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Corvette Today Podcast With Kai Spande BGA Manager

On this episode of CORVETTE TODAY, you get to meet the Corvette Plant Manager for the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, Kai Spande!
Your host, Steve Garrett, introduces you to Kai as he traces his career with GM. Kai talks about how the Bowling Green Assembly Plant transitioned from the front engine, C7 Corvette, to the mid-engine C8 Corvette. You'll get insights on the plant expansion and how they made that all happen...giving the new C8 Corvette a true state-of-the-art build facility. Kai also tells you about the Corvettes he has owned and the funny story of how he loved Corvettes, but never thought he'd get to work for it during his tenure at GM. Get to personally know Corvette Plant Manager, Kai Spande, on this episode of CORVETTE TODAY!

Listen here: https://adori.page.link/corvette-today
Website: www.CorvetteTodayPodcast.com
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXCRn-2X0SjjEXUt_...
Get CORVETTE TODAY emails: https://CorvetteToday.ck.page
CORVETTE TODAY Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2718423201763136
NEW!!! Get CORVETTE TODAY merchandise here: https://www.agpestores.com//lanmarxgraphix/grouppr...
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C8 Z06: Be Careful What We Wish For

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  • C8 Z06: Be Careful What We Wish For

    Wanted a super exciting C8 Z06 track capable version? We could well be getting that version of the Z06. But for those who do not live on the track, is a track weapon” what you want? Or? Should you not get the Z07 version of it (if they still call it that) with its hardest-offered suspension?

    Click image for larger version  Name:	02F6C417-FA09-4943-98AD-CDADBE42978B.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	722.0 KB ID:	262576

    Instead should we consider getting the “entry” (softest suspension) C8 Z06?

    Or should we in stead wait for the E-Ray — and get a more cruising car?


    Please read this single paragraph from Road and Track on the newest Porsche 911 GTS version. Thanks R&T.

    Originally posted by RoadandTrack
    On urban streets and LA’s concrete highways, the GT3’s suspension is brutal. From the driver’s seat it feels much more like it should be an RS product. The wheels stay on the ground, but the driver gets banged and bounced around pretty heavily, much like on the last RS. Unlike the last car, this one might no longer be the ultimate all-rounder. The same compromise is made in the steering, which again like the last RS is now a two-handed affair. Between the ball joints, the wide stance, the widened tires, and the quick rack, it’s even kind of darty. And the wing blocks off any kind of useful view out the rear window.
    https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-car...0Non%20Openers

    When we picked up our C7 Z06 (made week one and thus it was the first time I had driven one), we were driving home from BG to the Pacific Northwest. We were literally one hour into our drive, going around Owensboro, KY on horrible roads, and the car was beating us up — even when I put it into tour mode. The every 75’ perpendicular tar strips between the concrete sections were a horrible “thump, thump” and when it returned to **** asphalt we were beaten up in a different way. My wife never complained once but I thought for that thirty minutes I had made a mistake. Turns out that was the worst roads we encountered over the next 4 1/2 years and 28 states and we loved that car. It was not even the Z07 version with firmer suspension but the middle Z06 version.

    So those of us who are not track junkies, we need to think long and hard about which version of the Z06 we will be ordering, and even if we should not wait one more year and get a E-Ray instead?

    Just asking out loud — for I am again re-considering which will be our next C8.
    GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

  • #2
    Thanks for bringing this up John. I got on the list for Z06 before the E-Ray was reality. Given I probably won't do much on the track with it, I'm thinking the E-Ray may be a better bang for the buck, especially considering the 0-60 timing the hybrid will bring.

    Comment


    • #3
      John, did you have the adjustable magnetic shocks? I actually think the magnetic ride will smooth the ride better than Porsche that uses valving in the shocks. Was awesome in our Z06.
      For us, Z06 Z07, Bring it on, were excited and ready. 😎👍 (We will keep the Stingray for road trips if ride is that bad).

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      • #4
        Will the ZO7 be something like a Grand Sport or yet something different?
        [Current Corvette 1999 C5 Z51 Magnetic Red Coupe]

        Comment


        • #5
          Z07 is an option on top of the Z06 package. On the C7 it got you carbon ceramic brakes, Cup 2 tires, and IIRC stiffer suspension and some additional performance goodies.
          Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Natural w/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust

          Current C7: SunKissed, 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black overDaytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible

          Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

          Never grow up - It's a trap.

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          • #6
            My C8 MSRC Z51 HTC is the right car for me, as was my C7 MSRC Z51. I'm honest with myself on how I use my car. Mostly for touring with the occasional bouts of spirited driving.
            While the Z06 would be fun it wouldn't get driven as much since my wife prefers a comfortable car when we go to events. Perhaps the E-Ray if for some reason I decided to get rid of my C8 Stingray.
            2020 C8 Stingray Convertible - Torch Red - Natural Dipped 3LT - Z51 w/MSRC - Front Lift

