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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had an opportunity to test drive a new one today. A non-local dealer invited me to see after getting it in last week. They wanted too much for it, but I decided to see it anyway. I figured if I play my cards right, I'd get a chance to test drive it. I had to make a 350 mile round trip to find out, but I pleased to say, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Now I know what to expect when my ordered vehicle (through another dealer) finally arrives in a few months. The waiting has been killing me, so today's test drive was good medicine for what ails me. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

I had previously test driven several '01s at other dealers, so I have some basis for comparison. I wanted to find out how the new '02 exhaust sounds, as well as check out the new HUD feature. I was not certainly not disappointed. Both met my expectations and then some. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

First, a few words about the exhaust.

No question, I definitely like the exhaust sound!!! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

It makes a noticeable rumble when you stand behind the car and listen to the exhaust not coming from the tail pipes with the engine running at idle. Sitting inside the car, while still idling, the rumble was far less noticeable.

In fact, during my test drive, I found the exhaust to be relatively quiet at light throttle and driving around at slow speeds in city traffic. Even when you put your foot into it a little, it still seems rather quiet. BUT, as soon as the engine rpm gets up over 4500, it literally comes ALIVE and the sound will give you goose bumps. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

I agree with what several of the new owners have already stated . . . GM got the exhaust just about perfect and there is no reason to put on an aftermarket exhaust if all you're after is a better "sounding" exhaust. I'm sure you could put on one that makes it even louder, but IMO, louder is not necessarily "better".

As a point of reference, I felt latest Z06 exhaust sounds characteristically much the same as the '01 models I've driven, but I'm not the best qualified to judge that. I have not yet had nearly enough seat time in eiterh model year Z06s to notice any major difference, but I'm sure there are some.

However, I do feel a very similar exhaust is present in the Camaro Z28, especially the "SS" with SLP exhaust system. The Z06, however, is a bit raspier under hard acceleration, which again is a wonderful distinction.

I forgot to turn on the Bose stereo sound system during my test drive. But while parked back in the dealer's lot, I tried one of my favorite CDs. It sounded good, but nothing special. I think my C4 Bose "Gold" system actually sounds better. Let's just hope the reliability of the C5 system is far better. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif

Next, I had a few minutes to evalute the HUD on my test drive. Nothing really new since a few model years back in the coupe and verts, but nice to have now as standard equipment in the Z06. It's a shame it was not offered last year too.

Those that take there cars to the track will love it. I think it will be a very useful safety feature even on the highway, especially for "open road" racers.

I suspect it is easier to see driving at night but it's illumination during the day and the brightness adjustment is more than adequate even when there is glare from the Sun on the windshield.

Other than speedometer and rpm readouts, always displayed, there are three switch selectable gauge display "pages", oil (press?), temp (coolant?) and fuel capacity, all in the form of a shared vertical (segmented) bar graph. The higher the bar the greater the pressure, temperature, or fuel level respectively.

Only one of the three can be on the HUD's projected display screen at a time. You need to press the PAGE button to the left of the steering wheel on the dash to toggle from one to the next and then back to the first. The page button is unidirectional.

There may be one or two other things always on the HUD display but I forgot what they are. Anybody know?

I was checking out a Quicksilver Z06 and the build and paint quality was very good.

I did notice that the driver side headlight door was not very well aligned within the hood cutout for that headlight assembly. The passenger side was fine. I've noticed the same misalignment on other new C5 cars at the same dealership. Maybe this is a common problem at the factory for ALL C5s?

The ten spoke wheels, now spin cast aluminum alloy, made by speedline, look exactly the same to me as last year. I've heard the side edges are a bit more rounded and that may be. Wheel color paint and clearcoating process still looks the same too.

In the short time this car has been doing laps around the dealership, with only 15 miles on the odo when I took the wheel, I did notice more brake dust build up on the rims. I did not check the difference in accumulation between front and rear, but presumably the front rims will accumulate more brake dust than the rears.

Regardless, I think it will be more work to keep these wheels clean and necessitate more frequent trips to the car wash. With twice as many spokes as the coupe and convertible five spoke wheels, the Z06 wheels will undoubtedly be a lot more work to keep looking nice. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_eek.gif

Speaking of wheels, I sighted along the side of the Z06 from back to front or vice versa and it is apparently the tires stick outside the fender wells slightly, especially on the front end. The wider rims may be better for handling and traction, but the wheel offsets are incorrect to keep them from sticking out too far.

This may have been intentional to gain a wider stance, again for better handling. To claim the Z06 can generate 1g in a turn may have necessitated this inherent compromise.

Just to be sure, I sighted along a 2002 Coupe and Convertible with the five spokes, both standard and polished and found they do not stick out of the wheel wells at all.

For better "looks" at the expense of better handling, a set of five spokes from the other Corvettes, with rim width 1" less, should solve this problem, if the owner is so inclined or would rather have the EMT for better traction in the rainy season. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif

Is the 2002 Z06 worth an additional $1500 compared to last year's model? I would say, definitely YES!!! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

496 Posts
I rode in a friends new 2002 Z06 on Saturday and I must say that the exhaust sound is really great. I would not go with an aftermarket exhaust on the 02. It had plenty of low rumble and quite a bit of pop on deceleration. Sounds much like the PRT's but maybe just a bit quieter.

The 02 Z06 is a great car and I think this time next year I'll probably be in the markte for one to replace the 01.
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