2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - By Any Other Name...

...Rob Rose's Twin-Turbo C5 Would Be Just As Sweet

Steve Temple Dec 1, 2008 0 Comment(s)
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Rose promptly headed for the track at Willow Springs, and without breaking a sweat, he trounced both a Mustang and a Mitsubishi Evo (which incidentally ended up running off the track while trying to keep up). He particularly liked the way the STS system maintained boost pressure in the exhaust pipes, so there was little if any turbo lag when accelerating out of the curves.

They say power corrupts, but in the automotive world, it can be fiscally ruinous as well. Many an enthusiast has gotten upside down in a buildup, blindly adding more and more upgrades with no end in sight-at least until the money runs out. But Rose, being a very disciplined guy, stuck to Stage Two of his project plan, which included a pair of bigger turbos.

It began with driving his beloved Z06, now turbocharged, from Southern California to Houston with his 18-year-old son. Once there, he dropped off the car at Motorsport Technologies Inc. to have the stock block swapped out with a custom-built, 402-cube LS2 stroker. While the short-block was already in hand, MTI's technicians had less than a week to get it fully prepped and dressed before Rose's return.

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Components on the custom mill included MTI's Stage II-R heads with ARP studs, Ferrea valves, and dual valvesprings. To keep up with the higher airflow from a new pair of new water-cooled, ball-bearing turbos, MTI installed a set of 60-pound injectors.

Rose went with the bigger ball-bearing pinwheels because they spool up quicker and can handle higher thrust loads. The increased durability is essential for anything over 10 psi of boost, says STS' Squires. He feels water-cooling isn't required, but Rose specified it since he had track duty in mind.

A week later, he flew back to Houston to pick up his car, arriving just in time to see the engine being tested on the dyno. The ensuing experience was a revelation. Running at full boost, the mill churned out 853 rampaging horses at the crank.

"Is this enough?" quipped Jayson Cohen of MTI. Rose's cheeks flushed red with enthusiasm, and he didn't pause to answer in the affirmative.

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Once he got the Vette back home, Rose headed out to the track once again, now armed with a new GM T1 racing suspension and Baer Eradispeed rotors clenched by Hawk race pads.

"The car passes everybody on the straightaways like they're standing still," Rose says. "It's a lot of fun." The downside is a newfound penchant for wheelspin in the turns, which can make things pretty hairy in the corkscrew section at the top of the track, where the pavement goes off-camber over a humped blind curve. It sometimes requires an act of faith to keep on the throttle and fly over it to hit the straight section at full chat.

"You have to watch it," Rose says. "You're pretty much drifting on the corkscrew, but it's still controllable. I've driven crazy fast in it and never spun out." And that's another performance benchmark he intends to preserve.

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