By Alex Lloyd
November 24, 2014 1:00 AM
If you ever race at Road Atlanta, pack your big boy undies. As you exit the final chicane, bouncing over the blind right-hand crest with your foot firmly planted to the floor – chugging every single one of the 650 horses on tap like Jim Morrison emptying a bar of all its vodka – you arrive at the track’s notorious 12th turn. Just a small lift is all it takes, keeping the minimum speed pegged at 110 mph. The wall is feet from the edge of the track, taunting you to lift further. You see tire marks revealing the perils of wrongdoings – a vast trail of destruction. But in this car, you needn’t fret. As Harry Hogge famously said in Days of Thunder, “you can hold it.”
The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 has widely been presumed — before a single soul outside of the company has even driven it — to be one of the best machines GM has ever built. I refused to get sucked into these presumptions, but I must admit, on paper – 650 hp, 650 lb-ft of torque; 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds and winglets that appear fresh off the C7.R Le Mans car — it does sound bloody amazing.
After spending a day in the Z06 at Road Atlanta followed by another on the Georgian country roads, I finally have my definitive answer: Yes, the Z06, which will go on sale for around $79,000 ($89,000 with the Stage 3 aero kit), is an absolute masterpiece. It’s the best Corvette I’ve ever driven, and yet it’s not without issues.