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Chevrolet Corvette Z06

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  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Hard to tell speed from watching, true even with race cars where you know about how fast they are and it still looks slower. The compression of the suspension on the red car over that rise comming at the camera and then into the dip was one of the few places it looked like they were pushing the cars. Fun stuff.
    Randy
  • I saw on Speedvision last night 10/22/05 Tommy Kendall and Jeff Gordon testing the Z06. I was really impressed with the car and so was the test drivers with the power and weight of the new car. One thing I didn`t understand was they said the car has a 427 small block. I thought all engines that big were big blocks, can some one help me understand this?
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    Displacement is the volume that is swept as the pistons are moved from top dead center to bottom dead center.

    Corvettes were available with 427 cubic inch big blocks from 1966 until 1969. The block of these engines was big in mass whereas today's 427 cubic inch LS7 is big in displacement of the engine (pistons).

    The 1967 Corvette L-88 had a 427 cubic inch V-8 with an aluminum block and made over 500 hp, but Chevy underated it. It was a racing engine (all of it) and only 20 were built. It could only be ordered with all other racing options which meant no heater or defroster.

    One Corvette L-88 set a track record at the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans (going over 171 mph), but it didn't finish the race.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    The new 427, or 428 as some are saying, is put into the same size footprint as the small block engines from the original 265 ci up to the most recent 350/368 ci engines. Much smaller than the old RAT big blocks and much lighter.
  • When I told people I was looking at buying one of these they laughed and said only old or middle aged men drive them. Sadly, that is pretty much true.
  • gbjerkegbjerke Posts: 158
    sammyd1--
    Ya know, you're right. I'm 64 and am on my second Z06. Will have the new version when prices stabilize (local dealer just got one in---sticker + 25k)---LMAO!
    I see a lot of us grey hairs driving Vettes...and I think that is a good thing as I just HATE growing up and acting my age.
    The positive spin on this though is the fact that insurance rates are incredibly low on these cars, obviously because us old guys don't go nuts in them (at least the insurance stats don't show it). It's a gonzo performance sled and brings us old dudes back to the 50's when a V8 rumble was the ultimate.
    I'd love to be 20 again but that ain't gonna happen so my thought process is give her hell now.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    The question is, do you care? There was an article in Fortune just after I got my 2002 Coupe that said, in effect, if you want to be noticed at the country club drive a Vette, everybody else will have multiple copies of the German sleds and the Vette has arrived as a performance ride with something extra.

    Now, after 4 years and 43k miles, with 2.5 years on six different road racing tracks and being a leading edge baby boomer, not 60 just yet, I can't believe how much fun I'm having. The kid is out of college, the wife recently finished Grad School and she wanted me busy so she could study. Boy am I busy! Not to mention that I roll in Sunday afternoons, tired as all heck, with what must be a stupid grin on my face which gets a laugh out of the wife and she then wants to know what exotic I got to pass that day, or if my lap times continued to improve. It isn't racing, done with some restraint, it can be fairly safe, but there are risks. Mechanical failure in your own car or others can be ugly, but the Vette is pretty bullet proof and faster than most other street cars, which does make it fun.

    Now the question is, before I get to real maintenance, should I upgrade to a Z06? HUM .... BTW, most Z06 drivers are a lot younger than the demographic for average Vettes, WTG gbjerke!
    Randy
  • I'm not here to start a Porsche or BMW vs. Corvette debate, so please don't misinterpret my intentions. I am however, intelectually curious as to this forum's reactions about a very interesting discussion I had with the owner of one of the largest GM family of dealerships, who happens to be a Corvette nut. We have been business acquaintances and social friends for several years.

    When "Bob" heard recently that I was debating between buying another friend's Ferrari 360 and ordering a new 911 S, he called me to invite me to drive his personal Corvette Z06. We went out drove it on some quiet backroads and highway stretches, following which I bought him dinner (at my country club, no less, starrow68!).

