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Old 09-30-2005, 06:25 PM   #1
Andi
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Default My impressions so far...

So, now that I've had my new Z06 for ~20 hours I figured I'd post some driving impressions of the car.

First, the interior. The seats are first class IMHO. FINALLY a vette with seats that are up to par. The leather feels nice, the bolsters on the sides actually hold you, and they seats are damn comfortable. Now, the rest of the interior is okay, a lot better than the C5 in some ways and a bit worse in others. What's better? Well the materials, like for example the top of the dash, is actually a nice soft-touch grainy vinyl, a nice upgrade over the C5's hard touch vinyl/plastic whatever it was. I hate the silver painted wannabe-metal plastic on the center console. But I guess I'll live with it. I also hate how my passengers can never get out of the car when I want to drop them off, because the doors auto lock at X mph and don't auto unlock when you pull the handbrake. Maybe there's a window valet for the C6 to fix that like there was for the C5; hopefully. Or maybe they should just make the car listen to the damn electronic door handles on the inside and assume if you're trying to get out maybe you actually WANT to get out?! Sorry for ranting. Other niggles: the climate control on bi-level directs too much air to the feet and too little to the face, so even though I loved bi-level on the C5 I find myself using just the face vents on the C6.. and I also hate the way the radio makes you have individual bass/treble presets for each source/preset. That's gonna take me half an hour to program. Nice. I also really miss the partition I had in my C5 Z06, so I could throw my digital camera and CD's behind me and they didn't fly all the way to the back every time I accelerated.

OK, now that the interior's out of the way, let's get to the good stuff. (1) Brakes.. Since I only have 85 miles on the car, I didn't want to push the non-bedded-in brake pads too hard and test the ABS calibration / etc yet... but I can tell you, the one or two times I did hit the brakes rather hard, the cars stopped damn well. That having been said, the brakes are NOT grabby. At first I was disappointed and thought the brakes felt like they needed too much effort.. that's improved a bit sine the first drive, and I also realized it's a good thing they aren't so overboosted as on most cars so you can modulate better.

Handling? It's incredible. Way better than my C5 Z06, even with the 2004 Z06 "Nurburbring" shocks. The ride is a bit stiffer than my old car, but the handling is leaps and bounds better. High speed bumps that would send my C5 Z06 yawing/bumpsteering, or maybe catching air and bouncing.... this car takes in stride without even getting its line upset. It actually soaks up bumps rather than launching off of them -- the shock valving on this car is incredible. The only other car I've ever driven that felt this good was the E39 ///M5.

Now for the best part...... that beautiful engine. There are not enough words to describe this masterpiece of a small block. When the car starts, it fires up with a mean, loud bark from the mufflers before the muffler valves have a chance to close (more on this later). Then it gets quiet. REAL quiet. This is another way the car reminds me of the E39 ///M5 -- it sounds just like one inside the car when tooling around at low revs / low throttle openings. But, get on the throttle a little bit, and it's clear this is no M5 or base C6. It takes a bit to get used to the quirky electronic throttle (it's not as smooth or direct as the C5's was, but it's still pretty good).. The power is incredible. GM increased the torque of the engine and the gearing by about the same amount, so each gear *feels* about the same as it did in the old car.. (except for 3rd, for some reason 3rd in this car feels incredible and pulls way harder than it should considering it goes to 125MPH). The difference is, although 2nd in the new Z pulls about the same as 2nd in the old Z... 2nd now is your 60-95mph racing gear, whereas on the old Z 2nd ended at 70 and the old car was in 3rd at that point. This car rockets from 60 to 95 in 2nd like nothing I've experienced.. today on the freeway I downshifted to 2nd at 65 and floored it from a roll and it actually barked the tires for a quick moment before approaching redline (95mph) within a couple seconds.. This is WITHOUT any clutch action. GM was very smart to put such tall gearing on the car -- it allows the engine's massive power and torque to be useable, rather than just leaving you sitting there spinning the tires.

