Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Affordable Supercar Series (ASS)

There are only a few things that a 16 year old boy thinks about on a daily basis.  In no certain order, these thoughts circulate around food, video games, girls'"personalities", and big horsepower numbers.  The car that produced the biggest numbers at a fraction of the cost of most supercars back when I was 16 was the 2002 Corvette Z06.

The fifth generation of the venerable Corvette ran from 1997 to 2004.  The Z06 didn't arrive until 2001 and it was heralded as the descendant of the ultimate Vette, the C4 ZR-1.  The car originally was introduced packing a healthy 385 horsepower from a 5.7 liter LS6 V8.  However, the second year of the Z06's existence is what grabbed everyone's attention.  Chevy decided to redesign the intake, camshaft, pistons, valves and valve springs.  The LS6 now broke that magical 400 horsepower barrier with 405.  Chevy even commemorated this with 405hp badges on the fenders.
In addition to a 405 horsepower motor, the American icon received uprated suspension, lighter wheels, fatter rubber, and a revised gearbox.  These upgrades allowed for amazing performance numbers.  Zero to sixty sprints were done in around 4 seconds.  1320 feet disappeared in 12 seconds.  Side loads on the skidpad reached numbers as high as 1.07g.  These numbers were comparable to the Porsche Turbo and Ferrari 360 Modena.  Remember that the Vette costs half as much as those cars.  This generation Z06 marked the Corvette's return to supercar status on an international level.
The main problems with this Z06, as with a growing teenager, are a 20/20 hindsight, impending maturity, and a younger, faster generation.  All of this is summed up in the 2005 C6 Corvette with the Z51 suspension package.  It is newer, smaller, just as fast, just as sticky, and has a much more refined interior.  Regardless of which year you choose, each can be had for around $25,000 without much searching.

If Corvettes are your cup o' tea, you can't do much better from a cost/performance standpoint than the cars from the past 10 years.  Considering the past ASS and how long it took to write about the Corvette, it would seem I no longer hold a love for the car.  I respect its abilities but am attracted to other cars on a more basic emotional level.  The Maserati Gransport sounds like sex.  The Aston Martin looks like sex.  The Acura NSX drives likes sex.  The Corvettes, on the other hand, are like that female Olympic medalist who had her gender questioned.  They do what they are supposed to do very well but it's definitely not the kind of "personalities" that teenage boys want.

No comments:

Post a Comment