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Review here at 500 miles

 
Old 04-30-2018, 09:32 PM
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samgauto
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Default Review here at 500 miles

Just a quick review here at just over 500 miles. Not enough time or mileage for a proper review, but I figured I could post some early observations with the car for those interested.

As far as Corvette ownership goes, I have only memories of my 1985 that I sold in the early 90s so not a lot of similarities there. Probably the most closely powered car I currently own for comparison is my 2016 CTS-V LT4 but believe me, even at that, these are two totally different cars power wise. So far, I have not really gotten into the higher rpm’s but this vehicle is a power monster and some may even say overpowered for those not cautious. Bottom line, be cautious if driving this car without the traction control and vehicle stability systems on. I ‘’feel’’ that this car can get away from you very quickly.

The car handles flawlessly and the paint finish is some of the best I have seen by GM, or any other manufacturer for that matter. This is not surprising, since the change in plant process, but still I think even better than expected. Doors close easier (less required force) than other GM vehicles and this is probably due to the window indexing feature.

My car is a bit of a sleeper, as the color difference of the CF engine cover does not stand out as much against the Watkins Glen Gray, but there are those on the road that immediately do realize the ZR1 cues and it does bring some questions and compliments at fuel stops. Speaking of fuel stops, I am doing more of those than with the CTS-V LT4 but this car gets about 12 MPG in the city so not really something unexpected I guess.

I did notice, as others have mentioned, the change in the tachometer’s red line at the 500-mile mark and I decided to do my own break in oil change at that time, although the first 2 oil changes are covered no charge by Chevrolet at the dealership. (My dealer was able to order and get the new required oil for me in about a week).

The Corvette new car smell, that many have noted here, is a pleasant sent and reminds me of going to past luxury boat show events. Anyone that has been to the Miami or Norwalk boat shows and has been inside the salons on new Hatteras or Bertram yachts will recognize the scent. Perhaps some similar interior manufacturing components being used but still pleasant overall.

The exhaust really has a great sound adjustment range by using the tour, sport, track wheel adjustment or using the in-dash vehicle exhaust setting programming. Certain times in track mode (like start up and accel/decel) I find it amazing that this car passed whatever decibel noise standards are in effect. It can be very loud!

Issues so far have been minor but I will still list them here.

When pulling out of the dealership upon taking delivery, I did notice a chirping sound from the left front wheel. That has since gone but I do get an initial brake pad squeal that is probably normal for this type of aggressive brake system. (Interestingly, my CTS-V had a louder squeal at stops and GM replaced the front and rear pads under warranty with a new quieter design). However, the vette’s squeal is much softer and just on initial brake applications in stop and go traffic for a second or two.

I did find some imperfections in some of the body panels themselves. The hood has 2 dimples under the paint on the middle passenger’s side painted section about 5 inches from the halo opening. There are also two recessed areas in the middle of the ‘visible carbon fiber hood section’ that is aft of the halo opening. Not a big deal but they all can be seen in some lighting conditions. The passenger’s front door has (what I would call a ‘4-inch hand chop’ if it were a metal door) below and forward of the mirror mount area. It is sort of a ripple or crease in the fiberglass/laminate door panel itself, under the paint. I am a bit surprised this was missed at the plant, but again, its visible in certain lighting and this is not a 400k car so perhaps I am being a bit too picky here. I do not want to get into breaking the paint on the car but I had the dealership note these items on a repair order for future reference. Like the CTS-V, the exposed carbon fiber on the underside of the hood appears unfinished with a scratchy white look in areas. Where Corvette owners are those that really take pride in the engine bays I am surprised this was not addressed with some type of a clear coating.

I have recently heard what I think is a tire rubbing wheelhouse noise from the right front when backing up with the steering wheel cut hard left. However, I have not had this happen enough with a second person around to further isolate the cause.

Putting the front license plate mounting bracket on was a challenge. You get 2 brackets supplied. One that sort of stands off the front of the bumper straight and vertical for a license plate and the other is one that fits nicely and a bit lower against the bumper. This second one is supposed to be used to hold a plastic insert plate embossed with ZR-1. It is not supposed to be used for license plates perhaps because it tilts down a bit and it requires a license plate be bent a bit in the middle but it looks much better on the car than the other bracket. The mounting kit that comes with the brackets has very flimsily hardware that I broke during the install.