One thing that just cracks me up about this car is how easy it is to make it loud, if you want. There's a fuse under the passenger side footwell labeled as a "spare" fuse, both in the owner's manual and in the fuse cover. Remove it and the exhaust flaps stay open, with no engine codes or anything. Under that mode, it is loud as hell and damn raw at low revs, and especially at 600RPM idle the entire cabin resonates. I ran like that for a few hours and switched it back.

All in all, this is the best car I've ever driven. They took the C5 Z06, fixed the bad quirks (****ty brakes including oversensitive ABS and sliding calipres, horrible bump steer suspension geometry, and questionable suspension stability and damping), added a bunch of power, let it weigh the exact same, and only screwed up a couple small things here and there, and for the price and the performance, those things REALLY don't matter.

Gotta go for a drive...

Andi
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Old 09-30-2005, 06:26 PM   #2
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Oh, it looks damn cool too.
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Old 09-30-2005, 06:36 PM   #3
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Awesome write up Andi. I am really feeling tortured now that all you guys are getting yours. Mine is still another 2-3 months out.
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Old 09-30-2005, 06:37 PM   #4
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Nice little write-up. Though your making me want to buy one which is a bad thing.

I remember when you used to show up at the Supra meets in your Maxima. How come the Maxima isn't in your sig
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Old 09-30-2005, 06:39 PM   #5
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Glad you didn't sell it?

Nice write up - the "barking" of the tires rolling without a clutch made me laugh out loud - too cool.

Hopefully, when I'm ready in like 2007/8, the car will be perfected and I'll have my baby too.

cheers.
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Old 09-30-2005, 06:43 PM   #6
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Nice review. This car sounds amazing.
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Old 09-30-2005, 06:48 PM   #7
ivan111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andi
So, now that I've had my new Z06 for ~20 hours I figured I'd post some driving impressions of the car.

First, the interior. The seats are first class IMHO. FINALLY a vette with seats that are up to par. The leather feels nice, the bolsters on the sides actually hold you, and they seats are damn comfortable. Now, the rest of the interior is okay, a lot better than the C5 in some ways and a bit worse in others. What's better? Well the materials, like for example the top of the dash, is actually a nice soft-touch grainy vinyl, a nice upgrade over the C5's hard touch vinyl/plastic whatever it was. I hate the silver painted wannabe-metal plastic on the center console. But I guess I'll live with it. I also hate how my passengers can never get out of the car when I want to drop them off, because the doors auto lock at X mph and don't auto unlock when you pull the handbrake. Maybe there's a window valet for the C6 to fix that like there was for the C5; hopefully. Or maybe they should just make the car listen to the damn electronic door handles on the inside and assume if you're trying to get out maybe you actually WANT to get out?! Sorry for ranting. Other niggles: the climate control on bi-level directs too much air to the feet and too little to the face, so even though I loved bi-level on the C5 I find myself using just the face vents on the C6.. and I also hate the way the radio makes you have individual bass/treble presets for each source/preset. That's gonna take me half an hour to program. Nice. I also really miss the partition I had in my C5 Z06, so I could throw my digital camera and CD's behind me and they didn't fly all the way to the back every time I accelerated.

OK, now that the interior's out of the way, let's get to the good stuff. (1) Brakes.. Since I only have 85 miles on the car, I didn't want to push the non-bedded-in brake pads too hard and test the ABS calibration / etc yet... but I can tell you, the one or two times I did hit the brakes rather hard, the cars stopped damn well. That having been said, the brakes are NOT grabby. At first I was disappointed and thought the brakes felt like they needed too much effort.. that's improved a bit sine the first drive, and I also realized it's a good thing they aren't so overboosted as on most cars so you can modulate better.

Handling? It's incredible. Way better than my C5 Z06, even with the 2004 Z06 "Nurburbring" shocks. The ride is a bit stiffer than my old car, but the handling is leaps and bounds better. High speed bumps that would send my C5 Z06 yawing/bumpsteering, or maybe catching air and bouncing.... this car takes in stride without even getting its line upset. It actually soaks up bumps rather than launching off of them -- the shock valving on this car is incredible. The only other car I've ever driven that felt this good was the E39 ///M5.

