2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: What Would You Get?
June 28, 2010
So if one Corvette is good, two is even better, right? It's been interesting having the long-term Z06 around since my personal car is a 2008 Corvette coupe. It's so much Corvette that I had to borrow a gold chain necklace from Z06-lovin' Magrath and double-up. (Just kidding, of course. I don't actually have a gold chain ... as far as you know.) But it has been interesting to compare the two cars. Some observations follow after the jump.
Power: Both cars feel about the same. Actually, I'd say our Z06 seems quicker just because it's louder and harder-edged. But our track testing revealed a 4.5-second zero-to-60 mph, which should be right around the same time for my car.
Transmission: The Z06 has the heavier clutch and shifter. You have to be deliberate when driving it, which has some appeal in that it's almost the opposite of cars like the Nissan GT-R, where you do virtually nothing to shift. The base C6's clutch seems too light in comparison, but the reduced clutch effort does make the C6 easier to drive in traffic, and its shifter is quicker.
Handling: I can't comment on this much since I haven't driven our Z06 on a race track or curvy road. If you go by our recent Corvette test, the Z06 is a bit of handful to drive. It should improve when we get new tires on. But my general impression is that I wouldn't have as much faith pushing the Z06 on a bumpy public road.
Interior: Not surprisingly, this is the biggest difference. The C6 has a much nicer cabin both in terms of quality and appearance. It also has real cupholders, door bins and a rear hatchback, all of which really come in handy on a daily usability standpoint.
What would I chose? Well, I suppose the answer is obvious since I spent my own money on a new C6. But there's definitely a lot of appeal to our Z06. It's cheap, ridiculously fast, cool-sounding and has been running strong ever since we remedied the engine knock issue.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 48,601 miles