When Motor Trend had the 2012 Corvette Z06 Centennial Edition in their garage a month ago, not only did they test the car against last year’s Z06, but they also put it up against 10 other sports cars in a comparison test Motor Trend calls the “Best Driver’s car”. These big time productions rarely produce anything more than bragging rights in the comments section and a steady supply of cool automotive videos. Normally I would jump right in and start dissecting the results, but after seeing the Corvette’s ranking and who these wizards of smart voted a better driver’s car than the Z06, I think I might just go ahead and skip to the cool videos.
Okay, I can’t completely dismiss the story. For those that care, here is the link to the 10-page recap and results of Motor Trend’s Best Driver’s Car. Apparently, the Corvette Z06 destroyed all 10 contenders in the lap around Laguna Seca, finishing more than a second faster than the second place Ferrari 458. The 505-hp Corvette was flat out faster than every other contender in the comparison. The Z06 stopped faster (60-0 mph in 94 feet) than the others and posted the fastest (ever!) figure-eight time (22.8 Sec @0.98 G).
For all the performance upgrades over the last couple of years and (gasp!) GM listening to its customer base who demanded better rubber, Motor Trend ranks the 2012 Corvette Z06 Centennial Edition at #6 out of 11 cars. The reason? The seats suck and really, all that performance is due to the Michelin Pilot Sport Cups tires anyways.
That’s like telling Michael Jordan it was just the shoes.
And if that doesn’t set you off, take note that ranking #5 was the Mustang Boss 302 and #4 was the Porsche Cayman R. Really. Here are the sports cars tested and how they ranked:
- FERRARI 458 ITALIA
- NISSAN GT-R
- PORSCHE 911 GT3 RS
- PORSCHE CAYMAN R
- Ford MUSTANG BOSS 302 LAGUNA SECA
- CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06 Z07
- AUDI R8 GT
- MERCEDES-BENZ SLS AMG
- LEXUS LFA
- BMW 1 SERIES M COUPE
- LOTUS EVORA S
Like I said, these tests rarely produce anything more than fodder for the comment sections, forums and blogs. Since we know the Corvette Z06 kicked ass where it counted, it’s time to move on to the cool videos.
This first video is Motor Trend test driver Randy Pobst behind the wheel for the 2012 Corvette Z06 Centennial Edition’s hot lap around Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. The Corvette Z06 posted the fastest lap time of 1:34.43. The Ferrari 458 Italia was second at 1:36.22. For comparison, Oliver Gavin’s qualifying time in the Corvette C6.R at 2010′s ALMS race at Laguna was 1:23.101.
Following the Motor Trend test, the 2012 Corvette was returned to GM and the car was displayed at the 2011 Corvettes at Carlisle show last month. During the factory presentation, chief engineer Tadge Juechter commented that the car looked like it had seen some track time. Another interesting fact is that this Corvette that was thrashed around Laguna Seca is VIN #00001 of the 2012 model year.
Finally, here is the grand-daddy of all stunts: Motor Trend holds an 11-car quarter mile drag race. With a multiple stationary cameras and a fleet of Go-Pros, it’s pure automotive adrenaline to see and hear all eleven cars lined up and revving to go. The count down begins and then all cars sprint down the runway.
Once you spot the Corvette to the right of the bright Yellow Ferrari, watch the launch sequence as it appears two different runs were edited together. The first view clearly shows the Corvette Z06 got off the line faster than the Yellow Ferrari and the Porsche GT3 which is on the Corvette’s right. But then an angle provided by a helicopter shows both the Ferrari and the GT3 got off the line first with the Corvette Z06 struggling mightily for grip. At the end, the times that are displayed with the cars finish actually comes from the earlier Motor Trend test and not the actual drag race. So I am thinking the ending was staged to reproduce the quarter mile times recorded earlier in the individual tests.
So there you have it. The Corvette Z06 performed admirably and did what was expected. Unfortunately, we’ve also got the same old tired criticisms that seems to precede the Corvette in these major comparisons.
[VIDEO] Motor Trend Tests the 2012 Corvette Z06 Centennial Edition
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[VIDEO] Supercharged Corvette Z06 vs Koenigsegg CCXR