It’s no secret that the C7 Z06 Corvette left some to be desired in the cooling department, this issue becoming most apparent at the hands of enthusiastic drivers on the track. America’s sports car is a hugely popular platform for high performance driver education, open track days, and road racing. But the issue of heat must be addressed if any sort of reliability and longevity is to be attained.
The sizable supercharger that defines the Z06 is a source of a lot of extra heat compared to a naturally aspirated powerplant. While this heat is all in the name of boost and power, it has to go somewhere. Packaging all the systems to make that happen is arguably where the C7 fell down. The folks at LG Motorsports live and breath Corvette aftermarket support, and their latest big R&D project has been to rectify the cooling woes experienced by so many owners. According to Lou Gigliotti of LG Motorsports, “The problem with the system was that the factory intercooler was putting out very hot air behind it — flowing into the car’s water radiator.”
“We’ve managed to drop the blower temp 20 degrees, water temp 40 degrees and engine oil temps almost 70 degrees. We did our own track testing because you can’t duplicate that kind of abuse on the dyno,” explained Anthony Forney of LG Motorsports. “The way the car is setup right now it has our radiator, 170 degree thermostat, stage 2 cooling package which is a dual intercooler setup that replaces the OEM piece along with ducting and everything through the nose and fenders,” he continued.
By relocating the OEM single large intercooler, cool air will be able to pass unobstructed through the radiator, while the two intercoolers draw their own air from the corners of the nose. This packaging solution is a much more progressive arrangement and hints at a more motorsports-aware methodology. While GM may have chosen its original design out of cost, simplicity, and protection of the intercooler, it certainly could be improved upon.
Initial testing back in February 2016 used 3-D printed trim ducts, and pop-riveted installation, however the finished products will be carbon-fiber when they reach the hands of Corvette owners. Now, just in the finishing stages, LG Motorsports plans to begin building kits ready for shipment in a few weeks. Because the installation of the new intercoolers requires a little bumper surgery it’s understandable that squeamish Corvette owners may opt to go with a nose piece supplied by LG. “We will offer a precut nose with all the ducts in it,” Forney hinted.
The next phase of LG Motorsports testing will include a bump in power to the tune of about 150 horsepower over stock thanks to a cam, headers, and a few other modifications. The new cooling will be put to the test at the new baseline, thinking ahead Forney reported provisions for an auxiliary oil cooler would allow even more heat dissipation if it proves necessary but we’ll have to wait for their next batch of track data for that. Look for the LG Motorsports stage 2 cooling package and other specialized bits for your C7 Z06 soon.