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            • #7
              It's pretty obvious from the stats we see that not many track their Corvettes at all. So one has to consider that the purchase of track capable versions are just for bragging rights or some concern about resale, or maybe they just like the spoilers. Now FuelTech has created a 1075 HP twin turbo monster. Where does it end for expanding HP to unusable levels? Or even wild suspension upgrades?
              I think the Mag ride option might be great for many whether the car is tracked or not, but being the owner of a '20 1LT, I'm satisfied with the ride and handling of the base suspension. It's a sports car after all, right? The E-Ray will undoubtedly have a beefed up suspension, it's going weigh a lot more than a standard Vette. So it will take some new engineering to get the ride and handling where it should be. I don't fault anyone for wanting the Z06, it attributes will be felt on the street as well, I'm sure. Maybe Mag ride can negate a lot of that as far as ride is concerned. One thing I know for sure, that is that whatever the newest versions have to offer, Tadge and the crew will be on top of whatever is necessary to make it as right as it can be. They did great with the C8, and they're not going to skimp on any upgraded versions, and risk their reputation.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lacquer View Post
                John, did you have the adjustable magnetic shocks? I actually think the magnetic ride will smooth the ride better than Porsche that uses valving in the shocks. Was awesome in our Z06.
                For us, Z06 Z07, Bring it on, were excited and ready. 😎👍 (We will keep the Stingray for road trips if ride is that bad).
                We did have adjustable shocks on our C7 Z06 (in fact all of our Corvettes have had magnetic selective ride control).
                GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jetdriver View Post
                  It's pretty obvious from the stats we see that not many track their Corvettes at all. So one has to consider that the purchase of track capable versions are just for bragging rights or some concern about resale, or maybe they just like the spoilers. Now FuelTech has created a 1075 HP twin turbo monster. Where does it end for expanding HP to unusable levels? Or even wild suspension upgrades?
                  I think the Mag ride option might be great for many whether the car is tracked or not, but being the owner of a '20 1LT, I'm satisfied with the ride and handling of the base suspension. It's a sports car after all, right? The E-Ray will undoubtedly have a beefed up suspension, it's going weigh a lot more than a standard Vette. So it will take some new engineering to get the ride and handling where it should be. I don't fault anyone for wanting the Z06, it attributes will be felt on the street as well, I'm sure. Maybe Mag ride can negate a lot of that as far as ride is concerned. One thing I know for sure, that is that whatever the newest versions have to offer, Tadge and the crew will be on top of whatever is necessary to make it as right as it can be. They did great with the C8, and they're not going to skimp on any upgraded versions, and risk their reputation.
                  I am thinking that the E-Ray will weigh in the ball park of 100-120 pounds more than the current car. It too will be one amazing car.
                  GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Plentyfast View Post
                    Will the ZO7 be something like a Grand Sport or yet something different?
                    For the C7 generation, the Z07 was the most track oriented version. It had harder suspension bushing, spring rates, and different (firmer) mag ride adjustments. Might also have had larger sway bars.

                    As to whether the C8 has a Z07 version of the Z06, it is my belief that they will; but they could choose to name that sub-model something else?

                    It will have the largest wing of the Z06, more aero components (perhaps front fascia corner canards, the biggest splitter and similar downforce components) in addition to its firmer suspension enhancements.
                    GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      GM would be making a big marketing mistake IMHO if it only offers a 'track'/Z07/whatever version of the Z. I, for one (and presumably a large percentage of potential buyers) would pass and wait for a more 'streetable' version. ZR1? My C7Z stage 1/mag ride in Tour mode is just tolerable, especially on our less than smooth local roads. Getting beat up for a whole year in order to gain one second on a track once or twice a year makes no sense. There is quite a distinction between 'Sports' car and 'Race' car.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        After the C7. Z06’s reveal I was talking at the Bash one to one with one of GM top Corvette development drivers, also one of its Chief Suspension Engineers (then and now), and he was telling me about a drive he and his wife had taken the month before in a C7 Z06/Z07 version. It was a short drive for with Michigan’s notorious horrid roads (a continuous pothole in spots it seems), his wife said to him 25 miles into that drive, “let’s go home this suspension is beating me up” (they were leaving on a three day vacation). They returned to the Corvette CTF pool, exchanged it for a non-Z07 C7 Z06 and re-continued their vacation happily.
                        GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I drove my c7z06 with mag ride for 5 years and 90k miles, I remember reading before I bought mine that a gm worker took a z06 for a weekend trip and thought it was brutal and that he would never get the z07 package.

                          that scared me, I was pretty worried about it but theorized that the gm guy was just sensitive to any bumps or had bad roads and since I tend to be the opposite I still went ahead and got the z07 option knowing that I like flatter handling. I never regretted it at all, and was very glad I ignored the advice. In fact I rarely liked driving it in tour mode, which I felt was way too mushy, almost always had it in track mode, and went through a few cracked wheels as a result. I ender up taking it easier over speed bumps etc and never cracked a wheel after the first year. Track mode in the z07 was perfect, and I always had tour mode if I wanted to soften things up, so I will continue with the c8 z07 magride.
                          I guess everyone is different and/or maybe the roads in the Seattle suburbs are not so bumpy compared to other locations.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If the c8-z07 suspension is anything like the camaro zl1 1le count me out. On the streets that thing is brutal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm hoping for a non-track, everyday driver with AS tires, no spoiler, smooth riding C8 Z06 with a 5.5 liter roaring flat plane engine. Am I asking for too much?

                              Comment

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