Now for the best part...... that beautiful engine. There are not enough words to describe this masterpiece of a small block. When the car starts, it fires up with a mean, loud bark from the mufflers before the muffler valves have a chance to close (more on this later). Then it gets quiet. REAL quiet. This is another way the car reminds me of the E39 ///M5 -- it sounds just like one inside the car when tooling around at low revs / low throttle openings. But, get on the throttle a little bit, and it's clear this is no M5 or base C6. It takes a bit to get used to the quirky electronic throttle (it's not as smooth or direct as the C5's was, but it's still pretty good).. The power is incredible. GM increased the torque of the engine and the gearing by about the same amount, so each gear *feels* about the same as it did in the old car.. (except for 3rd, for some reason 3rd in this car feels incredible and pulls way harder than it should considering it goes to 125MPH). The difference is, although 2nd in the new Z pulls about the same as 2nd in the old Z... 2nd now is your 60-95mph racing gear, whereas on the old Z 2nd ended at 70 and the old car was in 3rd at that point. This car rockets from 60 to 95 in 2nd like nothing I've experienced.. today on the freeway I downshifted to 2nd at 65 and floored it from a roll and it actually barked the tires for a quick moment before approaching redline (95mph) within a couple seconds.. This is WITHOUT any clutch action. GM was very smart to put such tall gearing on the car -- it allows the engine's massive power and torque to be useable, rather than just leaving you sitting there spinning the tires.

One thing that just cracks me up about this car is how easy it is to make it loud, if you want. There's a fuse under the passenger side footwell labeled as a "spare" fuse, both in the owner's manual and in the fuse cover. Remove it and the exhaust flaps stay open, with no engine codes or anything. Under that mode, it is loud as hell and damn raw at low revs, and especially at 600RPM idle the entire cabin resonates. I ran like that for a few hours and switched it back.

All in all, this is the best car I've ever driven. They took the C5 Z06, fixed the bad quirks (****ty brakes including oversensitive ABS and sliding calipres, horrible bump steer suspension geometry, and questionable suspension stability and damping), added a bunch of power, let it weigh the exact same, and only screwed up a couple small things here and there, and for the price and the performance, those things REALLY don't matter.

Gotta go for a drive...

Andi
Wow sounds great......

From your description seems like the Vertical body movement control is much better than the C6 Z51?

Since these has been complaints from magazines at least in the preproduction Z06 models

How is the drivetrain, tire noise and does the shifter rattles?

Last edited by ivan111; 09-30-2005 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 09-30-2005, 07:00 PM   #8
Andi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greentank
Glad you didn't sell it?

Nice write up - the "barking" of the tires rolling without a clutch made me laugh out loud - too cool.

Hopefully, when I'm ready in like 2007/8, the car will be perfected and I'll have my baby too.

cheers.
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Old 09-30-2005, 07:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan111
Wow sounds great......

From your description seems like the Vertical body movement control is much better than the C6 Z51?
The only time I drove a C6 Z51, I didn't get a chance to do any insane driving, and that's kinda necessary to provide a suspension review. So, sorry, I don't know.

Andi
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Old 09-30-2005, 07:02 PM   #10
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Can you offer any comments on tire noise and "freeway hop" relative to other C5 or C6 models?

The '01 Z06 has annoying freeway hop, but this was cured with the '02 shock recalibration.

C5 Z06 also exhibits more rear tire noise in the cabin, which I believe has more to do with the different acoustical resonance characteristics of the Hardtop relative to the Coupe than tire design.

As far as the niggling little issues are concerned, I wouldn't worry about them. It's normal to have little gripes about a new car - not so much because the design is "bad", but because it's different than what we are used to from our prior ride, and with more seat time the little gripes will fade away as you becomed accustomed to the differences.

Duke
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Old 09-30-2005, 07:03 PM   #11
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So did you do a burnout?
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Old 09-30-2005, 07:04 PM   #12
ivan111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andi
The only time I drove a C6 Z51, I didn't get a chance to do any insane driving, and that's kinda necessary to provide a suspension review. So, sorry, I don't know.

Andi
Since these has been complaints from magazines at least in the preproduction Z06 models

How is the drivetrain noise, tire noise and does the shifter rattles?
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Old 09-30-2005, 07:07 PM   #13
Andi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWCDuke
Can you offer any comments on tire noise and "freeway hop" relative to other C5 or C6 models?

