(Darren Dugan) #1
d motorofficial f motor_mag^49

they couldn’t hit emissions targets. So
they hit reset and started again with a
It’s a compact Eaton TVS Roots-type
unit, smaller in displacement and more
compact than the blower atop the ZR1’s
mill. Versus that engine, at 476kW and
819Nm of torque, the Z06’s LT4 V8
makes more power (9kW and 62Nm),
weighs 15kg less, and employs direct
injection and cylinder deactivation.
Advancements in aluminium
construction permitted a stronger chassis
that doesn’t suffer a performance penalty
when you remove the roof. It is heavier,
though. The Z06 we tested had a Z07
package ($7995 for carbon-ceramic
brakes, third-stage aero package, and
gumball tyres), a seven-speed manual
and it hits the scales at 1577kg. That new
eight-speed auto must add more, right?
Nope, it appears to be the product
of the ‘Have Your Cake and Eat It’
department. Chevy engineers looked into
twin-clutch gearboxes but couldn’t find
one that withstood the torque output,
fit the packaging constraints, or met
weight targets. They built an automatic
that would, and the remarkably compact
result weighs only 3.6kg more than the
manual. With faster and more aggressive
shifts, a wider ratio spread, and a tall
eighth gear (1200rpm at 97km/h), it
benefits both performance and fuel
economy. It also helps produce an utterly
satisfying bark on full-throttle upshifts.

Leave the transmission to its own
devices in Track mode, and it makes
impeccable gear selections, even finding
speed by shifting in places you normally
wouldn’t. Road Atlanta’s Turn 3 (a short
right hander with a big kerb) puts two
wheels in the air at race speed. You
want to downshift for the next corner,
but there’s no time to take one hand off
the wheel. “Consistently I’d go over
the bump,” Pobst said. “The landing is
sweet, so sweet – and I’d go to the power
and say, ‘whoa!’ I was not expecting to
be in that low of a gear, but it put the
power to the ground.” The automatic
makes the shift in the air.
While the automatic makes the Z06 the
faster car, limited vehicle availability
meant we could only run performance
tests on a manual. As with the last-gen
ZR1, launch control is more consistent
but ultimately slower. Exercise some
patience, find the right amount of tyre
chatter, and you’ll reach 97km/h in 3.2
seconds and the quarter mile in 11.3
seconds at 203km/h. Peak stopping
performance – 27.74 metres from
97km/h – remains as absurdly low as the
last ZR1, and all stops during this test
stayed under 30.48 metres (100 feet).
Would it be shocking to call the Z06’s
lateral capabilities more impressive than
its acceleration? Its 22.5-second lap
on the figure eight sits just behind the
Porsche 918’s 22.2 seconds; the Z06’s
1.16 average lateral g is the highest



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