2002 Chevrolet Corvette Long Term Road Test


2002 Chevy Corvette Z06: They don't make 'em like this anymore

April 14, 2010

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Wow, what a car.

"It's a beast." warned Scott Oldham when I told him I had the keys to our 2002 Z06 for the weekend-- the first time I've been able to drive it without fear of knocking the engine into pieces. "Be careful."

And he's right, the Z06 is a monster. It's scary. Scarier than a new Z06. Scarier than a new Viper. Not because it's faster, but because it's sort of bad and not as well sorted as those other, newer cars. Nail the gas from virtually any speed (and we're talking really nail the gas here, no feathering or gradual application, just stomp it to the floor.) and the Z06 claws and shimmies and shakes and sort of scuttles it's way forward hunting for traction. The chassis twists and the steering gets spooky light and it's just awesome. Hit a bump or pavement inconsistency during that and hold tight, it's about to get all sorts of crazy.

And it's in this vein that the Z06 excels, doing something I wish the new Camaro would do: Roll along near the middle/top of first, 20-30 mph and, again, like a goon, just stand on the gas. From this speed the Z06 absolutely melts its rear tires. Do it right and you can leave rubber from a roll. The Camaro doesn't do that. The Camaro just goes forward faster.

Sure the Z06 is stupid fast when you drive like a grown-up, but who wants to be one of those guys all the time? Not us as evidenced by our recent burnout competition, that, btw, would have been owned by this Z06.

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 45,402 miles

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