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Z06 Noise/Vibration/Harshness vs. base car or mid-80's Z51??


Well-known member
Jan 22, 2002
I've done some searching, but I could definitely use some more thoughts on this subject.

I know I need to drive one, but I'm trying to develop an overview first. Thanks
You're either going to love it or hate it, very few are stuck in the middle. The ZO6 is performance oriented, period.
It is a bargin basement supercar, for lack of a better way of describing the ZO6. For just over $50,000.00 you can own one of the worlds quickest, and fastest sport cars. Notice I said one of;
because there are cars out there that can out perform the ZO6, they just are not in the same price range, think 3x - 4 x and more the cost of the ZO6. So if you normally drop your car off to have it detailed Satrurday mornings to be prepared for cruising around town, the suburbs, or back country roads listing to the Bose system with the wind blowing in your hair that afternoon, then you would probably be in need of a coupe or Convertible. However, if you enjoy rocketing through s-turns, forging down long straights, listing to the thunder of the exhausts, would rather play the 6 speed than the radio, and clean the car like grooming a race horse after the fun is over, then you might be a candidate for the ZO6. This is a car built with a purpose in mind.
Most people who order or purchase one know what they are getting into. I would suggest driving a ZO6, then the other two choices, keep an open mind until you have driven all three flavors.
Thanks, vettepilot. I've got an '85 with the Z51 package, and most people think they're fairly harsh. I bought it because of the steering and handling. Of course, that doesn't mean something else might not be harsher....
The ZO6 is not as harse as the early C4s with the Z51 PKG. The chassis is much more refined, and you won't loosen your eye teeth going over railroad tracks. However, the road noise is hardly filtered out because the ZO6 has very little to no sound insulation under the carpeting. In fact, the back of the carpeting in the rear has only about 3/8 of an inch of low density foam backing for insulation. The front carpeting has some sound insulation, at least along the frame rails, not sure about way underneath, only pulled back enough to route the harness for my CD changer that I just installed. So overall, I would guess that your current Vette is more harsh, and you probably get about the same amount of road noise, depending on the type of tires you have installed.
I have found that the Goodyear F1 supercar tires on the Z are not as harsh or noisey as the Gatorbacks of the 84 through 91s, nor as harsh as the Goodyear GSCs that were on the 92s through 96s. I have only about 2600 miles on my 2002 Z so far, therefore I'm unable to comment on the F1 SCs after much wear.
The main sound coming into the cabin other than the road noise is the wonderful exhaust note from those new Ti mufflers. It is barely noticeable when using a light foot, but when you call for some power, they will let you know the engine heard your request. Not that you will need any audible notification because this car responds... RIGHTNOW!
Hope this serves to help you sort it out, but you owe yourself a test drive, you won't believe this came stock from the factory.
Thanks, Stan. I drove a couple yesterday, and my reaction is identical to what you said. I had replaced the Gatorbacks with SZ50's which cut some noise, harshness and jounce, but sadly at the expense of steering response, feel and directional stability. The suspension still worked the same marvels, but they didn't get to the ground, and it wasn't the same car.

It is now my former car. You reply was very helpful in forming my thoughts on the subject and convincing me to go further. Several hundred miles further, in fact. Thanks for your help.
I have a C5 coupe, but drove a '02 Z06 the other day. What a difference. If you want total power at the slightest touch of the pedal, than the Z06 is for you. I am an automatic person, living in stop and go traffic does that to you, so I prefer the coupe. If I did not have to woory about the traffic, I would definately pick up a Z06. Decisions, decisions.

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