Most of you, by now are fully aware of the new series of Top Gear which hit our TVs screens and the immediate reaction of media, which I am sad to report was mostly negative and not well received. Not all is lost however, the fans of Chris Evans are holding fort by providing never ending support to the young knight. Even this humble blogger put pen to paper and highlighted some of the short coming of first two episodes. However, number of items have been bothering me for few days now which I would like to share with you.
In the first episode, Even though I rather enjoyed the history recitation of the Top Gun academy in USA, and the subsequent car Chase routine between Chris Evans behind the wheel of the Viper and Sabine Schmitz sitting comfortably behind the wheel of the Corvette Z06, there was an important element missing from the whole scene. That’s right you guessed it, both drivers comfortably forgot to highlight and comment about their respective cars, unless of course we take Sabine’s remark on the Corbett’s suspension as an all enlightening review.
So for sake of those readers who like to know a bit more about these great looking muscle cars, I have thrown in some information together which I hope fills the knowledge gap.
Side by side comparison
2016 Dodge Viper ACR
Dodge claims The 2016 Dodge Viper ACR is the fastest track tested Viper but with top speed of 177-mph in my book actually makes it the slowest Viper. The 8.4-litre V10 engine outputs a staggering 645 break horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque.
Lets look at what’s new, So the Phenomenal aero kit captures the headline on what’s new on the Viper ACR, then the insane people at Dodge will allow you to Select the ‘Extreme Package’ option and the enormous, adjustable rear wing is just the final touch.
The front splitter, which can also be removed and the upside-down set of air-plane wings strapped to the roof of a Viper generate nearly a tonne of down-force which enables the Viper to go faster around a racetrack, however it also reduces its straight-line speed.
The generated down force circulates the air and pushes the car firmly down, more down force equates to harder the air pushes the car into the tarmac, therefore the faster the car can corner. All this of course comes with a price, the down force also creates aerodynamic drag, which slows down ACR at the top end. In lay man terms, it lowers the top speed from near 200mph to 177mph.
Although the aerodynamic package is a major component, there are other new pieces of hardware included in the car’s to justify the associated price tag. Larger carbon-ceramic brakes that measure 15.4 inches housed in front necessitated bigger, 19-inch front wheels. The rear wheels hide 14.2-inch carbon-ceramic rotors and to make the most of the down force and the braking power, the Viper wears new tires developed specifically for this application.
I don’t usually like to discuss the car’s interior and as long as a comfortable seating arrangement is achieved I am perfectly content. However in this case I shall make an exception. Previous ACRs have had a Spartan way of life to it, but this one is almost luxurious. You get the full U-connect screen, air conditioning – which disconnects for six seconds when you hit full throttle, a three-speaker stereo and lightweight carpeting.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Let me start by laying down the facts for you. The 650-hp, 650-lb-ft supercharged V-8 Simply means that the Z06 hits 60 mph from a rest in 3.3 seconds. The car reaches 150 mph in 17.7 seconds. if you want something more brutal that leaves you shacking in your boots, you’re going to either get an automatic Z06 or spend an enormous amount of hopefully hard earned cash and buy McLaren 650S Spider or possibly even a Porsche 911 Turbo S cabriolet.
While the previous-generation Corvette ZR1 was also supercharged, this new Z06’s supercharger is entirely new. It spins faster comparably faster than the old model(20,000rpm, compared with 15,000rpm in the ZR1) and improved airflow management.
An electronically controlled limited-slip differential is standard on the Z06. the e-diff is tied into the other systems in the Z06 and varies its action based on the wide range of drive mode available to you. This brings us neatly to the brakes. Brakes on the standard Z06 use two-piece rotors on both axles with six-piston front and four-piston aluminium callipers rear.
As mentioned above, there are number of drive modes available to the driver, far too many for an average enthusiast and some can argue perhaps one or two too many for a super-car like this Z06. However they are there and that’s that. Using the dial on the console, you may select settings for Weather, Eco, Tour, Sport and Track and then further drill down into Track mode for a subset of settings from wet to minimal driver assist.
Newly designed bespoke Michelin Pilot Super Sport run flat tyres were specially engineered for the Z06, but they are roughly one and a half inches wider at the front and two inches wider at the rear, which meant new bodywork was required to house them, giving a total width of nearly two meters. That’s not a bad thing, The new bodywork enhances the existing aerodynamics with additional down force and improved airflow for cooling, braking and the supercharger’s integrated intercooler.
Transmission options are the familiar seven-speed manual, or an all-new eight-speed automatic. An auto-equipped Z06 is ultimately quicker around a given circuit, but the manual is decidedly more satisfying to drive.
A head-up display is standard equipment on the upper trims and features a useful bar graph tachometer and G-meter when using the Z06’s track mode. The Stingray’s base and optional Competition seats carry over to the Z06, and they’re the best seats fitted to any Corvette.
You can splash out for the Z07 package which includes the previously mentioned four-wheel carbon-ceramic brake package, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 run-flat tyres and obvious additional front and rear aero bits, including a clear adjustable rear spoiler.
There you have it, two muscle cars which are seriously worthy of the heritage they carry and I might also add affordable. They are not for faint hearted and both will not be your average cars you will use to drop kids to school, but will provide you a lot of excitement and petrol station trips.