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2006 Chevrolet Corvette

Look What Santa Left Me!

    Not to sound ungrateful or anything, but really Santa, an automatic? Actually, the more perplexing thing is why would anyone in the GM media relations department decide to loan out a Corvette in Michigan in December? Our only conclusion was that the coordinator was on vacation in sunny California, and well, it’s dry there. Fortunately for you, your faithful AT staff is reluctant to pass up horsepower of large proportions and thus, brought to you its 400 gift-wrapped stallions.
     Actually, they really turned out to be 400 snow-covered stallions, as their arrival torturously coincided with the onset of the first snow of December. We had been doing so well with a pretty mild winter right up until the Corvette arrived. But such is life and after one glorious sunny day the snow showed up and all but parked the ‘Vette. Reluctant to pass up horsepower thrills we are, but ready to risk life, limb, and machine we are not. The high-performance summer tires wrapping the 18” front and 19” rear rolling stock are no match for anything greater than a light dusting.
     During the time we had we did manage to run out the new 6-speed automatic transmission, which is the ’06 Vette’s noteworthy addition. Complete with paddle shifters this new tranny seemed much more adapted to the power of the LS2 with far better spacing of the ratios than the 4-speed unit we had in our ’05 convertible model. The paddle shifters added flexibility to swapping cogs but are still nowhere near the control of rowing your own gears. Making smart shifts requires mentally accounting for the delay, however small, in the computer logic and prematurely tapping the gearshift. But as far as automatics go, this one is praiseworthy.
     Rounding out the differences between this and our early convertible model were none other than the Z51 handling package. This included such features as stiffer springs and dampers, larger brakes and stabilizer bars, Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires and enhanced cooling. The ride was a bit stiffer but a welcome performance booster. Were it June these tires would have been most ideal, but the aforementioned powdered precipitation rendered them useless.
     If it were our $55,930 to coin up, it wouldn’t be for the Corvette as our primary mode of transportation. Climatically it just does not make since in Michigan. Although having one in the garage with a car cover on it for the winter is ok with me, because of just how glorious the coming spring will be.

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