Hot on the heels of the Corvette Z06’s stunning failure at Motor Trend’s Best Drivers Car Lollapalooza, Corvette engineer Tadge Juechter moved quickly to defend the car, his team, his company, as well as himself.
He did so on Corvette Forum, where he writes a semi-regular column called “Ask Tadge.”
Why did the Z06 do so badly? Brakes and intercooler, he says—and, also, blame Car & Driver.
Turns out, that exact Corvette Z06 went into a tire wall at Car & Driver’s hands. Cosmetic damage was the only knock, but the car was torn down, for safety’s sake, ready for Motor Trend’s test. But in their haste, “two things were missed,” writes Juechter: GM forgot to change the car’s brake pads and they didn’t correctly hook up the car’s intercooler.
Hence, the dismal result with the Z06’s LT4 engine, with its integrated supercharger and intercooler.
In detail, Juechter writes: “One of our pre-loan checks is to bleed the intercooler circuit to make sure there is no air in it. Some customer complaints about over heating Z06s have been traced to improperly bled intercoolers. The technician doing the work plugged in the electrical connector for the intercooler pump and it seemed to seat and “click” into position, but the secondary latching mechanism did not fully lock into position leading to intermittent operation. Without the pump running there is no coolant flow, no intake charge cooling and the engine pulls spark to protect itself.”
While in C&D’s hands, Juechter mentions, it recorded the fastest Lightning Lap the magazine ever recorded. Still, this can’t be anything but awkward on this public a stage.