Watch Corvette Z06’s LT4 Intercoolers Evolve From 2015 to 2017

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Will Chevy learn its lesson with the forthcoming ZR1? A closer look at past intercoolers may hold the answer.

Chevrolet’s first runs of the C7 Corvette Z06 proved problematic. The 2015 models suffered from chronic overheating problems, as well as supercharger heat-soak issues. The interceding time found Chevy making a number of updates to remedy the situation. One solution, discussed in the forums here last December, relates to the intercoolers on either side of the LT4’s supercharger.

Here’s a comparison using the 2017 intercooler from Corvette Forum member Dabigsnake’s 2017 Z06 (upper) and a stock GM image of a 2015 Z06 (lower):

The bricks look to be the same size and likely even the same exact configuration. However, the rear of each cooler in the new car is raised within the blower housing. We find that to be an interesting change that appears to improve coolant flow and thermal efficiency.

With the new Corvette ZR1 hiding in plain sight at the Nurburgring, we have to wonder what kinds of reliability improvements Chevy will make. The myriad of overheating problems produced much angst for General Motors during early Z06 production. You’d like to think they’ll keep it from happening again on a car with premium pricing, but that didn’t come across with the most-recent Z06, either.

CHECK OUT: What Forum Members Are Saying About This Cool Comparison

Assuming that the ZR1 uses the same LT engine as its basis, will the first-year cars have similar problems with overheating? The Nurburgring produces a demanding testing ground. However, part of the problem with the Z06’s cooling issue was that the testing conditions at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds failed to replicate the extremity of, say, tracking a Z06 on a very hot day at a track with lots of low-speed corners, and therefore less cooling airflow.

Surely, GM will have torture-tested this combination outside of the ‘Ring with some hot-weather testing, right? Do you still have reservations about a first-year ZR1? This problem primarily plagued automatic Z06s, so if the ZR1 comes with the 10-speed auto, as expected, would you rather take your chances rowing your own gears?

Eric Rood is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and LS1Tech, among other auto sites.


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