    Our interesting discussion concluded with the following:

    (1) The Corvette's greatest loyalty and appeal among affluent, educated professionsals is in the 55-65+ age demographic. That is the age demographic that grew up when GM was in its glory days. They remeber - and perhaps owned - GTO's, 442's, Buick SS's, etc. He indicated they often view getting a new Corvette as going back to a high school or college homecoming.

    (2) The Corvette's appeal amoung younger affluent professionals, age 25-44, is far lower. They grew up in GM's darker days, with the Japanese beating them to death on quality. So they were more likely to grow up driving an Accord than a Malibu.

    (3) The socioeconomic shift in the US has resulted in, on the one hand, a much deeper "affluent, educated, professional" segment of the population than existed 20, 30 and 40 years ago. There really is a lot more wealth in the US today. However, at the same time, this shift has resulted in diminished incomes for blue and grey collar workers, and fewer of them can afford a $35,000 car, let alone a $50-$60,000+ car.

    (4) Bob made reference to a recent privately comissioned study by JD Powers. GM's "appeal rating" among households making less than $50k per year was a reasonable 45%. For households between $50k and $100k, it dropped to 20%. For households from $100k to $200k (the prime market for $50k+/-cars), it was 11%. For households over $200k, it was 6%. Needless to say, the Japanese and German brands fared far better among the affluent. Factoring in college and post graduate education levels resulted in an even greater decline by GM.

    So, the question is, who are going to be the Corvette buyers in 5-10-15 years when those affluent baby boomers that remember the glory years of GM start to trade thier two seaters for walkers, or worse?

    Bob has made an extraordinarily good living as a GM (and other brand) franchisee over the past 30+ years. He sold the underlying real estate for several of his dealerships to a REIT a couple of years ago and pocketed over $100 million. So his kids, grandkids and great grandkids are taken care of. But he did express much disappointment for GM's fall from grace. And in an ironic twist, he mentioned that all of his four kids have post graduate degrees, and none of them or their spouses drive GM's, save for a single 1999 Suburban. I almost felt sad enough to offer to buy the damn Z06, even though it's far more muscle and far less finesse than I am looking for. But then I remembered how he has cleaned my clock at golf for the past several years and I didn't feel so sad. :cry:
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    And I have to wonder as well. I actually grew up a Ford guy and consider the Corvette to be the 'Dark Side'. Then again, with the Corsa exhaust on the wife's I consider it a public duty to get the kids in the neighborhood to smile when we go by so that they are exposed to the Dark Side, given the M3 next door and all the German marques around the hood. I'm sorry, 6 cyl's sound like mad hornets to me compared to the growl of a V8. And, Ford still does it better than the small block. For me the Vette was not a dream or even a want, it just fit at the point where I had some disposable income and led me to things I'm not sure I would have found any other way. I always did want to drive race cars. :)

    I'm thinking that GM has the solution in their hands. If they can make things like the newest Z06 and sell them to people who don't want to pay a lot for image, whatever they may think that is, then GM might just survive. They still sell a lot of cars even if it's not to the sweet spot of the economic demographics.

    Enjoy the finesse, but don't blame me when you decide to try out tracking and that Vette goes by with a bellow and leaves some sand in your air intake. ;) Of course you won't have to worry about that if you spend about $130k.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    If I tried "tracking" right now, I'd expect a $30k Honda S2000 or a 180 hp Lotus Elise in the hands of a professional driver could beat me in a 911. :cry: And I think I'm better than average.

    FWIW, the test drivers for Automobile, Road and Track, Car and Driver and Motor Trend all rated the new 911S above the (standard) Corvette in track performance and achieved faster lap times with it. So that "finesse" of having the steering, suspension, engine and gearing, etc. work in harmony means something in the hands of a professional at the track as well. It will be interesting to see how the 997 Turbo stacks up against the Z06. It is a very powerful car with a much better suspension than the base Corvette, I'll admit that much form my limited exposure the other day. However, I'd still contend that a professional behind a base Corvette or 911 could beat 97%+ of amateurs behind a Z06, Ferrari 430 or Porsche 911 Turbo. You can't buy that level of training or expereince at any showroom, even with $130k in your wallet.

