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Old 03-18-2007, 04:32 PM   #1
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Corvette C6 Day-test - Impressions

Hey all, tried out a C6 for a day. Thought I'd give my impressions. It was optioned with everything pretty much. It was an automatic 6-speed with the paddle shifters.

First, the good. Oh the power! The mighty V8 was quite omnipresent. You could start from a stop in third gear without problem (probably fourth too, but it wouldn't let me shift there). First gear went to a healthy 48mph. The most noticeable difference was at higher speeds, the car just keeps wanting to blast forward even as you past 100. I didn't take it up too far, but honestly some times I would look down and just forget how quickly it can be going too fast. It handled pretty well, turn in was relatively tight and responsive. Definitely wanted to oversteer at the limit.

The ride was surprisingly supple, I expected bump-city. I could do the everyday thing in a C6 no problem (the Boxster is so much worse). The HUD is really useful, even tho the styling is a bit basic. I relied on it exclusively after the first 5 minutes. The paddle-shifters worked out pretty nicely for an auto, they didn't automatically override or shift for you (like the Z4), so it stayed wherever you left it. Sat-nav was decent, the interior not as bad as I expected. Still plastic, but not really obnoxiously cheap.

And now the bad, dear lord the top! It was the convertible, and the top lowering process is pathetic. You have to open up the top latch, the rear hatch, get outside, lift the back of the top and pull the hatch out...just too much to do. And it does intrude on trunk space when you have stuff that slides around back there. GM just can't build a decent top mechanism. Maybe someone from Mazda needs to show them how some day...

Handling-wise, the one main complaint I have is the rear end suspension. Both me and a friend tested it, and we decided it was not necessarily the leaf springs, but maybe just the spring rate. If you hit even a moderate bump on the road, the rear just wants to leap over a few inches to either side, and heaven forbid you do it on a sweeper. I was taking a long freeway ramp around (very little throttle), and the car musta jumped over a foot over this one seam, a little heart-stop at 60. It was not the confidence-inspiring ride that the Boxster gives at all. And it really made me tentative after awhile. Also, couldn't for the life of me get the traction control to fully turn off, so no breaking the tires loose more than a bit.

Besides that the sound system was kinda blah and the car was just too...gadgety. Between the fully electric doors and all this auto-stuff, it just started to take away from the experience after awhile. Although my most important personal discovery was perhaps the most helpful, the law of diminishing returns. The mighty 400hp/400ftlbs engine was incredible, but not amazingly impressive...really. It's all rather useless in daily driving, and you realize that at the end of the day it does nothing more than shorten that momentary climb from 80-100 and beyond moreso than say a Boxster.

Driving the corvette just doesn't inspire confidence like the boxster, it's that certain something that defines an awesome driver's car. It's quite a beast, and I would be proud to own one, but I would always dream of something else...

...boxster with an engine swap!

-David
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:44 PM   #2
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well they concetrate on raw power and handling and styling, but for the top (or how it goes up or down) they dont care. after a few times you get used to it...
im sure they can make one, they just choose not to probably to save money and keep prices low
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:49 PM   #3
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Hi David,

Thanks for the review. I'm a Corvette fan, although I haven't driven or ridden in a C6.

What exactly do you mean by the "fully electric doors"?

I thought I read that the convertible top could be had as a manually operated unit, or an automated version. Is that not the case? I'm a little shocked that a heavily loaded car wouldn't have the auto-operating top.

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Old 03-18-2007, 04:55 PM   #4
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Same sentiments here. I dont think any car could beat a boxster with a 3.8 swap (and by any car I mean under 100K) on the track.
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:55 PM   #5
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I spend allot of time getting to play with Vette's, The Top on all Conv. C6's are power and in my opinion do very well, nice and tight when closed.
I'm not a huge fan of the Automatic but the 6 speed is a great car that I have to disagree and say it does inspire confidence.
The Z06 is just a huge amount of fun, I should have one to play with this week

DDB, the doors unlatch via an pressure switch.

That said, well you see what I own.
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Old 03-18-2007, 05:39 PM   #6
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Hey Marc, is there a power top available for C6s? Hmm..maybe it was left off this one for weight-savings or something, was it a model-year change? The only thing that was powered was the windows going down when you opened the latch.

Normally I might agree GM could do it...but then you look at the amazingly complex manual process for the Sky and the Solstice. Compare it to a Miata, and it's just kinda silly.

-David
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David N.
Hey Marc, is there a power top available for C6s? Hmm..maybe it was left off this one for weight-savings or something, was it a model-year change? The only thing that was powered was the windows going down when you opened the latch.

Normally I might agree GM could do it...but then you look at the amazingly complex manual process for the Sky and the Solstice. Compare it to a Miata, and it's just kinda silly.

