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      06-07-2018, 11:23 AM   #1
The HACK
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No Z4 content here except for the picture...

NEVER in my wildest dreams did I think I'd ever end up with an American car. Much less a Corvette.

Don't get me wrong. I like cars of all types. Heck I did a story on a guy who was the first owner of a Corvette from way back when. Awesome story.



You can't help but to be swayed by the amount of passion it elicits.

But I'm not a Corvette guy. I'm not an American car guy. I have never owned an American car, even though I did work in the industry that serves their owners for a while. So even when my old mentor and buddy came by with his new '19 Stingray in a beautiful Admiral Blue (almost identical to the MZ4 Coupe), I mean, it stirred the soul, but when the missus flatly put her foot down and said "NO!" I just shrugged. I knew it wasn't going to happen then.

Then at Laguna Seca I got a customer with a C7 Grand Sport with the Z07 package. It was eye opening. Mind you, I've driven and ridden in all manners of performance BMWs. Had students with the latest and greatest M3s and M4s, and while they're all FANTASTIC cars, the C7 blew me away. I was floored by the amount of lateral grip, brakes, and just outright capability it has. And my customer had actually put on Michelin Pilot Super Sports instead of the Cup 2 tires it came with!

It's shaken my inner car guy to the core. I mean, for the LONGEST time, since the mid 80s when I first learned how to drive, the basic, most fundamental aspect about cars is that BMWs were the Ultimate Driving Machine. That if you want to go have some fun on a track that has both RIGHT and left turns, you take the German to the gun fight. Even as of recently, maybe 5-8 years ago, the E92 M3 was more than a capable competitor to the C6 Z06 (I got a ride with a fellow instructor with his C6 Z06 and went to chase down another fellow instructor/racer driving his E92 M3...Let's just say they were evenly matched with the edge to the M3 in the corners) and far superior in a lot of other areas besides handling dynamics.

Not anymore.

The only cars I've ever driven or ridden in on track that rivals the capabilities of my student's C7 Grand Sport were the Porsche GTxes. A well sorted out Cayman S was very close, but the power and torque was no match. On the BMW, nothing comes remotely close. NOTHING. BMW didn't just get surpassed. They were leap frogged. By 12 parsecs.

So, I don't know if that fundamental paradigm shift in my inner car guy was it, or if I'm simply suffering from midlife crisis, but for the second time in my life my want for a car turned into a NEED. Last time this happened was 12 years ago.

Someone mentioned that my choices of car(s) to take to the track is going to be tough, so I'm going to give you all a short impression of the two after 20 miles in the Vette.

I'm going to start by saying, even though both cars are 2 seat hatches, you would think that they serve the same purpose or compete for the same reasons, they don't. There's something UNIQUE about the MZ4 Coupe. In 12 years of ownership I've maybe seen 1 or 2 other MZ4 Coupes while driving it on the road. Yesterday I saw someone with a C7 Grand Sport driving just a block away from home.

Which isn't to say, that the rarity of the MZ4 Coupe is something special. It is and it isn't. I'm not keeping the MZ4 Coupe because it's rare. I'm keeping the MZ4 Coupe because it's a fan-freakin'-tastic car.

But this is about the Vette.

Let me start with the negatives, and surprisingly, it's a LONG list. The car is HUGE for a 2 seater. Like ginormous. It's 6 inches WIDER than the 335D. I have to crab walk between the MZ4 Coupe and the Vette, and I'd have to tip-toe around the driver's side because it's very close to the edge of the garage door. there's maybe a foot in front and 2 feet behind the car when the garage is closed. Despite the size, it is shockingly small inside for the driver and passenger. The MZ4 Coupe felt as roomy for me, although my 10 year old commented that she can't see over the door-sill even at the highest point in the passenger seat in the Vette (she can see over the hood in the MZ4 Coupe at the highest seating position). The door closes with a "twang" instead of a "thunk." Like it's made of tin. The mid console storage compartment and the glove box both close with a "twang," like it's spring loaded (it probably is). The switch gears rock in place, like it'll move 1/32nd of an inch if you just rock it back and forth. All the touch buttons feel like they came from a stereo from the 1990s. The dash and the infotainment system look and feel like someone thought it was a good idea to bring the 80s back (it is, but not for cars). The infotainment system, in particular, is probably the WORST I've ever seen, and that's comparing it to cheap Korean imports like the two Hyundais I had during my "hey Hyundais have come a LONG way" phase. The amount of orange peel is inexcusable. IN-freakin'-excusable. It's not "it looks like it was painted with rattle can" bad, but it's worse than the Korean cars I used to own...And that says something. Maybe it's harder to paint fiberglass, I dunno. But it's BAD.

