New Corvette Z06 Takes on Godzilla

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When Chevrolet debuted the new Corvette Z06, it immediately had some epically big shoes to fill. Not only was the last-generation C6 Z06 an absolute track monster, but it routinely dominated cars that were triple its comparably meager price. Alas, now that the reviews of the new generation are starting to trickle in, they aren’t exactly great.

With one engine blowing up after 891 miles, and an ECU cutting power, the Z06 is taking quite a bit of criticism, and so is Chevy. In order to see what’s what, Motor Trend decided to do a proper track test with the new Z06, while pitting the supercar against one of its main competitors: the Nissan GT-R Nismo, a.k.a. “Godzilla”.

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So how did the new Corvette Z06 fare? Well, not that great. The Nissan smoked the Z06 with a time of 1:25.7 against the ‘Vette’s 1:27.1. That is 1.4 seconds faster. Now, most of you will say this outcome boils down to the GT-R having all-wheel drive. But the GT-R also has less horsepower and more weight, meaning it should have been a fairly even battle.

But what does all of this mean for the Z06? How could the most powerful production Corvette ever get beaten by the GT-R? In one word: drag. The new Corvette Z06’s downforce package has a lot of aero working at any given time. That’s fine for a smaller figure-eight test, but terrible where there are longer straights. Taking the wings off just makes the problem worse by increasing the likelihood of oversteer — something this car definitely wants to do.

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Motor Trend really tried everything they could think of to make the Z06 lap faster, but nothing could get it closer to the GT-R’s time. Add to the issue of the ECU powering down after a single lap, and the Nissan just essentially ran away.

That said, the GT-R has been around for a long time, which means Nissan has had a heck of a long time to fiddle with everything to make it one of the most capable track cars ever produced. The Corvette Z06 just seems to be going through teething issues. I trust there is a team of GM engineers working themselves to death right now, trying to make the Z06 just as good as the GT-R Nismo. If they can build a Camaro that will smoke a GT-R, they can build a Corvette to do the same.

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

via [Motor Trend]

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