The thing with the new ZO6 Corvette is that it looks so inviting to drive, even when : it’s drop dead gorgeous, with that aggressive (and by the way very effective) aerodynamic carbon fiber wings and winglets black rims and the most perfect Corvette color possible, yellow. Thing is, you drik yourself into the car so much that you’ll forget about the conditions in a heartbeat.
Our friends at the Classic Car Club Manhattan let us have a short urban escape downtown despite of the rain. As the Club boss put it “it’s raining out. If you want to feel the car you’ll crash: that ‘vette is a fucking beast”. It didn’t take much for us to agree: plenty of horses and raindrops don’t mix very well. The keys were handed over by the friendly and arch Subaru WRX fan mechanic Mathias who was more than happy to share his time with us.
The ZO6 It’s one of those road cars that will make you feel like you own an actual race car. Getting inside the ZO6 feels like being Tommy Milner at the 24 hours of Daytona. You get immediately into the zone, getting ready to put the hammer down and make that beastly 6.2 liter supercharged, all-good-old-american pushrod V8. Push the start button and BOOM BABY! All your repressed redneck feelings come to life and immediately you feel the need to shame and scare any carless new yorker on the sidewalk.
Clutch in, get the bolt action lever of the transmission into first gear and head out into the streets of Manhattan. Driving the Corvette through the streets is one of those quintessential American adventures that make a lifetime wait worth every minute. The idle of the Vette is all baritonal American symphony which turns into a ferocious, thunderous and loud Yankee doodle when you rev it to the limit: being in Manhattan, the only time you can hear this melody is when you rev it at idle, scaring uninterested pedestrians passing by. Gosh this feels amazing!
It’s also the best way to tell the torque figures which after a comprehensive and very unorthodox test I declare that it’s absolutely stellar. There are legends that when this engine revs, it will suck anything that stands in a 50 meters radius in front of it. It has a remarkable preference for Greenpeace activists, social justice warriors and all sort of PC fans which will burn mixed to fresh-from-the-pump 100 octane petrol of course. The car is a performance powerhouse and you feel it as soon as you pull away: there is a lot more car than any enthusiast would ever expect. It didn’t take much to see why this car is beastly as hell. The acceleration is rocket-like, the torque delivery of the V8 just hits the entire car with unspoken violence: the organs are squished against your back: how in the world can they sell this car? As much as we loved to do a full performance test, we had to come to a peace treaty with the New Yorkers: after all, no one would be irresponsible and un-professional enough to test drive such a car in town. Quick bursts are enough to convince you that exploiting the full potential of such a car you need to have racing experience or be very conscious about your skills as a driver.
Tribeca and Soho were resonating with the full force American power from the Zo6 Corvette. While being against the automatic throttle blip when downshifting, leaving this option on allowed for perfectly timed and aggressive gear changes that just feel so good.
This could be the shortest and most concentrated Escape we’ve ever done and the one we played Jack-the -Lad like never before.
Could we ever want more from this Town and car? Oh yeah!
Text by Jacopo Villa
Photo by Federico Bajetti