    Your point does bring up another demographic question. I wonder what percentages of Corvette buyers are regular or occassional "trackers", compared to other sports cars? A lot of the "gear head" kids in our neighborhood that I grew up with in the late 50's and 60's were tinkering with and modifying their GM's (and Fords and Chryslers) and testing their 1/4 mile times at least once a month.

    How did you get involved and is it an extension of your childhood or a new semi-retirment pasttime?
  • sensaisensai Posts: 129
    FWIW, the test drivers for Automobile, Road and Track, Car and Driver and Motor Trend all rated the new 911S above the (standard) Corvette in track performance and achieved faster lap times with it.

    I remember reading 2 of those comparisons when the cars had just came out, and while they picked the 911 due to "feel", the Vette pulled the better lap times numbers in both instances...
  • Now, now. Remember I said I wasn't trying to turn this into a Porsche vs. Corvette debate. :)

    Statistically, these two cars are practically a dead heat on paper. I happen to have the Motor Trend January 2005 comparison. The 911 wins on 0-60 (4.2 vs. 4.4), braking (106' & 299' vs. 113 & 321 from 60 & 100 mph respectively), slalom (70.1 vs. 68.9), skidpad (.97 vs. .96) and "figure 8" (24.8 vs. 25.2). But the Corvette's 60-100 mph advantage (5.7 vs. 6.5) make up enough on the longer straights to give the Corvette a slightly better time (99.5 sec. vs. 100.1).

    I prefer the 911 advantages as they pertain to my everyday driving, but I respect that someone else might take the track winner, no matter what.

    In any event, let's agree that these are both very good perfoming cars. My interest in the demographic differences as discussed with a long time GM dealer was the impetus for my previous post.
  • Read the Car and Driver Z06 vs. Viper shootout. Certainly seems like an impressive car, but I don't remember the last time a car was called dangerous in a major magazine. Sounds like the suspension and tires need to be sorted out. Sounds like more time was put into the powertrain than the suspension work.
  • Adding to the foregoing discussion, we old farts don't need a seven seat family hauler or have college tuition payments because all the kids are well-degreed and well-settled. Our ex-wives left us with something, with a little luck our 401K, IRA, stock market bets and T-bills have served us well and we can go down to the Chevy store and write a check for a new Corvette. Tha only pains are the income tax and sales tax hits, but gov't needs that to build roads for the convenience of my toy rides.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Habitat1, the thing is that those that go to the track don't much care what professional drivers can do with the car except in that they would like to approach the limits, and still drive home to talk about it. The thing about the Corvette is that it is fairly easy to drive on track and won't bite the hand on the wheel as often as say a rear engine car. With experience the handling on the Porsche is exceptional but for some reason I don't see a lot on track with that level of experience. The S2000 is probably the track Star and for power to weight and grip in the hands of a good driver it is amazing. The Elise doesn't seem to have the power and will do well on tight courses but lose out at full road tracks to more HP, on average. The Z06, C5 version is great, but lately with 2+ years on track I've been doing leader follow to show guys the line after I pass them in the early sessions when they come out thinking the car makes them an intermediate. Most other stuff is slower except for the occasional good driver in something set up for track only, like a couple of older Datsun Z's that smoke me easily with 6 cyl's. The M3 in good hands is lots faster too but not many track it regularly in mostly stock form. So, it's all about the driver and when you are on track that is the guy in the next car, not some pro. Makes it fun to see improvement compared to the rest of the gonzo's that like it as much as I do. Then again, as a leading edge boomer, I'm older than many on track.

    As to what % of Vette's track, just like all others except Miata and S2000, damn few, but once in awhile you get an all Corvette event like I attended at Spring Mt. Motorsports Park and a couple this year at Reno-Fernley Raceway. About 70+ at SMMP and just over 30 cars at R-F for two events this year. Not bad, when you consider that 4-6 is average at a 90 person event.

    Sears Point in a week or so on a M/T and then the following weekend at Thunderhill. Can I get my street tires down to 1.59.99 at SP, time will tell.
    Randy

    BTW, I'm ignoring the Evo's, & WRX's both fast but I've seen too many wreck, and the 350Z and Mustang which are all usually driven by a much younger crowd.

