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C5Z owner...short drive in C7Z...intial impressions

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Old 03-26-2015, 05:01 PM
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WA 2 FST
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Default C5Z owner...short drive in C7Z...intial impressions

Been a Vette owner for 13yrs. Still have the first one I bought new (see sig). Also had a '69 BB car that was really cool, but an altogether different beast, of course.

A local shop owner/manager offered me an opportunity to drive his personal C7Z. We finally had some good weather here in DFW, and I was close by, so I stopped in and had the keys tossed in my direction. How could I say no, right?

I'm very careful with other people's hard earned belongings, so I did not drive the car extremely hard, or anything like that. I drove it about 7 miles in town at average speeds, and never really opened it up more than just a rolling punch in 2nd gear from 30-70mph or so.

Initial impressions:

-got in and just wanted to drive, and he had the radio on... I couldn't figure out how to turn it off, so I just turned it down (after all, I wanted to drive the car, not listen to tunes). It's a 2LZ, so I'm sure the sound system is decent enough. I'm in my mi-40s, I don't need all the gadgets on the Infotainment system. I have owned my CTSV for almost 3 years, and don't use all those features, either. You could give me the best NAV/Infotainment on the market, and it would be wasted on me. I just need some functionality, not tons of lights.

-immediately noticed that the interior/seating makes it all seem smaller than my C5 (my son has a C6, so I've driven that some, and it is like my C5). I think this is more perception than reality. This car was optioned with the Comp Seats, which were very supportive and snug. I'm 5'6"/160, so I fit pretty easily into anything. I didn't go messing with all the seat settings, though... really just wanted to get into a proper driving position and get the mirrors aligned correctly so I would safely navigate on my drive.

-trunk/hatch area seemed quite large in comparison to my C5, but that probably has as much to do with my car being an FRC and not a hatch.

-looking over the hood, I could immediately tell the car is a few inches wider than my C5.

-after seeing pics of the dash, I had my doubts if I'd like it. Again, I'm old school, and easy to please and don't need a lot of gadgets and visual stimulus while driving. Functionality is most important. Well, I was wrong. The owner had the dash set with the big tach in the center and speed just being a numerical value in the very center of that. Again... not wanting to mess with his settings, I left it alone. But it was extremely pleasing visually and easy to read. I thought things would be too "busy" on the dash, but it wasn't... I like it!

-interior fit and finish was what I expect out of a 2015 model car.

-the owner must have had the exhaust set to Track. I absolutely loved it. The loud cackle just giving it a little gas was great. Again, I didn't play with any of the exhaust modes... I don't even know where to find them. I found it to be an excellent sound. Now... this car has headers and a tune (610rwhp), so it isn't a completely stock exhaust. Does retain the stock NPP cat-back, however.

-braking and handling were excellent...again what I would expect, based on the driving conditions I was able to experience. Certainly never got remotely close to the limit.

-acceleration was brisk. Having driven a number of 9- and 10-sec capable cars, I'm jaded, but honest. I punched it in 2nd and did a couple of 30-70 pulls. I was impressed with how well the car hooked up on a _real_ street tire. My C5Z makes more power, and it is lighter, but there is no chance it hooks up remotely close to as well as the C7Z on real street tires (which is why I run Nitto NT05Rs all the time in that one). I did see the "Trac Control" light come on, so it may have been pulling some power to get it to hook...but it accelerated through any minor wheelspin that was present. I can see how guys are getting some 1.7x 60' times on stock tires after heating them up well at the strip. This suspension works well, even if its not set up perfectly for drag racing.

-one slightly unnerving thing I noticed the first time I punched it was that the car seemed to carry momentum after I released the throttle...almost like it took a noticeable amount of time before engine braking occurred. This is odd. I never got the car to redline (not sure what 70mph in 2nd is), but I would have to drive the car to get used to this, especially at higher vehicle and engine speeds. I am guessing this is something programmed in electronically, as I believe some others here have mentioned this issue.