I mean, this is all stuff that I could have determined on a test drive, or when my buddy came by to let me drive his brand new C7 Stingray. In fact, those observations were probably why I didn't pull the trigger then and there despite the protest from the Missus. So yes, there are things about this car that far, FAR outweighed the negatives.

First, where they royally f**ed up on all plastic parts and switch gears, they got it RIGHT on the soft touch surfaces. The entire dash is wrapped in fine leather. Not top of the line Marino leather, but still high quality Nappa leather. The A pillar and the roof are lined in alcantara. The seat surface is supple and supportive with full Napa leather. Much better than the standard leather equipped on non-M cars, on-par with the leather from the MZ4 Coupe. The entire door card is lined with leather. I mean, they sacrificed quite a few cows to make such a small interior.

And while the interior passenger space is small, the TRUNK is downright huge compared to my MZ4 Coupe. Heck the trunk is probably as big as the 335D by volume. My daughter jokingly crawled back there from her passenger seat and fits nicely in a prone position. The seats are heated AND cooled, and the cooled seat is insanely good. Total amazeballs. I can see me turning them on for a hot track day at Buttonwillow to keep the ass-crack sweat from forming.

Speaking of, the car's packed with electronics besides the aforementioned heated and cooled seats. The one I bought, comes with the 3LT trim and Z07 package, which means it's got electronic tilting and telescoping steering wheel, 2 seat memory settings with an EXIT setting, so when I craw into the driver's seat and hit the start button, the seats move into my preferred, stored memory position. When I open the door or turn off the car, the seats move all the way back and the steering wheel tilt up to allow easy egress. NAV, 4G LTE, Apple CarPlay, and all the newest and greatest electronic features are on this car except for useless driver's aids like lane departure warning, blindspot warning, brake assistance and accident avoidance stuff.

On to the driving experience, at just 40 miles on the ODO I can't open up the car just yet, but it is COOL that the heads up display is customizable in 3 or 4 different configurations, and the electronic portion of the dash is customizable too. You can throw a ton of info on it, like tire pressure, tire temp, oil pressure, oil temp, coolant temp, transmission coolant temp...etc, the list goes ON and on. You can set your preferred steering assist level, magnetic ride control stiffness, etc. In "track" mode you can select a wide variety of performance traction management level, from wet all the way to HERO mode.

One of my concerns from reading various forum posts and online reviews about the Carbon Ceramic Matrix rotors is that it takes some heat to work, but in 20 miles of mostly surface street driving I have yet to encounter that. Seems to work well even when it's cold. The original tires it came with, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s, were exposed daily to sun and developed sever cracking, so they ordered me a new set of Cup 2s (Yay!) Neither of which can I give you any real feedback, but I fully expect to take full advantage of both when I take this to the track.

Speaking of track, it WILL be a tough call between the two. I know for sure, that if it's a far away track, it'll likely be the Corvette for the simple reason that it just is a better long distance cruiser. Local tracks like Buttonwillow, likely the MZ4 Coupe. High horsepower tracks like Auto Club Speedway and Willow Springs? Toss up, but probably the Vette just so I can experience the power and torque, but will probably get tired of setting personal bests in the Vette because it'll be too easy. The fact is, while on paper the specs and numbers will have the Vette on top, it is just TOO easy to drive super fast.

Which leads me to why I'm keeping the MZ4 Coupe. Stock for stock, spec for spec, it is NO match for the Vette. But shockingly, it is incredibly rewarding to drive the MZ4 Coupe. Even now, when I need to leave the house, and a brand new supercar in the garage calling my name, I am still drawn to the MZ4 Coupe. That screaming, high revving inline 6, the tight, taut lines, the solid engagement, the fat steering wheel, just every little thing that they do to put this car together...Makes it MUCH greater than the sum of its parts. It's special not because it's rare, it's special because even at 12 years old, it brings a HUGE smile every time I fire it up.

That's it for now, when I take the Vette for some shake down laps in a few months I'll probably post a more detailed track for track comparison, but even right now I can tell you, it's a toss up. The MZ4 Coupe is incredibly rewarding to drive fast, even though it's no longer a very fast track car. The Vette will likely blow the doors off of 99% of the cars I'll come across on track, and I'll probably have a fantastic time doing it, but it won't be because I'm god's gift to driver-kind...It would be because I'm driving a car with über car like performance that cost only $8,000 more than the MZ4 Coupe to buy.
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The hell I don't! LISTEN, KID! I've been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I'm out there busting my buns every night! Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes!

