(Darren Dugan) #1

we’ve seen from anything that wasn’t
a race car. Credit the Michelin Pilot
Sport Cup 2 tyres included in the Z07
package. Their bare shoulders have
small “vestigial” tread marks, thanks to
Tadge Juechter.
The section between Road Atlanta’s
Turn 3 and Turn 5, a rapid switchback of
esses, exhibits just how much cornering
force is at the Z06’s disposal. The data
from Pobst’s lap shows six alternating
1.0g moments in the span of 14 seconds.
Although our test cars had the optional
bucket seats, they weren’t enough. “The
seat is actually really supportive for a
street seat,” Pobst said. “But this is not
doing street things out there. I need belts
or something to hold me in place.”
It may sound like the Z06 follows
the simpleton approach to fast car

development: low weight and ludicrous
quantities of power and tyre. But there’s
sophistication between those parts.
Fast-reacting magnetorheological fluid-
filled shocks provide excellent control,
especially when you have two wheels
in the air. An electronically-controlled
locking differential biases power where
and when it’s needed, even helping
to prevent the tank slap-like behavior
you get when you don’t come out of a
powerslide perfectly.
Chevrolet’s fantastic Performance
Traction Management allows you to
learn and explore the car’s limits with
less fear. These components make
the Z06 controlled, compliant, and
easy to approach. Another neat trick:
a Performance Data Recorder stores
images and data from a front-mounted
camera, vehicle sensors, and a 5Hz GPS
sensor to a video file on an SD card. The
YouTube-ready file shows throttle and
brake position, g readouts, and so on.
Provided software incorporates top-view
satellite images to show your placement
lap by lap. Owners can even use the
system to discourage would-be hot-shoe
parking valets.
But for the technical prowess, you
might be surprised to learn that the
Z06 eschews active aero for a far
simpler solution: three aero packages
of increasing aggressiveness. The first

is the Z06’s standard equipment, the
second adds a front splitter with end
plates, more aggro side skirts, and a
spoiler – all of it in carbonfibre, and
all of it fixed. The third stage uses the
second-stage components as mounts,
attaching larger end plates to the splitter
and an adjustable Gurney Flap to the
spoiler, like the Z/28’s. The Chevy team
says there’s extra meat on the movable
parts should the more serious owners
want to drill their own holes.
Juechter claims that in its most
aggressive setting, the Corvette makes
more downforce than any other car
they’ve tested in GM’s wind tunnel.
Keep in mind that some cars that GM
has tested include the Porsche 911 Turbo
S, the Ferrari 458 and the McLaren 12C.
Considering the capability of
the optional tyres, brakes, and
aerodynamics, we were surprised to
hear that when Pobst pulled back into
the pits after his fourth lap, it wasn’t
because he wanted to stop. The car had
flashed an oil-temperature warning
on the back straight. “So I stuck it in
neutral and let it idle even though we’re
going 140mph (225km/h),” he said. It’s
something to be aware of if you hold
wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona or
SCCA World Challenge GT series and
plan on tracking your Z06 on a warm,
humid day.

50 march 2015



Randy Pobst is like a
US version of our own
Luffy – super fast, super
consistent and knows how
to evaluate road cars. He
rates the Z06 highly
Free download pdf