The C6 Z06 is a definite firebreather. It’s easy to observe the stats and appreciate the lap times its capable of, but it’s not a car that’s friendly—and for the uninitiated, it’s a little too much. Of course, that’s part of the appeal. However, the experienced driver who has quick hands and generous masculine outgrowths knows how fun the lightweight Z06 can be if treated with a little caution.

However, it has its setbacks. Whereas a Porsche GT3, with its short overhangs and plentiful visibility, gives the driver a great sense of where the car sits, the Z06 is a much less wieldy thing. That isn’t to say it doesn’t handle well—it does—but it’s the length of the hood, and the driver’s position in the low-slung car that makes it harder to place, and harder to trust in the faster sections. Yet, those aren’t the things a driver really needs to be wary of.

This Z06, nicknamed “Dark Leyla,” has been optimized for track work. Photo credit: corvette-germany.de

It’s the snappiness at the rear which needs to be considered. The 505 naturally-aspirated horsepower are quite capable of spinning up the rears without too much warning, even though a transaxle offers a little more traction. This particular Z06 has been tuned and its LS7 outputs 600 horsepower, but has a set of Bilstein MDS shocks, BBS wheels, and Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires to help administer the extra oomph. With those choice upgrades, the Z06 becomes an unmatched, unrestrained, analog sports car with the sort of grip that encourages a driver to push—but it still has teeth—as our man discovers turning onto the Nordschleife. Thankfully, he saves the slide beautifully, but is reminded of how this creature can still bite if you’re not careful.