15. October 2005 · Comments Off on 6.2 Pounds Per Horsepower · Categories: Technology

By now, every Car Guy in the world knows that figure applies to the incredible new Corvette Z06. I was going to blog on this a month ago. But I wanted to wait until Larry Webster’s Car and Driver article was available online, specifically so I could excerpt this quote:

Europeans gawked at the car and seemed to applaud it. They likely were unaware that they were witnessing the arrival of a car that exposes the majority of European sports cars for what they are: overpriced, underperforming snobs.

Of course, some idiot will likely comment that the Z06 MUST be crap because it is a Chevrolet, or perhaps because of its “50 year-old engine technology” (and it doesn’t even have crossflow heads, like the Chrysler Hemi).

Well, the facts are: While they share the bowtie, Corvette functions as an autonomous division within GM. Indeed, Corvettes have less in common with lesser Chevrolets than Buicks do. As well, the Z06 is a $66,000 technological tour de’force. Even the fact that they got 427 cubic inches out of that “50 year-old engine technology” AND got it to turn 7000 rpm (titanium connecting rods help there) is an engineering wonder. (Note: Lingenfelter has had a 427 small block for several years. But a 427 Lingenfelter engine alone will cost you $25,000).

I suspect, when these start rolling out the dealer’s doors, they will be at a substantial premium over the $66,000 price. But when you consider that you can also expect to pay a huge dealer premium over the price of a $154,000 Ford GT, or a $180,000 Ferrari F430 (IF your Ferrari dealer likes you enough to sell you one at all), that’s par-for-the-course.

I have yet to drive any C6 Corvettes. But I’ve got a lot of experience with C5s in various configurations. And, for all its luster, and despite Road & Track’s Douglas Kott’s claim that the new Z06’s ride is actually more supple than the C5 Z51, the Z06 is really overkill. And, when you consider that, for the price you are likely to actually pay, you can buy yourself a well-optioned C6 coupe (with a removable top – not available on the Z06) AND get your wife a new Dodge Hemi Magnum, it’s advisable to ask yourself if you REALLY need what it has to offer.

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