-David
The power top is an option but I have never had one that did not have it. It works as well as a Boxster top

The Solstice/Sky are fun cars but that top is just awfull!
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:19 PM   #8
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David, the question on my mind is did you remember to wear a 14-karat four-finger ring that says MNY$, and what style of undershirt were you wearing during the test drive? If it had sleeves, then that might have been the cause of the inconsistent steering, and not the leaf-spring suspension.

Brucelee, Adam and 1JB...IM JUST KIDDING !
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:21 PM   #9
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David, the question on my mind is did you remember to wear a 14-karat four-finger ring that says MNY$, and what style of undershirt were you wearing during the test drive? If it had sleeves, then that might have been the cause of the inconsistent steering, and not the leaf-spring suspension.

Brucelee, Adam and 1JB...IM JUST KIDDING !

Well, when you drive your Boxster do you wear a skirt? It's a total chick car!
Stereotypes are great!
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:38 PM   #10
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I think the C6 and the 987 are the finest of their breed.

No need to demean either.

Tech note-the stock C5 and C6 both tend to rear end hop a bit. I understand their are aftermarket fixes for this for under a grand.

PS-It was interesting to see the Corvette C6Rs at Sebring yesterdayt passing the Ferrari and Porsches in GT2 class like they were sitting at a light.

The difference in those cars must be massive.
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David N.
If you hit even a moderate bump on the road, the rear just wants to leap over a few inches to either side, and heaven forbid you do it on a sweeper. I was taking a long freeway ramp around (very little throttle), and the car musta jumped over a foot over this one seam, a little heart-stop at 60. It was not the confidence-inspiring ride that the Boxster gives at all. And it really made me tentative after awhile.
-David
no way!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so glad you mentioned this....I will tell you all right now it is the worst feeling espectially in a C4 Vette....hit a bump and your heart stops especially if you are accelerating because it feels like the car is just going to spin out of control.....I have always wanted a yellow convertible vette and hoped they would have had this worked out by now......reading Bruce's post it doesn't seem like the newer versions have addressed it either.....I've had passengers go pale when that back end gives.....

one thing I do is really drive those on ramps with the boxster but with the vette....I just wait for the straight away
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:21 PM   #12
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I had a nice ride in a C6 Z06 on the track not so long ago and it was quite amazing. The power was UNREAL, and the sound fantastic. On the negative side, like you, I was very unimpressed with the interior quality and the ride quality. It weighs about the same as a Boxster S yet feels 1000 lbs heavier...how can that be?
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:21 PM   #13
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4 years ago I took my 1997 2.5 on a local Corvette drive. The name of the drive was grip and rip. I guess it was a C5 back then. Twice my horse power and about the same weight. I was the only Boxster.

Saw a lot of fat butts on that drive, but I caught them in the twisties.

I was hoping the C6 was not going to have that fat rear look, but it did. Plus it is longer then it needs to be.
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Old 03-19-2007, 01:25 AM   #14
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"David, the question on my mind is did you remember to wear a 14-karat four-finger ring that says MNY$, and what style of undershirt were you wearing during the test drive? If it had sleeves, then that might have been the cause of the inconsistent steering, and not the leaf-spring suspension.

Brucelee, Adam and 1JB...IM JUST KIDDING !"

Posted by SD987


Haha! I thought about showin da bling, although it was red and I would have preferred black. Fortunately I had something eye-catching along fer the ride

One more comment, she would have preferred a parka up in Malibu... With no rear deflector the cabin draft is pretty bad compared to the Boxster. Individual climate zones kinda nice, but 50 degree weather at 80mph and it's gone...

Put the top up? Are you kidding? It's a corvette!

-David
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Old 03-19-2007, 05:55 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by David N.
Handling-wise, the one main complaint I have is the rear end suspension. Both me and a friend tested it, and we decided it was not necessarily the leaf springs, but maybe just the spring rate. If you hit even a moderate bump on the road, the rear just wants to leap over a few inches to either side, and heaven forbid you do it on a sweeper. I was taking a long freeway ramp around (very little throttle), and the car musta jumped over a foot over this one seam, a little heart-stop at 60. It was not the confidence-inspiring ride that the Boxster gives at all. And it really made me tentative after awhile. -David
I came up driving hot-rodded Mustangs and this was my main complaint. My last GT had a full suspension kit, but with that solid rear axle, I was never able to eliminate the wheel hop and it used to scare the crap out of me on a regular basis. I am assuming the Vette has IRS so Bruce’s comment about fixability sounds reasonable to me.

On a side note, I got a ride last week in my buddy’s C6. The power was pretty impressive. I am sure it is an amazing track car (which is why he got it), but it just didn’t feel nearly as refined and put-together as my 987. I think the C6 is a great vehicle and is probably the right car for him, but I have now crossed it off of my list as a next car for me.
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