Here is the update to my ownership of Z06 in Europe. Long story short, 3 May 2013 I flew from Germany to Santa Barbara California to pick up 2008 JSB Z06 with 18k miles. Same day i took it to the port and had it shipped to me... long two months have followed, but finally on 1 July 2013 I was able to pick up my baby at a port in North Germany and drive it down to my city in the south west. Here are a few things I noticed, the cities I visited, and lots of pics... Through out i will make some references to the car i sold in order to buy the Z06, car is 2008 BMW m3 (4 door), fully loaded, manual, that had some extensive modifications in realm of power (ESS supercharger kit, and HFC cats and xpipe, to final output of 600bhp). Other than some minor exterior things (black out, GTS wheels) it was a sleeper. I put 30k miles on the m3 around europe... If anyone of you are offended by these references, i apologize in advance, but some find them useful.
So, got received the car in Germany with 18k miles, in past month I've put 6k miles, so now it's like 24k miles. I am really happy with fuel consumption, I probably averaged 14mpg in those 6k miles, but on my frequent long trips I was able to get 24-25mpg at reasonable speeds. Corvette gets lots of attention around here, and that's pretty cool... all my previous cars were really sleepers, so this is new to me. I took a trip in the mid of July to south of France, we went through Switzerland down to Milan Italy> Monaco > Nice > Cannes > San Tropez and then back. We were mostly camping, and hotels in between the nights. Through out my ownership I noticed that the car got the most attention in Monaco, and the least in Paris... So back to Monaco, my main goal was to drive the GP track, which i did. The first time I went through the tunnel, there were ton of people in it, and they saw me coming, they all started cheering, filming and taking pics. I made sure to give them what they wanted second gear that is... On streets of Monaco I've seen concentration of supercars that I never seen anywhere else (not in Cali, not in Doha Qatar, no where), but in mids of all the Ferrari's and Rolls Royce's, and Bentleys, Corvette felt like one of them, my Z06 walked leg to leg with all the supercars of europe. In the evening I went to Monte Carlo Casino, this is a place that brings the creme de la creme of modern world (as I was explained), and on saturday nigh it's hopping... not everyone gets a parking spot in the front.... (**The new to me at the time Girlfriend was a total B, and her camera held half the pics... we don't talk, so the front line parking pic is gone ). So, I'm pulling up, and it's like a red carpet event for cars, in front are 458's, bentley GT's, drop top RR, parked in the front is a veyrone, and here i see everyone's attention turn towards me, I see cameras flash, naturally I revved up that threw the crowd in cheers ha ha , I guess modern day supercars can't rev up with their automatics lol.
so enough about that trip. I have done about 10 laps around the Nurnurgring in the Z, and so far I'm a bit uneasy with it... First lap ever, I had a spin out (first in 100 laps total). I'm not sure if the track had sand on it (there was accident there before) or of the 2nd gear had too much power, but after the incident i don't feel comfortable with the Z. It seems that limits are high, but i'm too afraid to explore them because of snappy nature of the beast. I did 7:45 BTG in my m3 on semi slick tires, and I expected to get there with the Z on street tires, but that wasn't the case. I'm laying out one of my vids, it's not a great time, it was my 4th lap in the Z. Last friday i finally got close to 8 min (actual lap time was like 840 but there were two accidents, and ton of traffic). I should have the vid at some point, my brother has it on his Ipod (he was in GT3 up ahead). So anyway, the car is veeery jumpy around the track, and once again, i kind of lost all confidence in it after that spin out... i have no idea how much traction i have. I'm running 295/345 tires (micheline pilot sport). I am seriously thinking of investing in a set of semi slicks or some better street tires.
Ok, going back to jumpy... I mentioned this in some other threads, Z06 is not meant for autobahn. Yes, it can go fast, but sustained driving on real world autobahns will wear you out fast! At 140 mph it is exhausting... First of all, autobahns are not perfect, they have a lot of bumpy areas, patches, turns, etc... highways in US, I think, are a lot better. Also, please understand, this is very relative! Compared to my 95 audi A4 the Z06 is very stable, but relative to my m3 or my buddys GTR he is very jumpy, the back end is very scary on bumps and in turns. Car floats around a bit. I went to very reputable shop around nurburgring, they deal with american cars (have a few track ready ford gt's, and some vetttes), and they told me that they are aware of this issue, and the reason is the rubber. I would have to replace every rubber piece with polyurithane pieces (there is a kit for $500) and that will solve most of my problems. The kit price is doable, but replacing all those bushings is expensive, and I don't think i can do it myself. So for now I'm SOL. In my m3 I was used to sustained driving at 140-160mph, and although corvette's power level is perfect (love the low rpm's in 6th at that speed), the handling is lacking... Oh, I also have bilstein shocks (Z06 specific), so i'd think that would help.
Reliability... ghm. So once i got the car, I had to play around with exhaust, as it was banging against transmission during hard acceleration. There is constant crunching noise coming from wheels when I turn. I came to the dealer with it, they tightened an axle and said it should be ok. After 3 laps on the Ring the sound came back. CEL came up, something with catalytic converters, I think this is due to M2W, so prob need ECU update. There are strange drivetrain sounds when I start driving in slow speeds, not sure what that is. The seats seem to have worn out a bit since i've owned the car, kind of sucks. Car gets really reaaaally hot in center console, anything in cup holder turns into warm tea... Car ate like 2 cans of oil in 5k miles. It feels like the car shakes a bit when standing still. Dealer did tell me that engine mounts need to be replaced (they already ordered them), but I think that's curing the symptoms not the issue (maybe bad plugs?). I am having issues hitting top speed, but that maybe due to my oversized tires, or weather being too hot, not sure... didn't have that issue with m3.
My warranty runs out in two weeks, and in 10 days i'll have an appointment with my local dealer to have their service done and check out couple of items (they have listened to my valves when i first got the car, said they were ok), and I want them to listen to valves once again. They told me that if I keep coming back for their recommended service, they might be able to do warranty work after warranty expires... Due to this i don't want to go crazy with mods, but would love to add some more power (Is CAI effective?).
here are the pics.
small town Italy
favorite pic of the Z... small town Italy
Monte Carlo Casino
South of France
Found a cool spot next to Nurburgring. The car on the right is track ready (on full slicks, cage, low, lots of carbon). The other two have two piece rotors, race seats, and from what i can tell suspension upgrades.
Rear end fluid change and sway bar end links will make noise, I had to have them replaced on my 09 z06. If the tires were dogged down on the ship it may have made them out of round. Axle nuts need to be replaced and Loctite applied let set up 24 hours to cure. GM has a new axle nut to solve this problem.