2008 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - Chemical Attack Z06

Ed Miklavcic's Bottle-Boosted Vette Uses Chemistry To Dispatch Competitors On The Street And Strip

Barry Kluczyk Dec 16, 2010 0 Comment(s)
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Because matching the nitrous flow with a commensurate amount of fuel is essential to preventing piston-melting lean-out, the Nitrous Outlet stand-alone fuel system was selected to ensure there is always a ready supply when Miklavcic decides to spray the LS7. The NX fuel rails (anodized black to also complement the car's exterior color scheme) are plumbed with the nitrous feed lines, along with fuel lines from a small, dedicated fuel tank located under the hood.

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The fuel system supplies only the nitrous system; none of the fuel from the auxiliary tank makes it through the engine's standard injectors. It's only introduced to the engine through the nitrous/fuel nozzle. The stand-alone system operates in parallel with the engine's standard fuel system, which simply uses the factory 40-pound fuel injectors, and only draws fuel from the separate tank when the nitrous system is activated.

The NANO system incorporates a small bottle of pressurized nitrogen that is connected to the nitrous bottle and helps maintain the optimal pressure within it. That helps provide a fuller, more consistent "hit" of nitrous as the content of the bottle is reduced during use. A conventional, un-assisted bottle of nitrous loses pressure as the liquid nitrous in it is drawn out during use, so half a bottle doesn't have quite the same power as a full one. A bottle heater helps this, but the NANO system optimizes pressure for virtually the entire life of the bottle's contents.

Also helping manage the nitrous system is the NOS progressive controller, which offers a tunable range of activation to enable a "softer" hit when the car is launching, and gradually allows the full capability of the nitrous as the car is rolling and-with luck-the rear tires are hooked up. If this setup seems very elaborate, it is. There are fuel lines, nitrous lines, electrical connectors, and solenoids peppered throughout the engine compartment-and they still don't convey the nearly endless amount of fine-tuning Katech's technicians invested in tuning the system.

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Supporting the engine and nitrous system are a heavy-duty Ron Davis radiator, a Corsa exhaust system, and an Exedy twin-disc clutch. There's also a Koolmat drivetrain tunnel heat shield. When the nitrous-boosted horsepower finally hits the pavement, it does so through Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires wrapped around black-painted Z06 rims. A set of Racing Brake brake pads replaces the factory pads for greater stopping power and fade resistance.

The black wheels are complemented by black body accents, including the hood and rear fascia, giving the car a decidedly track-ready appearance. There's also an extractor-style carbon-fiber hood from Hi-Tech Custom Concepts and a rear diffuser, both of which further contribute to the car's racing aesthetic.

The competition theme carries over to the interior, where a pair of A-pillar gauges monitors the all-important fuel and nitrous pressures. There are also system activation buttons and a big, red purge button located at the forward edge of the center console. Caravaggio racing-style seats and a flat-bottom steering wheel replace the stock Z06 items.

We took the Vette out for a few miles for our photo shoot and can attest that the Katech-built engine delivers great driving manners in normal traffic-another of Miklavcic's goals for the car.

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"I didn't want daily driving to be affected," he says. "What I love about the car is that the large nitrous shot is there when I want it, but the car drives basically stock otherwise. It's the best of both worlds."

If there's one thing the car doesn't have, it's invisibility. When you take a black-and-silver Z06 with a barking exhaust system out for a drive, heads swivel, fingers point, and police cars linger just a little bit longer at intersections. Hit the purge valve and it invites another type of attention-namely the other throttle jockeys who hear the loud "psshhtt" sound as a challenge. But this isn't a bolt-on, quick-hit nitrous system, and this car can answer such challenges with overwhelming authority.

It may have taken him a few years to come around to this weapon of choice, but since Ed Miklavcic turned to chemical attacks, the result has proved devastating to the competition.

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