Due to some confusion, then a service bulletin issued about installing the car’s included performance brake parts, I did find after delivery that some of the brake parts that were supposed to be installed were not installed and the dealership then took care of that for me on a follow up visit. The bulletin that was released clearly shows which items are to be installed at PDI and which items are installed by the customer on track days. In my dealership’s defense, the bulletin was written the same week my car was delivered, so they may not have seen it at the time.

Probably the most annoying issue to me (but again I am comparing to the CTS-V) is the amount of cabin road noise, presumably caused by the tires this car has, at about 35mph and above. Sort of a steady shhhhhhhhh sound. It is quite loud but can be cancelled out, somewhat, by turning up the radio volume. I have not driven any Corvettes since my C4 so perhaps this is normal. Although my CTS-V has very wide rubber, I think the Vette’s road noise issue is worsened by the even wider tires, run-flat stiff sidewalls and perhaps the composite tub floor design. Also, the vette does not have laminated side glass which can contribute to some noise isolation. But this is a ZR-1 and I am sure that the 1970 ZR-1, and years that followed, were not necessarily designed to be that ‘road quiet’ either.

*** UPDATE 5/3/18 ***
One item that I forgot that I thought was important to note is some audible engine pinging. This can be heard at above 50 MPH + and at highway speeds when leaving the transmission in automatic mode and letting it shift on its own. If you begin to accelerate lightly under a slight load, (what we used to call 'crowding the engine') like a highway section that is beginning a slight incline, you can here some ping through the firewall. This is not audible in track mode because in that mode at highway speeds the rpm is higher as the transmission seems to stay in the next lower gear, not to mention the louder exhaust tone. I am not sure if the LT5 has a knock sensor that reports this sound to tell the computer to reduce timing but oddly the ping is pretty steady, you have to listen carefully with the radio off. On this car it sounds more like a light click or quick rattle when the engine is slightly loaded in a high gear. I am using Sunoco 93 Octane. Not sure if any higher octane is available.

Last edited by samgauto; 05-03-2018 at 05:09 PM. Reason: Updated Information
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Old 04-30-2018, 10:14 PM
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Bob U
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Thanks for the review.
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:43 AM
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Great review, I always like owner reviews like these over journalists. A lot of subtle details. Enjoy the car!
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob U View Post
Thanks for the review.
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Old 05-02-2018, 07:17 PM
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Bill Dearborn
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The big difference between the Caddy and the Vette is the distance between the rear wheels and your ear. There is at least 5 ft more distance and a lot more material between the tires and your ears. A Caddy will have more insulation under the carpet and behind the seats while that stuff will be missing in a Corvette as it detracts from performance.

Bill
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Dearborn View Post
The big difference between the Caddy and the Vette is the distance between the rear wheels and your ear. There is at least 5 ft more distance and a lot more material between the tires and your ears. A Caddy will have more insulation under the carpet and behind the seats while that stuff will be missing in a Corvette as it detracts from performance.

Bill
Very true Bill. I was not really looking at it that way. Not an apples to apples body and seating arrangement for sure.
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:31 PM
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Steven Bell
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Good observations...thanks.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:50 PM
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Thanks for that review. Enjoy the Z.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:30 AM
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Rob P
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Originally Posted by samgauto View Post
Just a quick review here at just over 500 miles. Not enough time or mileage for a proper review, but I figured I could post some early observations with the car for those interested.

As far as Corvette ownership goes, I have only memories of my 1985 that I sold in the early 90s so not a lot of similarities there. Probably the most closely powered car I currently own for comparison is my 2016 CTS-V LT4 but believe me, even at that, these are two totally different cars power wise. So far, I have not really gotten into the higher rpm’s but this vehicle is a power monster and some may even say overpowered for those not cautious. Bottom line, be cautious if driving this car without the traction control and vehicle stability systems on. I ‘’feel’’ that this car can get away from you very quickly.

The car handles flawlessly and the paint finish is some of the best I have seen by GM, or any other manufacturer for that matter. This is not surprising, since the change in plant process, but still I think even better than expected. Doors close easier (less required force) than other GM vehicles and this is probably due to the window indexing feature.

