Chevrolet Corvette C5 Z06--Test Drive Video Review with Chris Moran
An up-close look and short test drive of a nearly brand-new 2003 Corvette Z06 from Midwest Auto Collection. Presented by Chris Moran.
The Corvette, Chevrolet's most famous and likely GM's most prominent model, has seen nearly 60 years of production. Throughout it's production run, the fundamental characteristics have remained largely unchanged: front engine, rear drive, two seats. After the Chevy small-block V8 engine was introduced, you could add V8 to that list. Since 1955, all Corvettes have had some variation of a V8 engine.
In late 1996, Chevrolet unveiled the all new fifth-generation Corvette (C5). The C5 was the most revolutionary Corvette to date. With a brand new space-frame design structure, to the creative use of balsa wood for its floorboards, it was a technological marvel of its time and one of the first American sports cars to receive a warm global reception.
With a greatly improved interior and daily drivability, the C5 was an immediate success. It's performance numbers were in line with the likes of Porsche and Ferrari, something the Corvette had never really achieved.
For the 2001 model year, Chevrolet introduced the Z06. The Z06 was based on the unpopular "hardtop" model which was produced from 1999-2000. The hardtop proved ideal for the new Z06, as its curb weight decreased and structural rigidity increased in this configuration. At the heart of the Z06 model was the 5.7 Liter LS6 V8 engine. Still a pushrod V8 after all these years, this new model produced 385 horsepower, with a 20 horsepower increase only a year away. Titanium mufflers and magnesium wheels were standard fare, and though this was a performance model, the well-equipped interior from the coupe was nearly unchanged. A Bose sound system, Heads-Up Display (HUD), and Automatic Climate Control were standard.
Unique to the Z06 were interior color options, as well as embroidered headrests indicating this is indeed a Z06. For the 2002 year, the LS6 was bumped to 405 horsepower, though all else stayed unchanged.
So here we stand. With only 10,000 miles on this 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, this car is almost brand new. It smells brand new inside, it looks like a factory new car. It's completely stock, no modifications that you see on so many other Z06s.
Turn the key, and you are greeted by a distinct V8 rumble, and a quick blip of the throttle brings amazing sounds to life. The clutches are light in these cars, something you wouldn't expect from such a torque monster. The low-rev pull in this car is amazing. It's so powerful that you feel you could drive it in 3rd gear all day, but run it to redline and you'll hear a sound reminiscent of wide open stock car racing. It's power so abundant that it feels somewhat limitless.
There is a "competitive driving" mode in the stability control system that allows for more play than the normal threshold allows. You can drift the car in this mode, but the ABS might give you a hand before you get completely nuts and hurt yourself. An electronic "safety net", in a way.
Years ago, I had the opportunity to take my Dad for a ride in a 2002 Z06. The car was almost brand new at the time. We strapped ourselves in, my Dad riding shotgun, and I remember telling him to hold on. I popped the shifter into first, idled onto the roadway and buried the pedal...I distinctly remember the expletives shielding the raw terror my Dad experienced for roughly 4 seconds. I hit second gear at redline and ripped the car sideways as we were still fiercely accelerating, only to welcome a dead silence and deep breaths once I lifted.
Today, I've had the old man in faster, newer, and much more expensive cars. He's not a car guy at all, but he knows if I'm excited about something, it must be remarkable.
Still today, no other car has made such a distinct impression on my father. Eight years later, he occasionally asks the question "Hey, remember when we drove that Corvette?"
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C5 Corvette Z06 Corsa Extreme Exhaust
Idle clip to show Corsa Extreme ... ending with a brief acceleration run in
Skip to 46 mark for acceleration
-TFS(Trick Flow) 215 Heads
-Ported Fast 92 w/big mouth Throttle Body
-Custom pushrods 7.500 for TFS(Trick Flow) heads
-American racing headers 1-3/4 w/cats
-NGK plugs and high performance 10.4mm wires
-Corsa Extreme Exhaust w/ Corsa x-pipe
-Head and cam Dynotune
-50th Anniversary carbon fiber airduct and hammerhead style dual air intake
-Monster level 2 clutch with 18 lb. Monster flywheel