The Corvette Z06 has always offered an insane amount of performance for the money, but its Ferrari-caliber hardware was cloaked in bodywork that could be mistaken for that of lesser, base-model 'Vettes. The new Z06 not only gets, as GM puts it, "at least" 625 horsepower – more than a McLaren 12C – but it finally looks like a world-class supercar. (Either that or the landing craft for an alien race.) The old Z06's low-key styling almost begged you not to notice. The new one nakedly proclaims its bad intentions and ambitions for world domination.

The Z06's fenders are lasciviously flared, two inches in front and three inches in back, to cover tires that look like they were stolen from a race car. With the optional aero package, the Z06 makes more downforce than any car GM has ever built. This thing's got more carbon fiber than the Dreamliner factory. The Z06 isn't exactly GM's cash cow and isn't important to the company the way the F-150 is to Ford or the 200 is to Chrysler. What it is, however, is a 200-mph middle finger to everyone who danced on GM's grave five years ago and said it wasn't worth saving. It's a kickass bedroom-poster car with the goods to convince a new generation that American vehicles can command the same respect as anything with a prancing horse on the fender.