The 2016 C7 Corvette Z06, or Big Nasty, didn’t have the best showing at Motor Trend’s annual Best Driver’s Car competition. Big things were expected from the C7 Z06 at Laguna Seca but, at the end of the day, MT had no choice but to mark a DNF for the car.
Initially, the Corvette team blamed the bogged down power on a mix of 91 octane in California, but there was no getting around the fact the 2016 C7 Z06 showed up with worn brake pads. During the most recent Ask Tadge thread on CorvetteForum, Chief Corvette Engineer Tadge Juechter himself offered up the real explanation of the unfortunate happenings.
Foremost, the C7 Z06 delivered to MT went off the track during Car and Driver’s Lightning Lap competition. The Corvette team worked diligently to ensure the car was track ready, polished up and fixed in time for its next quest.
Unfortunately, in the process, the team overlooked the brake pads, and Juechter assured fans the inspection process has already been revamped so something like that never happens again.
“In the few days we had to prep the car for Motor Trend, we did a tremendous amount of work to make sure the car was safe, capable and pretty. In our haste, two things were missed. We always replace brake pads before delivering a car, but this was missed. I can’t remember this ever happening before, but it did. We have since changed our pre-test check procedure so this can never happen again.”
As to why the 2016 Z06 was down on power and behaved like a lazy dog on the track, Juechter and the team identified a bad electrical connection on the intercooler pump for the supercharger. Basically, the supercharger was working on and off the entire time.
Juechter explained it further stating, “One of our pre-loan checks is to bleed the intercooler circuit to make sure there is no air in it. Some customer complaints about overheating Z06s have been traced to improperly bled intercoolers. The technician doing the work plugged in the electrical connector for the intercooler pump and it seemed to seat and ‘click’ into position, but the secondary latching mechanism did not fully lock into position leading to intermittent operation.”
He also revealed MT will feature the C7 Z06 in another upcoming comparison for a chance to redeem itself from “Big Disappointment,” back to “Big Nasty.”