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Z06Fever! Well, why not? Having one of these toys is definitely an illness for which there is no cure, so let's talk about this specific malady.

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Unread 04-30-2006, 12:54 AM   #1
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Default C5Z vs. C6Z

Written by niphilli2,
Original thread:

Let me just say that the C6 Z is FANTASTIC, nothing short of it .

Congrats to those of you who have been fortunate enough to call this vehicle your own.

I went up for the Skyline Cruise last night and briefly met a friend who had a Blue C6Z for the weekend. I did not get to drive it but had a pretty thorough test ride. Thorough like if you were driving someone else’s C6Z who did not care what you did with it; thorough like if you had enough money to buy a Z for each day of the week. Catch my drift?

So here are my (c5Z owner) impressions, my $.02:

The C6Z is an evolution of the C5z, better in almost every way.

Going through the gears:
1st gear~ Son-of-a-biiiiach: does not necessarily pull harder than the C5 Z, it is just a more sustained, fluid pull. This must be due to the higher gearing and higher redline. The car is very smooth in first gear and pulls relentlessly. It will literally make you ill in the passenger seat. Phenomenal

2nd gear~ Similar feel to the C5z just a longer more sustained pull.

3rd gear~ Feels the same as the C5z but builds speed much more rapidly.

4th gear~ No need for the purposes of this test drive.

More power than the C5: Hell yes

More refined than the C5: check

Better fit and finish than the C5: Check

Better ride than the C5: check

More Grip than the C5: check

Better brakes than the C5: negatory (the C5 units seem to bite a little harder). Not any worse, but not better.

Better balance than the C5: negatory, not any worse, not any better.

Here is where it gets interesting: where the rubber meets the road, the overall experience:

More fun than the C5Z: not a chance.

Somewhere in the process of evolution the car has lost a little bit of its 'raw' attitude and racecar demeanor. Feels a little more disconnected from the driving surface. Don’t get me wrong, the car still has a legitimate SOUL as if it were human, a very beautiful articulate human at that; The soul has just changed a little bit.

It’s as-if the car has been to BMW finishing school. I would be willing to wager that all of the corvette team has spent some time in the E46 BMW 3 series to observe the seamless balance between race car and touring sedan. The dash and door treatment remind me very much of a BMW 3, not quite on the level yet, still lacking heavily in some areas (center console, seats), but much more fit-and-finish oriented. Add three hundred pounds of sound insulation to the curb weight, swap out the tires for some 225/245s, insert a buttery inline six, and you would be driving a slightly less refined E46 BMW 330ci.

It took me a while to put my finger on why the fun factor has lost a little of its edge. I was quite perplexed and spent about an hour on the back roads of Southwest Virginia this morning in my ‘03Z to sort it all out. My conclusion was that the longer gearing of 1-2-3 in the MN6 as opposed to the M12 in my car, coupled with the longer stroke of the 427, and the higher revlimit sucked a little bit of the daily driver fun out of the car.

Notes to GM: Build this engine with a 3.62 stroke, same block, still Ti rods, same top end, same camshaft (will still make 500 with a little intake and exhaust work). Go back to the M12 tranny. Put a GHL rear section on from the factory. Decrease the grip back down to the C5z level or a smidge lower with a tire that predictably brakes away (ie more sidewall no EMT). Ditch the dry sump and big expensive brakes and offer the car at a base of $59,000. Together these changes would take this car from Fantastic to pure driving enthusiasm bliss.

Well I have rambled on long enough pretending like everyone else is hanging on my every word, time to wrap this thing up with the shortest conclusion I could think of:

If money is no object: Get up from your chair and Run to your friendly corvette dealer. This car has a character matched by no other vehicle on the market right now in any price segment.

If money is a definite concern but do-able (happens to be my situation right now) Drive your C5 for a while longer and meditate as to why you love the car. If it pure fun weekend back road racer, keep it for a while and enjoy, make an educated decision later when the frenzy has died down.