My car is a bit of a sleeper, as the color difference of the CF engine cover does not stand out as much against the Watkins Glen Gray, but there are those on the road that immediately do realize the ZR1 cues and it does bring some questions and compliments at fuel stops. Speaking of fuel stops, I am doing more of those than with the CTS-V LT4 but this car gets about 12 MPG in the city so not really something unexpected I guess.

I did notice, as others have mentioned, the change in the tachometer’s red line at the 500-mile mark and I decided to do my own break in oil change at that time, although the first 2 oil changes are covered no charge by Chevrolet at the dealership. (My dealer was able to order and get the new required oil for me in about a week).

The Corvette new car smell, that many have noted here, is a pleasant sent and reminds me of going to past luxury boat show events. Anyone that has been to the Miami or Norwalk boat shows and has been inside the salons on new Hatteras or Bertram yachts will recognize the scent. Perhaps some similar interior manufacturing components being used but still pleasant overall.

The exhaust really has a great sound adjustment range by using the tour, sport, track wheel adjustment or using the in-dash vehicle exhaust setting programming. Certain times in track mode (like start up and accel/decel) I find it amazing that this car passed whatever decibel noise standards are in effect. It can be very loud!

Issues so far have been minor but I will still list them here.

When pulling out of the dealership upon taking delivery, I did notice a chirping sound from the left front wheel. That has since gone but I do get an initial brake pad squeal that is probably normal for this type of aggressive brake system. (Interestingly, my CTS-V had a louder squeal at stops and GM replaced the front and rear pads under warranty with a new quieter design). However, the vette’s squeal is much softer and just on initial brake applications in stop and go traffic for a second or two.

I did find some imperfections in some of the body panels themselves. The hood has 2 dimples under the paint on the middle passenger’s side painted section about 5 inches from the halo opening. There are also two recessed areas in the middle of the ‘visible carbon fiber hood section’ that is aft of the halo opening. Not a big deal but they all can be seen in some lighting conditions. The passenger’s front door has (what I would call a ‘4-inch hand chop’ if it were a metal door) below and forward of the mirror mount area. It is sort of a ripple or crease in the fiberglass/laminate door panel itself, under the paint. I am a bit surprised this was missed at the plant, but again, its visible in certain lighting and this is not a 400k car so perhaps I am being a bit too picky here. I do not want to get into breaking the paint on the car but I had the dealership note these items on a repair order for future reference. Like the CTS-V, the exposed carbon fiber on the underside of the hood appears unfinished with a scratchy white look in areas. Where Corvette owners are those that really take pride in the engine bays I am surprised this was not addressed with some type of a clear coating.

I have recently heard what I think is a tire rubbing wheelhouse noise from the right front when backing up with the steering wheel cut hard left. However, I have not had this happen enough with a second person around to further isolate the cause.

Putting the front license plate mounting bracket on was a challenge. You get 2 brackets supplied. One that sort of stands off the front of the bumper straight and vertical for a license plate and the other is one that fits nicely and a bit lower against the bumper. This second one is supposed to be used to hold a plastic insert plate embossed with ZR-1. It is not supposed to be used for license plates perhaps because it tilts down a bit and it requires a license plate be bent a bit in the middle but it looks much better on the car than the other bracket. The mounting kit that comes with the brackets has very flimsily hardware that I broke during the install.

Due to some confusion, then a service bulletin issued about installing the car’s included performance brake parts, I did find after delivery that some of the brake parts that were supposed to be installed were not installed and the dealership then took care of that for me on a follow up visit. The bulletin that was released clearly shows which items are to be installed at PDI and which items are installed by the customer on track days. In my dealership’s defense, the bulletin was written the same week my car was delivered, so they may not have seen it at the time.

Probably the most annoying issue to me (but again I am comparing to the CTS-V) is the amount of cabin road noise, presumably caused by the tires this car has, at about 35mph and above. Sort of a steady shhhhhhhhh sound. It is quite loud but can be cancelled out, somewhat, by turning up the radio volume. I have not driven any Corvettes since my C4 so perhaps this is normal. Although my CTS-V has very wide rubber, I think the Vette’s road noise issue is worsened by the even wider tires, run-flat stiff sidewalls and perhaps the composite tub floor design. Also, the vette does not have laminated side glass which can contribute to some noise isolation. But this is a ZR-1 and I am sure that the 1970 ZR-1, and years that followed, were not necessarily designed to be that ‘road quiet’ either.

