When fitted with the Z51 performance pack, regular C8 Corvettes get a heat exchanger at the driver’s side rear of the car. The Z06 has them on both sides. “We’ve added, effectively, two heat exchangers, more airflow, and increased the power of the front fans,” Holder said.
“The [C7] Z06 did not have any side outboard coolers when it launched,” Cadillac performance variant manager Mirza Grebovic told me during the CT5-V Blackwing‘s launch this past summer, so it sounds like that’s been addressed here.
In total, the new Z06 has five radiators/heat exchangers. There are two in the rear and the three up front are part of what Holder calls a “bulk cooling” strategy. Basically, the car has a face full of radiators.
“The primary heat exchangers are at the front of the car, even though the engine’s at the back,” he explained. “You can think of those as one conjoined radiator. Even though they’re three separate pieces, they all share fluid and flow. We pipe cold coolant—a water-glycol mixture—to the rear of the engine, through the water pump. Some of it tees off and goes through the secondary heat exchangers. We call them step-down coolers. So you’ve already got that cold coolant mixture, you go back through another set of radiators that drops the temperature more, and then we feed those through the oil cooler. So that’s a liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger: One of them has engine-oil-to-coolant and the other has transmission-lube-to-coolant.”
You can see what Holder is talking about in our Instagram video here.
Holder went on, “Especially in a high-revving, high-horsepower engine, it’s very important to keep the engine lubricants at proper operating temp. You don’t want it too cold and you really don’t want it too hot. The transmission is no different because of our wet clutch system. The clutches are bathed in oil. You want the temperature to be consistent. So the friction coefficient is consistent so that our transmission calibrations and everything operates the way we need them to.”
Why No Roof Scoop?
As for why the car doesn’t have a roof scoop?
“It’s not like we haven’t talked about it,” Holder responded, “but the biggest challenge for us is Corvette is an open-air driving machine. The body structure was designed around an open-air car.”