And they might give it a power bump while they’re at it.
Back in January of this year, Jonny Lieberman and Jason Cammisa of Motor Trend compared the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Dodge Viper ACR on an episode of "Head 2 Head." The duo concluded that the Corvette was a great car with unreal capability, but had left the factory unfinished and in need of some extra tuning. As it turns out, it isn’t only the chassis and suspension that needed tuning before the car was truly road-worthy: the mechanical components needed work too.
These findings were backed up by other Corvette Z06 horror stories about engines prematurely dying at low mileage and experiencing power loss induced by overheating components. The hardware problems are ones that need somewhat extensive engineering solutions to amend, and in the interest of making the Vette a reliable machine, GM is finishing the budget supercar. First on the list of items to fix is the overheating issue. As one would expect, a big pushrod V8 that’s straddled by a supercharger produces a lot of heat, so engineers like to ensure that plenty of cooling hardware is present to handle the additional load. However, Corvette Executive Engineer Tadge Juechter mentioned that 5% of owners still experience overheating.
Prematurely ended track sessions aren’t the only consequences of this. The intelligent computers inside the car keep the engine’s interests in mind and dumb down the power so that the additional heat doesn’t result in pre-ignition. To spare owners and GM from the humiliation of not being able to back up the tough talk that comes with owning a 650-horsepower machine, engineers are at work finding solutions. Chevy has promised an improved hood with “new” cooling vents (read: larger vents and more of them) as well as other undisclosed upgrades to prevent a meltdown. Power upgrades haven’t been mentioned but remain a possibility, meaning we could see a 700 horsepower Z06. For now, we’ll have to wait a few months for details.