevy Corvette for sale. The 2024 Corvette Stingray may have caught your eye, and for good reason. It’s quite simply a gorgeous car with a powerful motor, excellent tech specs, and exciting features. However, several packages can be added to further enhance your Corvette experience.

One popular package is the Z51 Performance Package, which offers a range of features and upgrades to get the highest performance from your Stingray. But is this package worth adding? What are the upsides and downsides to the upgrades it offers? Let’s break it down, feature by feature.

Brembo Performance Brakes

The Z51 package includes upgraded performance brakes from Brembo. This includes premium four-piston front and rear monobloc calipers. The rotors are 13.6 inches in the front and 13.8 inches in the rear. The use of monobloc calipers provides a superior pedal feel for more accurate braking compared to the two-piece calipers that come standard with the Corvette. Meanwhile, the substantially larger rotors provide better thermal management to prevent overheating. Unlike some of the other features that make up the Z51 package, there are no downsides to better brakes––improved stopping power is welcomed by all drivers.

Performance Suspension

When you want your ‘Vette to take corners silky-smooth and tight, upgrading to a performance-tuned suspension can be a great decision. In the Z51 Performance Package, the shocks and springs have been upgraded. Even better, the spring seats are manually adjustable, allowing you to tune the suspension to your driving preferences. Put together, they give the Stingray dynamic handling that lowers body roll and allows for precision maneuvering,

If you like your ‘Vette to have tight steering and exacting control of corners and bends, you’ll likely enjoy having the Z51 performance suspension. However, if you prefer your ride to be free of bumps in the road, you might find yourself regretting this upgrade, as this suspension’s tightness doesn’t allow for much impact absorption. The good news is that Chevy has an extra option that gives you the best of both worlds––the available Z51 Performance Suspension with Magnetic Selective Ride Control allows the shocks to adjust to the road, providing damping that is both comfortable and controlled.

Close-up of the stainless steel exhaust tips on a red 2024 Chevy Corvette Stingray with Z51 Performance Package.

Performance Exhaust

If you’re a fan of better, faster, stronger, then the performance exhaust feature in the Z51 package might be your dream come true. By allowing the V8 engine to breathe better, your ‘Vette can translate fuel into more power more effectively. In this case, it can bring the Stingray up to an impressive 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque––that’s 5 hp and 5 lb-ft more than the standard exhaust.

The additional power and rumble of a performance exhaust is something that delights most sports car fans. However, if you’re not a fan of extra noise, the rumble might be more aggravating than exhilarating. Chevy understands this and includes four settings for the Z51 exhaust. In Stealth and Tour modes, internal valves are closed, reducing the sound. Meanwhile, Sport and Track modes open up the exhaust so you can hear the engine’s full roar.

Performance Rear Axle Ratio

The Z51 package gives the Stingray a 5.17 rear axle ratio, as opposed to the 4.89 rear axle in the base Corvette. This ratio represents the number of revolutions the driveshaft has to make to spin the axle one full turn. A higher number means more revolutions. The more the motion, the more it reduces output speed but increases torque. Overall, this gives you the benefit of higher performance. This does not result in higher speeds, though, just faster acceleration. It can be a great choice if you want to spend time at the track. Fuel economy, however, does take a small hit.

Electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD)

The Z51 package offers improved traction with its Electronic Limited Slip Differential, also known as an eLSD. Unlike the mechanical LSD that comes standard in the Corvette, the eLSD includes computer control that can modulate wheelspin to improve stability and handling. This provides excellent traction that reduces the risks of spinouts and slippage. These are important considerations, especially if you plan on using your ‘Vette on the track or for more performance-heavy driving.

Side view of a silver 2024 Chevy Corvette Stingray with Z51 Performance Package on a ferry.

Z51-Specific Front Splitter and Rear Spoiler

Spoilers have been a feature of sports cars for decades, adding an extra splash of style. The Z51 package offers a unique rear spoiler and a front splitter in either the exterior paint color of the car or in carbon flash metallic. But what do these visually pleasing additions actually do? The front splitter helps stabilize the car at high speeds, reducing front-end lift and improving overall handling. The rear spoiler does the same for the rear end, shifting weight onto the rear tires. This can aid traction and also improve the car’s handling.

While these additions add visual appeal and improve handling, they do come with their own set of complications. The lower profile of the front splitter can make ramps and inclines more difficult to navigate––but Chevy’s engineers have come to the rescue once again with the optional Front Lift with Memory. This system will raise the front of the car by approximately two inches to help you get over obstacles. It can also be programmed to remember 1,000 GPS locations and automatically engage.

Michelin Pilot Sport 4S Tires

The Z51 package will outfit your Stingray with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S high-performance tires. These tires measure 245/35ZR19 in front and 305/30ZR20 in the rear. They are a substantial upgrade over the Michelin Pilot All Season 4 tires that come standard if you are looking to get maximum grip out of your car.

Modern summer-only tires have better grip on both dry and wet roads, providing better maneuverability around corners and bends. Once the temperatures drop, however, their soft rubber material will stiffen. This leads to a loss of traction that makes them dangerous to use in the winter months. Most people don’t drive their Corvettes year-round, but if you are planning to, then only use these tires during the warmer months.

Heavy-Duty Cooling System

A rear-mounted third radiator and brake cooling ducts make up the heavy-duty cooling system that comes with the Z51 package. This will help the Stingray perform at peak capability lap after lap on the track. This system prevents the engine and brakes from overheating, which increases performance as the temperatures rise. The benefits speak for themselves. When an engine overheats, the damage can be catastrophic, and when brakes overheat, you might become unable to stop. There are not a lot of downsides to this particular feature.

The Z51 Performance Package: Peak Performance for Your Stingray

The Z51 Performance Package offers a range of features that will put your Corvette Stingray through its paces with increased performance. The question of whether it’s a worthwhile addition is largely up to personal preference and what kind of driving you plan to do in your Corvette. For drivers who foresee long afternoons at a local track or visits to the local drag strip, it can have a positive impact. The downsides are generally reasonable and not insurmountable.

The package is not inexpensive at an MSRP of $6,345 for the 2024 model year, but when you look at everything that it contains, it’s a great value.[a] Many of these features would be expensive or impossible to add using aftermarket parts. Overall, it’s an excellent addition for any driver who wants their Stingray to be the pinnacle of performance. If you decide the package isn’t for you, don’t worry. You’re still coming out ahead. After all, you’re driving home in a Corvette.

[a] MSRP may change without notice. See dealer for complete details.

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