The '01 Z06 has annoying freeway hop, but this was cured with the '02 shock recalibration.

C5 Z06 also exhibits more rear tire noise in the cabin, which I believe has more to do with the different acoustical resonance characteristics of the Hardtop relative to the Coupe than tire design.

As far as the niggling little issues are concerned, I wouldn't worry about them. It's normal to have little gripes about a new car - not so much because the design is "bad", but because it's different than what we are used to from our prior ride, and with more seat time the little gripes will fade away as you becomed accustomed to the differences.

Duke
Duke, can you please explain what you mean by freeway hop?

Tire noise really isn't all that bad. The car seems quieter overall than my C5 Z06 was by a good bit. It FEELS like you're going a lot slower than you are. Last night on my way home from the dealer there was this right hand freeway-to-freeway sweeper that I decided to take kinda fast. I was at maybe 85% of the limit of adhesion... wasn't really paying attention to the speed but I thought maybe I was doing ~90MPH. Till I looked at the HUD and realized I was doing 110. No drama, nothing. And it didn't even feel like 90.

Yeah, I agree I'll get used to the little things..

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Old 09-30-2005, 07:09 PM   #14
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Downshift to 2nd at 65!
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Old 09-30-2005, 07:11 PM   #15
Andi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan111
Since these has been complaints from magazines at least in the preproduction Z06 models

How is the drivetrain noise, tire noise and does the shifter rattles?
I noticed no unnecessary vertical motions in the chassis. I'm used to a LOT of them from my C5 Z06 (which weren't even perfectly vertical, the car would yaw on midcorner bumps/etc unnecessarily), and I actually kind of expected them in this car. That's why I was so pleasantly surprised when I discovered how damn stable this car is. It totally reminds me of the ///M5 in that respect. And I always said the E39 ///M5 would be the perfect getaway car.

Drivetrain noise? Yeah I notice a little bit when driving around in parking lots. BARELY. Shoot, the variable RPM fans under the hood are louder than the drivetrain. The shifter does not rattle at all... and the transmission tunnel heat, while there, is actually LESS than it was on my '04 Z06.

One thing that I forgot to mention is the clutch. It's a very light pedal -- I actually preferred the C5 Z06 clutch feel. It engages right on the floor, and I'm guessing they used the clutch face material rather than claming force to increase the torque holding capacity. It is a very agressive clutch material.. I can tell because if I'm slowly backing up into a parking spot or my garage, i.e. barely slipping the clutch backing up, the car will start bucking a bit.. just like when I had a full race clutch in my old Supra. Heh.

Andi
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Old 09-30-2005, 07:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camille
Downshift to 2nd at 65!
It redlines at 95..... 1st is the new 2nd..... 2nd is the new 3rd.....

Remember this car goes through the traps in 3rd.....

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Old 09-30-2005, 07:14 PM   #17
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Nice reveiw~ Thanks for sharing! Now ride some more and keep up with the info!
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Old 09-30-2005, 07:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andi
I was at maybe 85% of the limit of adhesion... wasn't really paying attention to the speed but I thought maybe I was doing ~90MPH. Till I looked at the HUD and realized I was doing 110. No drama, nothing. And it didn't even feel like 90.

Yeah, I agree I'll get used to the little things..


I bet a lot of that has to do with the gearing. After driving the C5 version for a while, you subconsciously know what your engine sounds like (rpm-wise) when going a certain speed.

I'd be curious to see doing 90 in 3rd gear in the C5Z has the engine turning about the same rpm as the C6Z at 110 in 3rd.
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Old 09-30-2005, 07:15 PM   #19
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Glad you are ejoying your car. Nice report. Mine has been shipped to Les Stanford and should be there on Monday.

Just what I told you about the loud exhaust with that fuse pulled.

Frank
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Old 09-30-2005, 07:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Another Yellow
Glad you are ejoying your car. Nice report. Mine has been shipped to Les Stanford and should be there on Monday.

Just what I told you about the loud exhaust with that fuse pulled.

Frank
Hope you can sleep this weekend Frank!
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Old 09-30-2005, 07:23 PM
 
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