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      06-07-2018, 11:58 AM   #2
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Great review. Thanks for sharing.
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      06-07-2018, 12:06 PM   #3
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Great review sir! My brother traded in his C5 Z06 for a Sting Ray as well, a Z51. I love the color and I’ve always been a Corvette fan since I was a kid. Becoming a BMW diehard fan was something I never expected though.
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      06-07-2018, 12:07 PM   #4
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By the way, is that the Grand Sport?
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      06-07-2018, 04:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RossBMWZseries View Post
By the way, is that the Grand Sport?
Yes.
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The hell I don't! LISTEN, KID! I've been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I'm out there busting my buns every night! Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes!

-Roger Murdock
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      06-07-2018, 09:20 PM   #6
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Great write up! I have to say the new look of the vette has peaked my interest as well. I think it's a good looking car and the performance is right up there. Just the wife isn't a big fan of the looks. lol
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      06-07-2018, 10:28 PM   #7
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The specs are insane though, for the price. 460hp/465ft*lbs of torque, 3,420 lbs, magnetic shocks, carbon ceramic brakes, 285f, 335r Michelin Cup 2 RUNFLATS. Runflat R-comps! Stock from the factory!

0-60 in 3.6s, quarter mile in 11.4 STOCK. Laps Laguna Seca 2 full seconds faster than the 458 Italia.

All for $9,000 more than what I paid for the MZ4 Coupe.

Insane.
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The hell I don't! LISTEN, KID! I've been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I'm out there busting my buns every night! Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes!

-Roger Murdock
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      06-08-2018, 01:19 AM   #8
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Maybe I missed it. did you get the manual or auto? Care to compare? This is making me wanting to check it out as my possible next toy. Just moved into a high-rise. Won't be wrenching on my car at home anymore but the good thing is renting additional parking is only $60/month. Parking issue resolved.
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      06-08-2018, 08:07 AM   #9
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7 speed manual. As of this moment it’s still in breakin, and the engine management system won’t let me rev past 3,400 rpm. Hard to make a fair comparison.
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The hell I don't! LISTEN, KID! I've been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I'm out there busting my buns every night! Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes!

-Roger Murdock
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      06-08-2018, 11:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
The specs are insane though, for the price. 460hp/465ft*lbs of torque, 3,420 lbs, magnetic shocks, carbon ceramic brakes, 285f, 335r Michelin Cup 2 RUNFLATS. Runflat R-comps! Stock from the factory!

0-60 in 3.6s, quarter mile in 11.4 STOCK. Laps Laguna Seca 2 full seconds faster than the 458 Italia.

All for $9,000 more than what I paid for the MZ4 Coupe.

Insane.
If you adjust the Moupe price for inflation, it was more expensive I'm surprised the vette is priced so aggressively, tbh.
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      06-08-2018, 11:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
The specs are insane though, for the price. 460hp/465ft*lbs of torque, 3,420 lbs, magnetic shocks, carbon ceramic brakes, 285f, 335r Michelin Cup 2 RUNFLATS. Runflat R-comps! Stock from the factory!

0-60 in 3.6s, quarter mile in 11.4 STOCK. Laps Laguna Seca 2 full seconds faster than the 458 Italia.

All for $9,000 more than what I paid for the MZ4 Coupe.

Insane.
What kind of corvette did you get and how much was it? Grand sport? I couldn't find it in your post.
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      06-08-2018, 06:51 PM   #12
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Back in February 2016 I was invited by Chevrolet to take part in a six hour test drive event of the new C7 Corvette at the Auto Club Speedway. It was a huge event and they had tons of Corvettes there, in all the available colors and configurations, both manual and automatic.

We did various events, including an autocross course, lane avoidance, slalom, skid pad, and the Roval, with our choice of manual or automatic for each event.

Some events we did multiple times, moving up in the modes from tour mode to track mode.In street/tour mode, it was extremely comfortable with noticeable increasing firmness as you moved through sport mode up to track mode. In track mode the car was a beast, crisp and responsive. The exhaust sound was awesome!

I was seriously impressed with the car and the handling. I loved the interior (although I don't remember any issues with the infotainment finish) and I was also extremely impressed with the configurable dashboard display, including the multitude of presets.

