2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Baby's Got Some New Shoes
November 15, 2010
So there's this turn I take every night on my way home. It's just past my freeway offramp and it's a sharp hairpin left with a yield sign. The last time I sliced through it in our long-term 'Vette, the back end got pretty squirelly. Maneuvers like that tend to have those results when you're on worn-out tires. With the new Bridgestone RE760s in place, though, the Z06 had a very different reaction...
It tracked through -- quickly, and without any tire screeches. It's not that I try to break cars loose in this turn, it just tends to point out when a car doesn't handle well. "Wow," I muttered to myself, "that was different."
I was stuck at the next signal, eyebrow raised. I gave it a little more juice off the line, expecting a tiny bit of wheelspin. Nothing. The rear tires dug in and shot me out the other side. I never drove the Corvette when the previous tires were in their prime, so I can't really say if these new Bridgestones are a step up. What I can say, however, is that these new tires are up to the task of handling the wallop of torque coming from the driveline.
On a side note, I noticed the Z06 got quite a few looks over the weekend. Granted, in one instance I was in first gear and hopped off the throttle to get that wonderful burble. A pack of Japanese tourists on Melrose stood on the corner slack-jawed, frozen in place by the wonderful growl and pop. Then a very attractive limousine chauffeur was pacing me on Sunset Boulevard. She gave me a very sweet smile as she overtook me on the right. Who knew? I thought that in car-jaded L.A., where Corvettes are a dime-a-dozen, our Z06 wouldn't be able to turn heads unless it was scraping its splitter in a dip or high-centering on my driveway.
Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor