Motor Trend Retests The 2015 Corvette Z06 With Much Better Results14
It caused quite an uproar for Corvette loyalists when Motor Trend named the Nissan GT-R Nismo the victor of a passed Head to Head matchup. The comparo saw a Velocity Yellow Corvette Z06 do its best to dethrone Nissan’s Godzilla. At the end of the day, MT saw the GT-R as the better of the two, though.
But, they brought the car back for another go around. It’s not often a car gets a second chance, but the guys and gals at MT felt the 2015 Corvette Z06 was deserving of it. Especially because they felt the Z06 was seriously underperforming.
They were right.
An obscure problem was plaguing the Z06 during its last go-around. Specifically, Randy Pobst called it out, saying the rear was having issues putting, and keeping, the power down. This left a sour taste in Pobst’s mouth on the Z06. After some investigation, it turns out the test car Chevrolet sent MT had a rear suspension out of alignment. The publication reports the car should have been running zero degrees of rear caster, when in fact, the car was running at positive two degrees caster, making the rear dampers less effective at controlling the rear suspension.
It’s normally impossible to even adjust rear canter on a road-going vehicle, but Chevrolet incorporated this into the Z06 to be better aligned for track duty. Somehow, it became out of whack.
With the problem fixed, it was off to Spring Mountain Motor Resort in Nevada to see what the Z06 could really do. Previously, the Z06 clocked a 1:27.10 with the jumbled rear suspension. This time, it did 2.1-seconds better, checking in at 1:25.00 even, a very notable improvement, and seven tenths of a second faster than the Nismo.
But the rear suspension wasn’t the only thing changed. Chevrolet also listened to buyer feedback, with consumers, and Pobst, noting an extremely rough ride during track times. The Corvette team had done most of their testing at newer, smoother, raceways, not on rougher circuits. The addition is a Rough Track mode for the Z06, which is planned for the GM Performance catalog as a software update should buyers like to add the feature.
It was enough to garner some much needed praise from Pobst as he exited his first few laps with the following comments:
Way better than it was last time! This was so much nicer to drive. Oh my gosh. The butterflies are gone. The fear is gone. There was a lot of fear in the car before. Just the handling, I trusted it way more. I still don’t experience a push anywhere. All the way around the Turn 2 carousel, it feels like I have very little steering in the car. Really balanced. Even the tail, the tail may be coming, but in a no-fear kind of way, like, wow, this thing’s really balanced!
So the issues were solved, and everyone went home all smiles, right? Maybe not for the Z06. Despite the car’s improvements with the new track mode, and fixing the minor quirk in the rear, MT called their initial test a “mistrial.” Fairly so. Without putting both cars back-to-back again, they found it impossible to declare a true winner.
Do we smell a rematch? We think we smell a rematch.
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Great job identifying and correcting the issues of the Z06! It’s certainly unfortunate for Chevy to have sent a ‘Vette with the rear suspension improperly aligned, and why are there still the slight issues related to the car’s overheating! I hope there’s a permanent fix for this issue! I know the problem is said to mostly impact professional drivers doing multiple laps, and not the average owner of the Z06. But it still dampens confidence in purchasing one!
But still. The Z06 with the proper suspension alignment along with the new Rough Track Mode update, it’s even an even better supercar slayer! And wouldn’t you know it: MT actually got a faster lap time with the 7-Speed manual than with the 8-speed automatic! Which goes to show you that the manual is and always will be superior to slush boxes! Now a sophisticated DCT could bring some dignity to the automatic; but the manual still reigns!!!
And you are a bullshit because for me, the 8 – speed automatic will REIGN OVER THE MANUAL FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“And wouldn’t you know it: MT actually got a faster lap time with the 7-Speed manual than with the 8-speed automatic! Which goes to show you that the manual is and always will be superior to slush boxes! Now a sophisticated DCT could bring some dignity to the automatic; but the manual still reigns!!!”
Really now? You don’t think the suspension realignment was to credit here, but the transmission?
You’re this close to me bring out JJ, but you’re still missing the point. Autos can learn and program themselves on the fly so when you’re on a track, they’ll know when to shift….and they’ll do so reliability and consistently; better than ANY manual could ever do in the hands of even the most capable driver. No manual, irrespective of the over-confidence of the driver, will ever out perform an auto. Not in shift times, not in reliability, not in efficiency, and not in demanding performance applications.
It’s the reason why all sports cars offer autos and seldom ever offer a manual; the people driving the cars want to go fast and not waste time shifting. Consider the Nissan GTR. Why would Nissan ever offer a true manual in that car? Because they know that doing so would make the GTR worse and at a detriment to it’s competitors, even with its vaunted launch control system and VQ.
And of course even the worst DSG will outgun a manual. When shift times are being measured in less than 100ms, what could a manual transmission offer? A throwback memory to when the driver had their 120hp beater Civic in college?
So the point is just to “want to go fast”? If that’s all the more thrill you’re looking for just go to an amusement park and you will get to go fast on a roller coaster. The point of having a manual in a car is to have more control of when the car shifts and also to feel involved with the car. If the auto makers would spend as much money fine tuning their manual transmissions as they do their automatics, we mite have a better and faster transmission. As to your statement of automatics always be faster that’s up to the driver. One of my friend’s manual car he could only do a 0-60 in 7.3 sec. We put a fellow in it that can shift without using the clutch ( by getting rpms right) and he got it down to 5.9 sec 0-60. The same is true for any manual transmission car.
I get all that, Grawdaddy, but 1justin sees what I’m getting at. My point is that real drivers prefer the manual for the pure thrill of the drive, and not just to go fast like the typical auto enables. Didn’t you read the article on MT? Randy Postb tested both the manual and the automatic. Plus both had the proper suspension alignment and Rough Track Mode update. While both lap times were similar, the manual bested the auto by .76 seconds, which is an impressive feat considering the advantage the “faster shifting than a PDK” tranny has in quicker shift times. And in the process it trumped DCT-powered GTR.
Again, I see the value and advantages of a well-implemented automatic, but my point is that, in the hands of a skilled driver, the manual is supreme! What the auto can’t bring you is the fun-too-drive factor! Even Mr. Postb said the auto got lazy and needed to practically be reminded it’s being used for track duty! Sure he preferred the convenience of it, but pointed out the superiority of the manual!
So it’s a matter of preference, and GM delivers in this regard!
I agree with Jamel and 1Justin about this auto thing. Just a few years ago an automatic in a sports car was laughed at. Granted, technology has made autos a lot better but there’s no substitute for shifting a nice manual. So what if an auto may be a couple tenths quicker 0-60 or around a track, those are just bragging rights.
Some people like to jump on the new tech bandwagon, personally I prefer the enjoyment of shifting a manual. I would never buy an automatic Corvette as long as a manual is available.
But for me , I prefer the TRUE enjoyment and convenience of an automatic. I WOULD buy an automatic as long as an automatic Corvette IS available!
The gain for manual transmission is very marginal. This was done by a pro, chances are that most people won’t clutch that good and it safe to say that automatic is the way to go for almost everyone expected some serious racer. But than again you can still clutch manually with automatic so it’s best of both world
I don’t care what MT says abut the competition. The Chevrolet Corvette is far superior than ANY foreign sportscar in price, performance, and economy. Only the Tesla Motors Model S version P85D can beat it (with no gas, BTW), yet it costs over $40,000 more. Both are American quality cars!
I want this car will be tested with the automatic gearbox 8LE90 that GM has prepared, so if going to be really competitive
Regards from Spain
MT did actually test the 8-speed auto in this retest as well and were surprised when the manual clocked faster times. Therefore I didn’t mention it here.
So was it Spring Mountain or Willow Springs? The previous test was at Willow Springs so I’m thinking this one was, as well.
So Motor Trend needs to make a new magazine saying the Z06 corvette is the real winner?? Value and Performance!!
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