2004 Z06 Corvette Turbo - Overkill: Twin Turbo

Could J.R. Granatelli's twin-turbo terror be the most powerful C5 on the road?

Drew Hardin Oct 11, 2006 0 Comment(s)
Vemp_0611_09_z 2004_z06_corvette_turbo Burnout 1/10

Power routes through an Exedy carbon-fiber clutch to a G-Force T56 six-speed transmission. The stock 3.31 gears are still in the car, though Mark Williams halfshafts direct power to the Pilot Sports. Each corner is fitted with Baer Extreme-Plus 6R six-pot brakes, a good idea when you have this much power under your right foot.

The GMS Z06 doesn't exactly look tame, thanks to its flamed paint, Classic Design Concepts Tiger Shark front and rear fascias, RKSport carbon-fiber hood, and Catz HID conversion. Yet it can be surprisingly docile when you resist the urge to stand on it. In putt-putt mode, about the only tip-off to the car's potential is the whine from the T56's straight-cut gears.

As we idled down the freeway on our way to the photo location, J.R. was happy to show us, via the Corvette's onboard computer, that it'll return respectable mpg if you behave. (Yes, it felt odd to talk about fuel economy in the context of a street Vette that'll turn the quarter-mile in less than 10 seconds, but it's a hard topic to avoid these days.) He was well on his way to achieving 20-plus mpg until we asked for burnouts for the camera. "Those burnouts just did us in," he said later, pointing at the 14.1-mpg reading above the steering wheel.

That ain't bad, especially since our burnouts weren't entirely to blame for the dip in fuel economy. On the way to our shoot, J.R. couldn't resist giving us a taste of just what this Vette can do. Stomping the accelerator is a traction-avoidance maneuver that'll just vaporize the tires. But when J.R. leaned into the pedal, the surge to speed felt like a meaty hand shoving us back into the seat, while the needles in the dash tracked not just engine and road speed but our own adrenaline spike. Just as quickly, the big Baers hauled us down to match the flow of traffic, and we had a chance to catch our breath.

So, do customers ever ask for more than this? we asked.

J.R. smiled. "No."

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