What are the performance brake parts? I believe my car is coming within a couple of weeks and I don't want anything to be missed.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Rob P View Post
What are the performance brake parts? I believe my car is coming within a couple of weeks and I don't want anything to be missed.
Have your dealer look up service bulletin #16-NA-363 which explains which items the dealer is to install and which items are given to the customer to install on track days.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:33 AM
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I have a '12 ZR1, and yes the road noise is bad, especially on certain cement pavement, especially sectioned concrete, every seam in the road is heard loudly. On asphalt it is quiet as a kitten. I expect my new ZR1 will be the same, or maybe a bit worse. Those run-flat Michelin tires are not good for a quiet ride in most places.

Last edited by mikelj; 05-03-2018 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:35 AM
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When it's all you know.......it's normal.
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Old 05-03-2018, 05:07 PM
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*** UPDATE 5/3/18 ***
One item that I forgot that I thought was important to note is some audible engine pinging. This can be heard at above 50 MPH + and at highway speeds when leaving the transmission in automatic mode and letting it shift on its own. If you begin to accelerate lightly under a slight load, (what we used to call 'crowding the engine') like a highway section that is beginning a slight incline, you can here some ping through the firewall. This is not audible in track mode because in that mode at highway speeds the rpm is higher as the transmission seems to stay in the next lower gear, not to mention the louder exhaust tone. I am not sure if the LT5 has a knock sensor that reports this sound to tell the computer to reduce timing but oddly the ping is pretty steady, you have to listen carefully with the radio off. On this car it sounds more like a light click or quick rattle when the engine is slightly loaded in a high gear. I am using Sunoco 93 Octane. Not sure if any higher octane is available.

Last edited by samgauto; 05-03-2018 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 05-03-2018, 05:21 PM
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You are lucky, my highest octane is 91 at my high altitude. BTW, that "chirping" sound you hear from the front tires is normal and you will hear it every time you turn them much when they are cold at low speeds. Another characteristic of those tires. If you turn them sharply when cold as you move slowly from a stop, that is much more like a chunking/clunking sound, and it feels like you are running over something. It is annoying.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:37 PM
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Just adding this update now at 2,300 miles. Found what appears to be AC Pag oil visible on front crosshatch cross member. Took to dealer last week and they have verified that air compressor needs replacement. Part now on order and will be replacing shortly. Not sure if anyone else has had an early ac compressor failure by leaking oil.

Last edited by samgauto; 06-11-2019 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:31 PM
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That sucks - maybe not driving it enough? Keeping the seals wet, etc.

D.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mikelj View Post
I have a '12 ZR1, and yes the road noise is bad, especially on certain cement pavement, especially sectioned concrete, every seam in the road is heard loudly. On asphalt it is quiet as a kitten. I expect my new ZR1 will be the same, or maybe a bit worse. Those run-flat Michelin tires are not good for a quiet ride in most places.
The C7 ZR1 is much more quiet than my '13 C6 ZR1. It's the first thing my wife said - "wow this car is much quieter inside and I can hear the radio and we can talk without raising our voices"
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:43 PM
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My only noise complaint is what I assume to be fairly loud direct injector tick. It’s either that, or an exhaust leak on the top or bottom of the manifold.
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:06 PM
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Even with exhaust mode in Track, at highway cruising speed the ZR1 (manual) is quieter than the DD exhaust on my C6 Callaway (manual).I get a drone at around 60-63 in the Callaway in 6th... no drone in the ZR1 ever.... during 1/2 to 3/4 throttle acceleration however, the ZR1 is much louder. Pops and crackles on decompression and rev match downshifts are a treat all to themselves. I haven’t heard the Akrapovic or other after market systems, but I assume they must be really something to behold to be an improvement over the ZR1 stock system.

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Old 06-12-2019, 05:18 PM
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You guys have 93 octane or 91?
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