If it is not economically feasible: KNOW that you are having just as much fun in your C5z as the guy next to you in his C6z, maybe more because your payment is probably a lot lower

Cool writeup!
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Unread 04-30-2006, 01:01 AM   #2
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Yeah, definitely good reading. I think my '02 Z06 will be staying in my name for quite a while yet......
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Unread 05-11-2006, 10:29 PM   #3
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Good write up but it is funny how so many people want to say it should be cheaper. It is not a C6. No offense to C5 Z06 owners...they have great cars...but a coupe or vert with a little bit of work is everything a Z06 is. The new Z06 is exactly what it should be...a different car. It is what the ZR1 was to the C4. I think it would be an insult to down grade the car and make it cost less.

Very good write up though.
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Unread 05-14-2006, 03:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by EatRice
No offense to C5 Z06 owners...they have great cars...but a coupe or vert with a little bit of work is everything a Z06 is.
I'm going to disagree here. I haven't spent a lot of time digging up facts to itemize the differences between a C5 and a Z06, but just these few from a 2001 model year comparison are enlightening, I think:
  • LS6 Engine
    Providing the grunt for all this performance is a new version of the venerable small-block engine that delivers almost 12 percent more horsepower than the 2000 LS1. Called the LS6, it shares many components with the LS1 found in every other 2001 Corvette, and would look the same as the LS1 were it not for its red engine covers.

    The LS6 produces 385 hp at 6000 rpm, and torque of 385 ft.-lb. at 4800 rpm. The engine is redlined at 6500 rpm (versus the LS1's 6000 rpm redline), and its torque curve is slightly biased toward the upper end where that power will be most appreciated on the track. LS6 power output is achieved as the result of dozens of refinements to increase volumetric efficiency and maximum rpm.

  • Aluminum Block
    The aluminum block casting on the LS6 deletes machined holes in the LS1 bulkhead and adds cast-in "windows" that allow better bay-to-bay breathing. On the downstroke, the pistons push air back toward the crankcase, creating backpressure or resistance, and that translates into parasitic horsepower loss because it resists piston motion. With the overtravel windows, air is allowed to move more freely between crankcase bays, thus relieving the unwanted pressure.

  • New Pistons
    LS6 pistons are cast from high-strength M142 aluminum alloy and reshaped with a slightly different profile than those in the LS1. In side view, the LS6 pistons have a slight barrel shape, almost imperceptible to the naked eye. The new alloy increases engine durability at racetrack operating levels, while the shape reduces internal mechanical noise.

  • Increased Compression
    The LS6's aluminum cylinder heads are cast with pent-roof combustion chambers that are smaller than the LS1's. Compression ratio increases from 10.1:1 to 10.5:1, improving thermal efficiency and increasing horsepower. Intake and exhaust ports in the LS6 head are refined and more precisely cast, contributing to the engine's overall increase in volumetric efficiency.

  • High-Profile Camshaft
    The LS6-specific, steel-billet camshaft contributes more than any other single piece of hardware to the LS6's horsepower gain. In simple terms, the cam opens the valves quicker and allows more air to flow into the combustion chambers. Cam lift increases from the LS1's 12.7mm to 13.3mm.

  • Stronger Valve Springs
    To accommodate valve operation with the high lift/long duration cam, the LS6's valve springs are stiffer and sturdier. They are made from the same steel wire as those in the LS1 but are wound tighter for a higher spring rate.

  • Fuel Injectors
    Additional air flowing into the LS6 heads would serve no purpose without an equivalent increase in the amount of fuel to take advantage of it. New injectors increase maximum fuel delivery from the LS1's 3.3 grams per second to 3.6 grams per seconds, for a 10 percent improvement.

  • Internal PCV System
    The LS6's application in the Corvette Z06 creates additional demands on the crankcase ventilation system. The Z06 is capable of cornering at more than 1 lateral g, requiring a special high-performance ventilation system.

