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Truly Modern Performance

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

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The new Corvette Z06 — what a perfectly awesome, fucked-up mess.

It's awesome. I mean, seriously, awesome. Wow. It is the epitome of what the American performance car has historically been all about: fast, faster than just about anything else built, but economical in its outlandish performance.

It's got one massive flaw, though.

The flaw I see, however, may not be as obvious to everyone else.

That flaw stems from it's amazing execution. GM has made a truly, amazing car that's pushed to the limits in nearly every way. A performance car that is so perfected, that it would be really, really difficult to improve.

And there's it's flaw — but not simply because it would be difficult to improve upon. No, the flaw lies in the fact that, in order to perfect it to the degree they have, nearly every system on the car is electronically controlled with complex software — even the differential. You see, what they've managed to do is execute a beautiful design and engineer it to excellence, but it's so heavily managed by electronics, trying to modify it would require a massive amount of engineering to improve it — and even then, if you lacked the resources of a company the size of GM, the chances of failure are really high. And there are very few, if any, hot rodders out there with the kinds of resources required to accomplish effectively modding that beast.

Of course, from everything I've read, the thing is damn near perfect, so the need to modify it, likely doesn't exist and the performance is so mind-warping that it's light years beyond the abilities of any average enthusiast or even lower-rung race car driver to be able to use.

But it's also sad, because, there's no need to hot rod any longer, just drop down your $105,000 and go beat up on everybody. It's not like the guy next door with his old Chevy small block is going to be able to touch your 650 horsepower cyber-car from hell no matter what he does.

The successful execution of this one car may be the death knell for the hot rodder. If car companies start creating perfection and making it reasonably priced, the '60s iron is finally going to become the next Model T.


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