2002 Chevrolet Corvette Long Term Road Test


2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Feels Old But In a Good Way

April 29, 2010

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Last night I had my first chance in the Corvette Z06. My first impression is that it feels older than it is. It's only a 2002. That's newer than my personal car, but it feels well used.

I'm glad, however, that the original owner got his money's worth while owning it. I feel bad for my car at times when I pass it in the garage and walk over to a Corvette instead. A car should be driven.

Here are my general first impressions:

Spooling through our underground garage, I kept triggering the traction light, so I figured I better calm down. I wasn't going fast but all of those turns drove the Vette crazy.

But I left the office late and traffic had settled down. I sat at the light at the top of the freeway entrance and smiled. The empty road looked out enticingly before me and I was sitting on the back of a bull. The car shook with anticipation. This Vette really moves.

The shifter takes some muscle. No light little German shifting in this baby. The distance from first to second seems like a yard. But you connect to it and really feel you are in command of the car. It's very satisfying.

Much to my dismay, I discovered our Vette has that damn 1-4 skip shift feature. It took me by surprise after I exited the freeway. I really dislike that and the car doesn't seem to like it either. After that I just held onto first until the light went out. I like feeling that travel from first to second.

This morning's commute was the complete opposite. I even left late to avoid the rush. But the travel gods were against me and I got stuck at every red light on every hill possible. But this Corvette doesn't roll back much, which is nice. I expected an 8-year-old car to go into backwards freefall.

Like the shifter, the clutch requires some muscle. Good thing I had all of those ballet lessons. By the time I got to the office, my calf had a good workout and my left foot was actually getting numb from the pedal. But small price to pay for such a great ride.

I apologize, I forgot to take a picture. The one above is by Kurt Niebuhr.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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