Motor Trend recently put together a great piece comparing three of the best performance vehicles under $100k against one another, and, as with all comparisons of this nature (and as with all supercar/racing/and performance comparison pieces) the Corvette was a staple for it. In this case, it was the 505-HP 2011 Corfvette Z06 with performance and carbon fiber package. This Z06, which came in with a price tag just over $90k, was an absolute beauty, and, at the same time, an absolute monster on the track. Motor trend pitted this specific Z06 against a 550HP Mustang Shelby GT500 and a 530HP 2012 Nissan GT-R. These two vehicles are also very impressive. The Mustang comes with the most raw HP and the smallest price-tag, but the money saved between it and its two competitors in this comparison also leaves it wanting in a few areas: handling, control, road grip, and styling. The GT-R, which clocks in at a price almost identical to the Z06 they tested (which was a Z06 outfitted with every option imaginable), uses every penny of its cost, and comes complete with AWD, a twin-turbo 530HP V6, and more goodies to help with handling than you can shake a stick at. With all of this in mind, it should be no surprise that this comparison really became more a head-to-head battle between the Z06 and the GT-R, than a 3-car comparo.
To test these vehicles, Motor Trend brought in professional racer Randy Pobst, who has built quiet a resume racing at the SCCA level for the Volvo team. The results of their comparison are impressive and exciting, and really show just how amazing the Corvette Z06 is for the price tag. While the Z06 was the most under-powered of the three–in terms of pure HP numbers–it sure doesn’t seem that way, as it smokes the Mustang and only loses to the GT-R because of the confines of the race track on which they’re being tested. Over-all, it’s a fun video, and gives some great glimpses in to just how much fun and how incredible the Z06 is, and also highlights the new Nissan GT-R, which, even though I’m a Corvette fan myself, is certainly a damn impressive automobile.
In the end, though, they do declare the GT-R the winner for this comparison. Of course, that victory comes with a few earmarks, among those being that the Corvette Z06 is the most fun of the three to drive, requires to most ability, and is the most pure of them, in terms of a monster race car. Carlos Lago, associate road tester for Motor Trend, put it wonderfully when he said of the Z06, “Got out feeling like I’d just been in a fight: hands shakey with adrenaline. God, what a mighty car!” What a mighty and awesome car the Z06 is, indeed!