Corvette Z-06

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

The power of the new Corvette stuns when it’s powering down the Mistrale straight, but disappoints when you have to turn a corner

Years ago, while my backside was enjoying the extreme good fortune of occupying the editor’s chair of this magazine, I spent a couple of seasons racing a 1967 Chevy Camaro. Lack of time, money and, above all, driver talent meant it never realised its race-winning potential, but it did cement in my head a love for American muscle cars.

Which is why, earlier this year, I turned up at Paul Ricard for an encounter with the new Corvette Z-06 in a particularly jaunty frame of mind. Under its curving bonnet lay essentially the same small-block engine as had powered the Camaro nearly 30 years ago, albeit recast in aluminium and expanded from 5.7 to 7.0 litres. With 513bhp, 469Ib ft of torque, a 200mph top speed and a 3.7sec 0-60mph time, it was going to disappear down the Mistrale straight like a rat down a sewer. And thanks to a light, composite body, it promised to be no less effective through Ricard’s hideously technical complex of corners.

At first, all was well. Onto the straight for the first time and all the old feelings came back. There was predictably massive thrust accompanied by an inimitable small-block battle cry. It felt faster even than the Camaro — which never struggled for pace — and by the straight’s end, I could have been convinced that this was a landmark American car. Except I was too busy preparing for Signes, a corner designed for those who think the likes of Copse and Eau Rouge are a trifle on the dull side.

Once there, and indeed around the rest of the track, this latest and allegedly greatest of all ‘Vettes was something of a disappointment. Its grip was not in question, but its balance and feel undoubtedly were. It would understeer too much on the way into a corner and oversteer luridly at the exit, while the steering failed to keep you informed of conditions underfoot. On the road it compounded the felony with ride quality that really affected the car’s handling on typical B-roads.

I drove it slowly back to the track. What had appeared at the start of the day to be a car with the statistical firepower to stand comparison with the latest Ferraris, yet at £59,850 cost around half as much, was little more than an epic engine sitting in an unworthy chassis.

I drove a standard Corvette back to the airport and loved it. It was softer and more honest, aspiring to little more than looking and sounding great, both of which it did just as well as the Z-06. It will still do 186mph, but costs just £46,595, at which price it looks really rather cheap. But by pricing the Z-06 at Porsche 911 money, Corvette is making a statement about its car that its execution simply cannot support. Of course the ‘Vette would blow the Porsche away in a straight line and, for all I know, on track, too. The difference is that Porsche figured out long ago that it takes rather more than big numbers to make a milestone sportscar. It’s time Chevrolet did the same.

Related articles

Related products