    Rootboy66, it is nice to have the kid out of college and in our case the wife has her own Vette, so I get two to drive every once in awhile. :)
  • bigmike5bigmike5 Posts: 960
    I'm over 60 and on my first Vette. Parked cars in the 60's while in college, and never really "liked" the Vettes that I had to park. [Did get to park a MB Gullwing once and that was special.] They just seemed to have hoods that went on and on and on, and the seats just didn't fit me. Anyway, only when I was at the Caddy dealer with the wife's 00 Eldo a couple of years ago, and they bought up a Chevy franchise, did I have a chance to sit in a new Vette on the floor. What a difference from the old Vettes I had known. And with the kids gone, and my 300M [only DC product I have ever owned] paid for, it was time for a new toy. Now I always respected Vettes, but just never had a desire to own/drive one til then. I got an end of model year 04 at $10K off the sticker, and have loved it every minute of the 8K miles it now has on it. Love the power and road feel, and the power...I have ridden in one Porsche Targa with another well-heeled, very successful lawyer, and frankly, I felt the cabin was cramped, and my butt felt like it was dragging on the pavement. Unimpressed. So I never even considered going that way, and I have never even been in a BMW, and I've been driving for 47+ years [All GM-Olds until the DC 300M]. I would consider a Z06 only if the price came down and they came up with an autostick set up. Who needs more power except Starrow and the other racers? But I really like what I've got, and I don't miss the family cars a bit, course, I kept my 300M because I like that car so much too. So, I got to a Vette late in life, but only because the appeal wasn't there before. :shades:
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    A car with 7.0L of engine under the hood, a buyer wouldn't buy it to conserve gas. However, My Z06 averaged an awesome 21.8 MPG on 1001 miles roundtrip. I never thought of a 427 cu in. motor to be light on gas, yet somehow Chevy has managed to get mileage out of this motor. My brother(Mr.Goodwrench himself) and myself have went through all things possible to figure how this became evident and came to the conclusion that it is the tallish 6th gear. It keeps the revs way down there until you mash the gas. I hardly ever have to downshift to pass someone.

    What is even more interesting is that it gets better mileage than my '03 Z06, which only returned 19.6 MPG from L.I. to Bowling Green. And this is a car with more HP(105 more) and a car that grew from 5.7L of displacement to 7.0L.

    Chevy: A job well executed.
  • gbjerkegbjerke Posts: 158
    blkhemi--
    You should be doing a lot better than that. Maybe the C6 has a greater appetite for petro but both my '01 and '03 Z06's get a ton better. I get about 19 in city driving but on the interstate at 70 I'll be pushing 29 mpg. Followed my kids who were trailering a car to Gingerman this summer and going 60-65. Got over 32!
    You're right though, it's the very tall 6th gear.
  • gbjerkegbjerke Posts: 158
    bigmike5--
    Interesting scenerio you present and it somewhat dovetails into mine. Have always been a car nut but raising a family, the college bit and all kept me out of the market. Did manage an '87 and then '89 Toyota Supra while the boys were still in college.
    In '91, when I turned 50, wifey says maybe I ought to drive something more benefiting my age. OK, bought a Maxima SE. WONDERFUL car but no fun! '92 hits and the Lexus brings out the SC400...got one and it is probably the "finest" car I have ever owned. Not however a "sports car". Come '94 and the Supra has a twin turbo---had one. Traded it for a '97, and frankly, if they were made after '98, I would probably still be driving one of those monsters.
    I never considered a Vette during those years as they were always know to squeak/rattle with little bang for the buck.
    Saw lots of good press on the C5 in '97 but I was a happy camper with the Supra. Then the Z06 hit in '01; Supras no longer; went hunting and got an '01. Loved it, hence the '03. Will get the '06 version but only when the price becomes realistic.
    Between the Z's I have logged 50k for miles and neither had one squeak/rattle. They certainly lag in the fit/finish dept. compared to the Bimmer/Porsche's but I have totally enjoyed my Vettes and being a teen in the 50's, that V8 sound is heaven!
    Now, if they put some decent seats in the Vette and eliminated the horrendous orange peel in the paint, it would be primo.
    The again, you would have to look long and hard to find this type performance for the buck in ANY other car.
    Wifey cannot understand how many mid life crisis' I have to go thru before I regain my senses. I told her that of all the guys I know who have this "mid life" bit, they either chase 20 year olds or get a sports car.
    She now thinks the Vettes are just fine for me.
    Only in AMERICA!
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    That 21.9 came at a price. Their was a Lotus ELise and a Mistubishi EVO driver that had to try their fate against me coming through the Appalachian's of Tennessee. The Lotus kept up through the curves but competely got lost on the straights. But after I had my fun getting closer to the DC area(Troopers get a little ticked off at speeders near the Capital), I setted down to about 65 mph, and I averaged about 29 from there to Philly.