-even though not on a track, my butt-meter is pretty sensitive, and I could quickly tell this car is heavier than the Vette I am used to. This isn't bad, its just noticeable to a driver in tune with things.

-M7 tranny shifted like a knife through butter. Extremely easy to shift with the stock shifter, and the clutch is awesome... a lot like the aftermarket duel clutch unit in my C5Z. A breeze to drive, and would not be a chore in traffic. My C5Z has an aftermarket TR6060 with the C6ZR1 ratios, and 3.42 rear gears, so I felt at home with the gear ratios in this car... 1-4. Never used 7th. In theory, I think it would be great if GM would offer a 7-speed with 5 driven gears, but maybe the spacing would be _too close_ at that point? For another discussion, I know.

Anyway... this probably isn't helpful to anyone, and I had a short drive in a car that wasn't mine, so there's no way I got a complete feel for what this car can do. But it was fun, and I think GM did a great job with the new car. Things that some people might pick at, I will never notice b/c I'm easy to please. I'm way more of a function over form person, and this car has plenty of that.

Still not convinced on A8 vs. M7. The M7 is a great trans, I know that.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:53 PM
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u make more power than a c7z? howd you manage that?

thanks for the post. good read!
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:02 PM
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Nice review. I wouldn't mind being able to take a C7Z out for a spin.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:05 PM
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Nice write up, Thanks!!
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rhyno View Post
u make more power than a c7z? howd you manage that?

thanks for the post. good read!
It's in my sig file... LPE Stage 2 TT. puts out 650+rwhp conservatively...going on 11 years now.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:42 PM
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Thanks for the writeup.
No pics??
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:57 PM
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Would love a chance to drive one. Did not like them at first but am now a huge fan.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rhyno View Post
u make more power than a c7z? howd you manage that?

thanks for the post. good read!
Its not hard... most of the guys I hang out with have more power than a C7Z.

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Old 03-26-2015, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Toque View Post
Its not hard... most of the guys I hang out with have more power than a C7Z.

Toque
it's actually pretty easy to match the power of a c7z and not much more to surpass it... granted the newer engine may respond more to mods once people learn more about it but I wouldn't count our cars out... I also do not need all the fancy mumbo jumbo they have added to the new z's, heck I don't even listen to the radio in my c5z when I drive it... and besides that I just can't get over the looks, I don't like them which is good because it makes it easier to keep modding mine
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:51 AM
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Very nice write up!!!
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:08 AM
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Nice write up! I wouldn't mind having one but the price on them is over my budget for a car. Might have to wait for the depreciation mode to kick in and buy a used one next time around. Personally, I would get the automatic but to each his own.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:25 AM
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I drove one of my friends C 7 ( less than 1000 miles on it)auto for a short drive maybe 2 miles. My first impression was it drove like my Monte Carlo SS, very smooth and quiet. The interior was very comfortable with a nice layout with everything at your fingertips. Didn't have a chance to step on it,for the cost difference I'll take my C 5, but if you wanted to give me one I would gladly take it !!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by neutron82 View Post
it's actually pretty easy to match the power of a c7z and not much more to surpass it... granted the newer engine may respond more to mods once people learn more about it but I wouldn't count our cars out... I also do not need all the fancy mumbo jumbo they have added to the new z's, heck I don't even listen to the radio in my c5z when I drive it... and besides that I just can't get over the looks, I don't like them which is good because it makes it easier to keep modding mine
Like any factory supercharged (or turbo'd, for that matter) platform, it doesn't take much to see great gains. My CTSV has headers, pulleys, and a tune and made 110rwhp more than stock (had to add larger injectors as well to meet the fueling requirements). The car I drove made 570rwhp with a cool engine on the dyno, and with headers and a tune is just over 610rwhp.

So reliably modding the car is already super easy and cost-effective (just talking modding... not the cost of the car, of course).

