Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Living in the Z06's Shadow

     We see them all the time; standard C6 Corvettes in both coupe and convertible form being driven by middle aged men and women as a "mid-life crisis" car.  I see so many of them, in fact, that I stopped acknowledging the C6 Corvette as anything more than a $50k vessel for those with graying hair and no sense of originality.  When I see a C6, my only thought is "well, it's not a Z06...let alone a ZR1."  I'm sure I am not the only one who has had this same feeling while tailgating another dark red C6 who's following the speed limit down to the last mile per hour.  We may see C6 Corvettes more than we do Toyota Camrys, but this mid-life crisis sports car does deserve some credit.

     The unfortunate truth about the C6 'Vette is that it lives in the shadow of the Z06.  What is 430 horsepower compared to 550?  Not only that, but the Z06 looks infinitely better with it's widened fenders, thick wheels, big brakes, and more aggressive front fascia.  Why pay any attention to the standard C6?  Because it's fast.  We may not acknowledge the 'Vette for what it is because we see them everywhere, but they really are fantastic cars.  A C6 Corvette with its standard 6.2 liter LS3 aluminum V8 uses its 430 horses to thrust the car to a 4.2 second 0-60mph and a mid to low 12 second quarter mile.  If you heard those statistics without knowing the make or model of the car, you would be impressed.  It's only when you figure out it's a C6 'Vette that you stop caring.

     Despite the fact that this car is typically owned by the entire field of high middle-class men and woman and is never driven to its full potential, I simply ask that you recognize this car for its performance instead of its stereotypical consumer base.  Sure, most of the people who buy a 'Vette pick up one with an automatic transmission and never drive it above 75mph, but what if this car was in the hands of someone who loved cars and opted for the manual transmission?  It would be a dream machine.

     The standard Corvette C6 is not a Z06 or a ZR1.  Of course, it is also $25k and $60k cheaper, respectively.  The reason this Corvette has become the spitting image of a mid-life crisis is because it's $50k price tag puts it out of range for most people below the age of 40 who would prefer to drive this car the way it is meant to be driven.  Also, anyone who can afford one but loves cars will typically just opt for the Z06 which limits the C6 consumer base to mostly non-car loving, semi-successful businessmen.  With all of that put aside, if your buddy showed up in your driveway with a 2011 C6 'Vette and let you take her for a spin, you would fall in love.

No comments:

Post a Comment