    On my '03 Z51, I got up to about 33 on a road trip once. So I now what these cars can acheive.

    On the whole, in regular driving I see a 19/27 split, which is fantastic for a car with 505-hp.:)
  • This is a sore subject with me. In the spring of 2003 I went on a golfing/fishing trip with a bunch of guys. We drove from Pittsburgh to Burlington, Vt. and back. On the highway trip back we compared gas mileage.

    My 2003 M5, EPA rated at 13/21 averaged 23.8 miles on a the 400+/- mile "test" section. Another guy had a 2002 Corvette rated at something like 19/28, and he only got 26.3 - exactly 2.5 miles more than me (not the 7 that the EPA estimated). And that was for a 3,100 lb car with just the driver, vs. a 4,000 lb car with me and two 200 lb passengers. Our average speed was 75-80.

    The sore point was that I paid a $2,200 gas guzzler tax on the M5. And mine was the only vehicle of six that exceeded its EPA estimate. Notwithstanding the better mileages reported here, I believe that the EPA overstates US models and understates Eurpopean ones. I have yet to own a BMW that didn't exceed it's highway estimate by at least 10-15% - at speeds of 70-75 mph. Oh, and the guy with the Hummer that we mistakenly invited? He couldn't keep up with us at 80 mph in the mountains and averages about 10 mpg. But he didn't have to pay a gas guzzler tax. American politics. ;)
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    GM engineered the Vette to pass the test, the test is a known item and anybody can set up the answer if they care. The Germans don't seem to care and hence you get your ultimate driving machine and the guzzler tax. BTW, the C5 Z06 is 3170 before driver not 3100, even the new Z06 is 3130, for the record. You can't use 6th for much other than flat crusing since I'm only doing about 1300 rpm at 65mph in my Z51 coupe. If I keep it down at that level I get close to 30mpg, but on freeways in CA that would get you run over. On the two lane roads I like when I get the chance, dropping to 4th or even 3rd for a pass is what the fun is all about, romp to 70 or 90 and back off until you come up to the next opportunity. Even with that it gets in the mid 20's.

    And BTW, this is still a stock engine coupe, no engine mods. The car is great on track with just stock power.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Right on starrow. It's not our fault that most Euro makers refuse to build more efficient engines. It's not my fault that I got a 505-hp car that will beat the bricks off ANY German offering of current and still return upwards of 30 mpg. There are only a hand full of mass-produced cars that can hang with a Z06.(Ferrari Enzo,Ford GT,Porsche GT to name a few) and none of them can match the fuel economy of any Vette.
  • I must be a glutton for punishment for even trying. Re-read my previous post, nice and slowly if necessary to get the point.

    Yes, the "for the record" 3170 lb Corvette got a whopping 2.5 mpg more than my "for the record" 4,055 lb M5 carrying 400+ more lbs of passengers and cargo. But that's a far cry short of the 7 mpg advantage the EPA would claim. I know of relatively few American cars that can achieve their EPA highway estimate in real world driving at 70-75 mph. Every BMW I've owed exceeds it. Same with friends' Mercedes. If you are exceeding your EPA highway estimates, congratulations. You are the exception.