The new bodystyle is finally starting to grow on me, but only in the widebody version of the C7Z, with the wide rear fenders/quarter panels and aggressive stance. It makes the car look muscular, whereas the regular C7 still looks odd to me. And I am disappointed Chevy added plastic spats on the front fenders instead of just making them an inch+ wider for this car (easier, more cost-effective to just slap on the spats, I realize).

Knowing my C5Z stickered for $52 way back in Feb. '02, I don't think the MSRP of the new car is out of line. They are making a LOT of these things, so fair deals can be had, especially on the manual trans cars. But I'm not sure I want to sell my CTSV for one.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:18 AM
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Very nice write up on this, thanks for sharing with us.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:27 AM
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Fun write-up, thanks

I hear tell the 'overrun' on acceleration lift-off is for emissions purposes.

It's a wicked looking car, i saw one last night downtown
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:39 AM
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Excellent read! Thanks.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:06 AM
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nice write-up
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rhyno View Post
u make more power than a c7z? howd you manage that?
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by WA 2 FST View Post
Like any factory supercharged (or turbo'd, for that matter) platform, it doesn't take much to see great gains. My CTSV has headers, pulleys, and a tune and made 110rwhp more than stock (had to add larger injectors as well to meet the fueling requirements). The car I drove made 570rwhp with a cool engine on the dyno, and with headers and a tune is just over 610rwhp.

So reliably modding the car is already super easy and cost-effective (just talking modding... not the cost of the car, of course).

The new bodystyle is finally starting to grow on me, but only in the widebody version of the C7Z, with the wide rear fenders/quarter panels and aggressive stance. It makes the car look muscular, whereas the regular C7 still looks odd to me. And I am disappointed Chevy added plastic spats on the front fenders instead of just making them an inch+ wider for this car (easier, more cost-effective to just slap on the spats, I realize).

Knowing my C5Z stickered for $52 way back in Feb. '02, I don't think the MSRP of the new car is out of line. They are making a LOT of these things, so fair deals can be had, especially on the manual trans cars. But I'm not sure I want to sell my CTSV for one.
no doubt they will respond to mods but I'm not a huge fan of roots style superchargers anyway and on top of that the c7z has an even smaller blower than the cts-v/zr1 so that might put a smaller limit on the guys shooting for the stars on the stock setup... I would say with what I paid for my car and all of the mods I might have about half into it (maybe slightly less) of what a c7z stickers at, it would be stupid for me to sell it and pay twice the money for a slower and uglier (debatable) car only to have slightly better traction at low speeds... for someone who has to have the newest and coolest gadgets and has deeper pockets then that might be a car for them... if I was in your situation I would keep the cts-v, hands down I like those more than any c7 offering
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by neutron82 View Post
I would say with what I paid for my car and all of the mods I might have about half into it (maybe slightly less) of what a c7z stickers at, it would be stupid for me to sell it and pay twice the money for a slower and uglier (debatable) car only to have slightly better traction at low speeds
I completely agree, which is why I have no intention of selling my C5Z that has a bulletproof engine/driveline and runs like a top. Since I bought my car new, and have an LPE engine in it... I have spent a lot on my car, but I've also had it for 13yrs.

[QUOTE}... for someone who has to have the newest and coolest gadgets and has deeper pockets then that might be a car for them... if I was in your situation I would keep the cts-v, hands down I like those more than any c7 offering[/QUOTE]

I'm finding that a lot of C7 owners... its their first Vette. Just like way back when I bought my C5, it was my first Vette. If I was half a generation younger than I am now, I might need/want all the gadgets, too.

Most likely my reason for not enjoying my CTSV more is b/c I bought an automatic. I did this for several reasons... so my wife can occasionally drive it, if needed (probably 3x in 3 years as it turns out), and I have two other vehicles that are stick shift. Well, regardless of how efficient the 6-speed auto is at WOT upshifts, it is just not as fun in day-to-day driving as a good stick is. Other than that, it is an excellent car, and I've had no trouble with it at all. So for that reason alone, its probably wise to hold onto it.

Appreciate your thoughts and insight.
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