At the time, I had owned my Z4 M Roadster for only about 1.5 years and had no intention of selling it. I also saw the M4 Concept Car at Laguna Seca as part of BMW CCA Oktoberfest during Monterey Car Week and had already decided that was probably going to be my next car. Early planning had begun for a 2015 Euro Delivery, but that got postponed to 2016, and in May 2016 I was part of a large group Euro Delivery (#CentennialMTour) and got my Sakhir Orange M4, although I kept my Z4MR!

The Corvette Stingray still impresses. A recent episode of Jay Leno's Garage had a segment on the latest, baddest Corvette ever, the 2019 ZR1. That 755 HP and 715 pound/feet of torque black beast looked and sounded like it would kick any car's ass. 0-60 in 2.85 seconds! They took it to GM's Milford Proving Grounds and did over 200 MPH! Very impressive. And starting at only $121,000!

https://www.nbc.com/jay-lenos-garage...te-zr1/3726420
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Last edited by SD ///M4; 06-08-2018 at 07:07 PM.
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      06-08-2018, 09:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDCoupe View Post
What kind of corvette did you get and how much was it? Grand sport? I couldn't find it in your post.
Corvette C7 Grand Sport. 3LT trim(think executive package for BMWs) with Z07 (think competition package) in a 7 speed manual. Z07 comes with factory run-flat Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s and Carbon Ceramic Matrix rotors.

This was a “new” 2017 still left on the lot, with 2019s already on sale for over 3+ months. Took delivery with 10 miles on the ODO. Car sat on the lot for a LONG time. Battery was so dead they couldn’t jump start the car.

So i made them a LOW BALL offer and they accepted. MSRP was $86,7xx. Bought it for $65,000.
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The hell I don't! LISTEN, KID! I've been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I'm out there busting my buns every night! Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes!

-Roger Murdock
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      06-08-2018, 11:34 PM   #14
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Picture content...One thing I noticed, is that the Z4 looks good ALL THE TIME. It photographs well. It looks sexy as hell in person. The C7 on the other hand, does not photograph as well. Maybe it's the color. I dunno. Must be the color. But the C7's proportions looks amazing in person, but you need a longer lens to shoot to take away the distortion, or shoot straight on front and high, but not low at street level and avoid wide angle lenses.
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The hell I don't! LISTEN, KID! I've been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I'm out there busting my buns every night! Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes!

-Roger Murdock
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      06-09-2018, 03:27 AM   #15
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Congrats on your new purchase!! Car looks amazing!
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      06-09-2018, 05:19 AM   #16
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congrats, amazing car, test drove one last year.. bit tight for a huge bloke like myself, but yeah beautiful car. love them.
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      06-10-2018, 12:21 PM   #17
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Leading edge performance, beautiful looks...nice going.
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      06-13-2018, 12:44 PM   #18
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What's not to love about Corvettes? :

They have always occupied the same market niche and the C7 does as well.
C6Z should be as fast or faster than C7 GS.

Also, you got a decent price, but being a '17, I would not have paid any more than that. Even current model year, the only time they actually sell for msrp is when a new model has come out the first year. After that they are always discounted to various degrees.

I have a 2012 C6 I bought new in Oct '12 for 38.8K (Sticker was right at 50K). Less than 39,000 brand new at the time for a car that goes 190mph. Mine is the base model, which doesn't have all the track package suspension and aero stuff, which reduces drag (and it is still plenty of fun on mountain roads too). The Z4MR definitely has quicker reflexes and is a much "harder" sports car all the way around vs. the base suspension C6, but in terms of highway acceleration, the Corvette just goes. Any gear, any rpm. Torque everywhere. That power delivery is just an experience all its own.
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      06-13-2018, 10:36 PM   #19
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Congratulations! $20K off MSRP, not bad...

GM has really stepped up its game with some of the Cadillac models and the Corvette. When the mid-engine Corvette comes out it is sure to be fantastic.

I also suffer from "German car snob" disorder. Not that I don't realize these are great cars, but I just can't see myself driving them. Part of that for sure is that I don't have easy access to a track, so essentially my cars are used for DD and country drives in SW Arizona. With BMW's philosophy changing a bit, I'll continue to reassess GM offerings in the future.

Thanks for the write-up and pictures!
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      06-14-2018, 03:45 AM   #20
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Congrats on this beautifull car!
It's a shame we don't many of them in The Netherlands. Prices are redicilously high over here ($177.000,- for a manual base model).

I've owned a C3 Chrome bumper for a couple of years, and absolutly loved those sharp lines
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