    I'll try not to get suckered into a debate on the "efficiency" of a Chevy's 7.0 liter pushrod engine that produces 505 hp vs. BMW's ability to get the same power from a 5.0 liter 8,200 rpm V10. Or Porsche's ability to get 355 hp out of 3.8 liters that matches or beats the 400 hp Corvette in 0-60 acceleration. I've seen the response before that hp/liter is not important, so I'll leave that modern engineering vs. push rod debate alone, if you will.

    Government conspiracy, probably not. But the EPA is about as good at fuel efficiency estimates as I am at throwing darts. The should stick with cleaning up their superfund sites. My neighbor had a 240 hp 2.0 liter Honda S2000 rated at 26 on the highway. He regularly averaged 32+/- at 75 mph (that's 23% over the EPA estimate, for the record). Anyone in a Corvette want to take that on with your 400 hp 6.0 liter V8 rated at 28 mpg?
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Sprit.. no need to reread, you are talking about exceeding the published numbers by percentages. We are talking about not putting the blame on GM if BMW and others can't figure out how to get the test to show the real world. Remember back in school, some people studied a lot and some were good at taking tests, that's GM. Bellyaching about why your car has bad test results but good real world performance is something you might take up with BMW.

    Read Corvette message boards, everyone and that includes the moderators here complain about the 1st to 4th skip shift but since the test calls for a shift at a specific RPM that gets the job done and produces a test result that saves GM and its buyers the gas guzzler tax. The EPA just does the best horse design that a committee can, and maybe it's a camel, but if you try to put a horse saddle on it, who is making the mistake? GM seems to have figured it out. Enjoy your real world mileage, when I'm on track I get as low as 7mpg, gotta love torque and cubes ... :shades:
    Randy
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I don't understand where the problems come in at. The M5 and Vette are two different beasts. Sure the M5 is competent(albeit not as competent as an E55), but it can't prance like a Vette, especially a Z06. And as for the fuel econ estimates, in regular driving without even revving hard I can see upwards of 35mpg. Remember, the EPA can only ESTIMATE, not give a certain figure. And as Randy said, the 1-4 shift feature is a pain. However, with it Chevy saved us from having to pay gas guzzler tax.

    Here is an example: A 2006 BMW 645i 6-speed stick gets 17/25, according to the EPA. A 2005 Vette Z51 6-Speed stick gets 18/28, according to the EPA.

    The Vette with 400hp and 400 pound feet of torque with a 6.0L motor gets BETTER fuel economy than the Bimmer with 325hp and a smaller 4.4L V8. Even the autobox Vette gets better fuel mileage at 18/26. And you call this technology? I sure would love to see it. Oh and for the record, the Bimmer gets penalized with a $1300 gas-guzzler tax. It even gets hit hard in it's own country of origin Germany. All for it's more "modern design". I guess Randy and I will be keeping our "old-tech" Vettes.

    P.S.- As for the 2.5mpg and not the 7 that was claimed, remember everyone has different driving styles. Even tho all of the cars were going the same speed, if the cruise wasn't set it makes all the difference in the world.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    http://automobilemag.com/reviews/coupes/0511_z06_gt_viper/

    Out for a month on the news stand, but for those that don't hang at the mag racks, fun reading.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    http://www.topgear.com/drives/CB/A1/roadtests/03/01.html

    With perspectives from the other side of the Atlantic. Glad I don't buy cars or pay for gas over there.
    Randy
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    The weight of an engine has a bigger effect on a car than hp/liter.

    Despite "F1" technology, the new M5's engine weighs 529 pounds which is 91 pounds more than AMG's new 6.2 liter (AMG calls it 6.3 though).

    A new C6 Z06 owner reported better hw mpg than the factory on a busier Corvette forum.

    Car & Driver recorded 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, 0-100 in 7.8 seconds (December issue), and 0-150 in 17.5 second (October issue).

    The following is from Motor Trend October 2005:

    Standing 1/4-mile: 11.5 sec at 127.1 mph

    Lateral acceleration: 1.05 g average
This discussion has been closed.