    To prepare the Z06 for all-out driving, the LS6's PCV system is moved into the engine's V, or valley. The unique aluminum valley cover incorporates composite oil-separating baffles and PCV plumbing. All of this reduces oil consumption during high-performance driving and, as an added benefit, also reduces the amount of external plumbing, eliminating potential oil-leak sources.

  • Exhaust Manifolds
    Thin-wall cast-iron exhaust manifolds replace the previous stainless steel manifolds to improve durability, given the LS6 engine's potential for being involved in sustained high-speed driving.

  • Exhaust System
    To further maximize the breathing capabilities of the LS6 and significantly reduce vehicle mass, a new titanium exhaust system was developed for the Z06. This marks the first-ever use of titanium in the exhaust system of a mass-production vehicle. The titanium portion of the Z06's exhaust system starts just forward of the rear axle, then goes over the top of the axle to the muffler. The entire muffler, all of its internal parts and exterior skin, the outlet pipes, including the exhaust tips, are constructed of titanium. The Z06 muffler is a completely new design featuring larger-diameter louver tubes inside the mufflers to reduce backpressure and provide less restriction for the exhaust gases flowing through the system. The exhaust tips are different too, with four 3.5-in.-dia. tips to visually set the Z06 apart from the standard Corvette.

    Titanium offers a lower density than steel, and higher strength than either magnesium or aluminum at all temperatures. It reduces the Z06's weight by 17.6 pounds a whopping 50 percent reduction compared to the weight of the stainless steel exhaust system used on the Corvette coupe and convertible. In addition to easing exhaust gas restrictions, reducing mass and looking distinctive, this exhaust system sounds more aggressive than that of the standard Corvette. Considerable time and effort went into the design and tuning of the mufflers to ensure an exhaust note that would be unique to the Z06.

  • M12 6-Speed Manual
    This transmission is unique to the Z06, and is the only transmission available for that model. It is not available on Corvette coupes or convertibles. It has more aggressive gearing to increase torque multiplication in most forward gears, allowing for more rapid acceleration and more usable torque at higher speeds.

  • FE4 Suspension
    The Z06 features a suspension system all its own designated FE4. It's not available on other Corvette models but is standard equipment on the Z06. It features a larger front stabilizer bar, a stiffer rear leaf spring, revised camber settings and unique shock calibrations, all engineered with a bias toward maximum control during high-speed operation. The suspension component specifications are:

    Front stabilizer bar diameter (hollow): 30mm with 4.5mm-thick walls.
    Rear transverse composite spring leaf: 125 N/mm versus 113 N/mm of the Z51.
    Camber, front and rear: Z06: -0.75° (coupe/convertible: -0.25°).
    The Z06's negative camber helps to keep the tire flatter in relation to the road, and raises the tire contact patch for greater grip while cornering. When coupled with other special Z06 components, the combination provides unparalleled, all-out racetrack performance, which is what the Z06 is all about. During development testing, Corvette engineers were able to generate racetrack speeds that improved Z06 performance by an average of 3 to 4 seconds per lap over last year's hardtop model on typical 2-mile closed-circuit road courses. This we were able to test for ourselves at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, where we had the chance to drive a standard coupe and a Z06, back to back.

  • WheelsZ06 wheels are wider front and rear than those on the standard Corvette:

    Wheel Size Comparison
    2001 C5 2001 Z06
    Front wheels 17 in x 8.5 in 17 in x 9.5 in
    Rear wheels 18 in x 9.5 in 18 in x 10.5 in

    The new wheels are also one of the visual identifiers for the Z06, letting onlookers know that this car is something special. They are uniquely styled, and are the most mass-efficient aluminum wheels ever produced for Corvette. They are painted a light metallic gray, and show off the Z06's red brake calipers, especially when the car is in motion. Each wheel's center cap has a red Corvette crossed-flags emblem for added identification when the car is at rest.

