Ah, Jeremy Clarkson. The guy we used to hate because of his biases against America, American cars and the Chevrolet Corvette, who then shocked us with naming the Corvette Stingray his car of the year now appears to be back to his old form. You threw us for a curve last year in your praise of the C7 Corvette Stingray, but seriously, we knew it wouldn’t last.
Now comes your review of the Corvette Z06 in The Sunday Times and I feel like I’ve flashbacked to 2008.
From a recent tweet, we knew Jeremy was testing a Corvette Z06 and his Sunday Driving review in driving.co.uk is about as cold and depressing as the weather conditions at the Thruxton racing circuit in Hampshire where the test (and tweet) was conducted. Jeremy doesn’t appear to be a fan of the location either, calling it depressing and describing mildewy portable building and a boarded up burger van at the “second division British racing circuit”.
Clarkson begins the setup of his 2015 Corvette Z06 review by bashing Americans and American Optimism from his first paragraph: “Talking to an American about stuff is like talking to a child who’s going to the zoo.” He then sets his sights on some of the Corvette’s marketing along with the claims from Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter that “Its [Corvette Z06] aerodynamic downforce performance is massive and unlike anything we’ve ever tested in any street car.”
We as Americans are hopelessly gullible for having taken Tadge at his word when he said that no other car in the history of testing at the GM wind tunnel facility has shown the same level of aerodynamic downforce. “We here in Europe scoff at this sort of thing,” says Clarkson who takes the Tadge’s claim to mean “You designed it, so you’re hardly likely to say it’s a bit crap.”
So six paragraphs into the review starts the actual review. And guess what? Clarkson hates everything about the Corvette Z06. He claims the car was designed to only look good in a brochure with the reasoning that the carbon fiber hood, titanium intake valves, composite floor panels and the option of carbon ceramic brakes are only there to give the owner boasting rights at the golf club or shooting range.
Jeremy spends three paragraphs talking about the exhaust note from the Corvette Z06. “Ever heard a Harrier hover? Well, it’s like that. Except it’s louder.” He then goes on to call the car “evil” as well:
This car is evil. You turn into a corner and there’s some quite pronounced understeer. You give it a dab of power to solve the problem but because there’s so much torque, the back end doesn’t start to come loose. It lets go completely.
He doesn’t like the steering, calling it twitchy, and the Michelin Cup tires combined with the Z06’s grunty torque make the Corvette Z06 difficult to drive: “The only solution is to drive very slowly indeed” says the auto journalist.
In the setup, Clarkson felt the need to explain that he did like the 2015 Corvette Stingray. If not for the “scrap-metal-dealer image” and the left-wheel drive, the new Corvette is a car he would own. But with the Z06, Jeremy’s recommendation is that it looks great on your driveway so keep it there.
You can read Clarkson’s entire diatribe at driving.co.uk. I recommend wearing your American optimism on your sleeve to make it through the whole thing.
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