A thunderstorm threatened, but held off seemingly out of respect for the ground bound cacophony coming from Chevrolet's C5-R racing car. The new Le Mans-bound C5-R made an impression on more than the weather, its new red, silver, and blue paint scheme will grace commemorative edition Corvette ZO6s in 2004. Chevy is proud of its two-time 24 Hours of LeMans winner, and a limited run of LeMans blue ZO6s look-a-likes will honor its triumphs. Aside from the optional appearance package, the 2004 ZO6 features a lightweight carbon-fiber composite hood which pares 10.6 pounds out of the standard hood. That may not seem like a lot of weight, but every little bit of weight loss helps the ZO6's 405 horsepower work more effectively.
Once the C5-R team finished their morning testing it was our turn to lap the course in the new ZO6. The LS-6's 405 horsepower has the curious ability to shrink an otherwise inviting racetrack into a narrow blur of apexes and asphalt, but the ZO6 has brakes and grip to survive the melee. Brake dive and abrupt transitions expose a general softness in the ZO6's chassis, but it is this compliance that makes the ZO6 accommodating as a daily driver. Tuned at the famous Nurburgring new shock valving promises to provide firmer yet smoother body control. On the relatively flat course the difference was minute.... Read full article