  • Tires
    Goodyear has specifically designed new wider, stickier tires for the Z06. Called Goodyear Eagle F1 SC (Supercar) tires, they allow the Z06 to handle, brake and perform better than any production Corvette, ever. Sizewise, the new tires differ from the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS EMT tires on coupes and convertibles as follows:

    Tire Size Comparison
    2001 C5 Eagle F1 GS 2001 Z06 Eagle F1 SC
    Front P245/45ZR17 P265/40ZR17
    Rear P275/40ZR18 P295/35ZR18

    While larger, these tires are much lighter than the EMT tires, reducing mass by a total of 10.6 kilograms (23.4 pounds). The new Eagle F1 SC tires have an asymmetric tread pattern to enable the fantastic cornering capabilities of the Z06. With the asymmetric pattern, the outside shoulder of the tire performs well in the dry, while the inside tread performs well in the wet. Taking mass out of the tires is extremely beneficial for wheel control because it reduces unsprung weight. It also reduces rotational mass, which improves acceleration and braking performance. Wheel control on the Z06 is also improved due to the more compliant sidewalls on these new, non-EMT tires.

    Because these tires do not have the "run flat" capabilities of the EMT tires, it was necessary to develop a process for dealing with tire punctures, since Corvettes do not come equipped with a spare tire. In the case of the Z06, a GM Tire Inflator Kit is included that is capable of sealing punctures up to 5mm in diameter. The kit consists of a squeeze bottle filled with a non-flammable latex compound in an aqueous base, a nozzle that attaches to the tire valve, and a mini air compressor with a 12-volt adapter that plugs into the car's accessory power outlet. The kit functions safely in temperatures ranging from minus 20° F to 1400° F, under wet or dry conditions, and is easy, fast and clean to use. Similar inflator kits are successfully used by Mercedes and BMW, and Corvettes sold in Japan have been using this inflator kit since the introduction of the C5 in 1997. The latex compound in the tire inflator kits is not compatible with the tire valves used in Corvette's standard tire pressure monitoring system, so regular tire valves are used and that option is not offered on the Z06. There is a mass reduction of just over a half-pound as a result.

  • The Z06 receives several other refinements in addition to its unique engine, suspension, wheels and tires that either help it to be more functional or serve to differentiate its appearance, sometimes both.

  • On the Z06 only, both the windshield and backlite have been thinned to save weight. But resistance to stone chipping has been maintained. A total of 5.7 pounds was eliminated. There is cabin quietness as a result. But in a car like the Z06, we don't think anyone will care. Reducing the Z06's overall weight, boosting its power output by 40 hp, and broadening its operating range, made a significant improvement in the car's power-to-weight ratio. All told, Z06 is the lightest Corvette 38 pounds lighter than the former hardtop, 99 pounds lighter than the 2001 coupe and 95 pounds lighter than the 2001 convertible at just 3115 pounds. And remember, it's all about power-to-weight ratio.

Of course, I guess it depends on what your definition of "a little bit of work" actually is..........
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Unread 05-14-2006, 08:27 PM   #5
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Another polite disagree'er here.. likely the most noticible difference in straightline acceleration is attributable to the M12 (Z06 Only) 6 Speed tranny.. Combine this one key element with all the weight reduction you just can not replicate, suspension, and don't forget the LS6's build uniqueness.. Quite a bit more than a little bit of work for a coupe or vert to mimic the Z06.. Owning one of each.. the '04 Z16 and the '99 Coupe.. the '99 has more than 405 HP with all Jake & Brian Delaney has done tune-wise.. and the car still can't hold a candle to the stock Z16.. Dave Hill built a monster C-5 with this last of the 5th Gen Z's. No, it's not a C6Z.. Thats a whole different car..
His.. '99 Delco/Mongoose 400SS Targa Coupe - 1ROKNC5
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Hers.. '04 Commemorative Edition Z16 Z06 - REDS Z06
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