By on June 30, 2017

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I doubt that very many of you have seen Robb Holland’s series over on Jalopnik about turning a salvage-title Z06 into a Pikes Peak car. That’s okay; unless you’re a particular fan of Corvettes or of Robb Holland you aren’t missing much.

At the heart of it, the series is a fairly typical exercise in what I call “Journalist Stone Soup Motorsports” — you call everybody in the world to get as much free stuff as you can and then you offer to mention them on your website. Some people are much better at this than others; Mr. Holland’s vehicular opus looks like it consumed about a thousand man-hours of free labor and maybe fifty grand worth of free stuff. Feel free to compare that to the incompetent promotional efforts of your humble author, who won an AER race last month with uh, um… some year-old, half-worn tires courtesy of Dunlop. (Thank you, Dunlop!) This is no doubt due to the fact that Robb is a handsome, well-liked television personality, whereas I’m primarily notable for being kicked out of NASA Performance Touring twice in four seasons.

There is, however, something of value in Robb’s most recent article. In the process of excusing the Corvette Z06 from overheating shenanigans (hmm… why does this sound familiar?), he asks, “Personally, I think the whole [overheating] thing is load of crap… First, how long should a street car be able to run on track before having to stop? One minute, five minutes, 100 minutes? Twenty-four hours? What’s the benchmark? A race track is a very different environment than the street. You can’t design a car to work well in both.”

It’s easy to dismiss this by pointing out all the cars that can complete SCCA and NASA sprint races with bone-stock drivetrains, but if the question isn’t relevant now, it’s about to be extremely relevant. The electric car is coming, and it’s not going to handle racing terribly well. In fact, it’s not even going to handle hot weather or off-track high speeds terribly well. So what does it need to be able to do?


A few years ago, Mr. Holland drove a Tesla Model S at the Burgerkingring, where it promptly engaged “reduced power mode” after about three minutes at full “throttle”. Although the Model S is known for fearsome acceleration, it’s also known for not being terribly Autobahn-friendly, with sustained high-speed ability that doesn’t always meet customer expectations. On the other end of the spectrum, the Nissan Leaf can overheat its batteries in hot weather, particularly under load, which leads to permanent battery degradation.

Unless something major changes in the way electric car batteries operate — which is always possible — it seems likely that the electric cars and trucks of the future won’t have quite the reserve capacity and durability that we take for granted in gasoline cars. So the real questions are: How long should an electric car be able to run on track? What amount of heat-related degradation is acceptable? Are you okay with knowing that your car is incapable of running over 100 mph for sustained periods of time?

These seem like silly questions now; after all, if you don’t like the lap times of the Model S or the hot-weather performance of the Leaf, you’re free to go buy a regular car. But what about fifteen years from now? What if we really do end up living in a Crapsack World of automotive performance? Whatcha gonna do then, huh?

[Image: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)]

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74 Comments on “QOTD: How Long Should a Street Car Be Able to Run on a Track? What If It’s Electric?...”


  • avatar
    chaparral

    Five minutes flat-out, enough for a warm-up and two qualifying laps at most American tracks. That is enough to do time-trialing or to catch the next gaggle of cars on a track day.

    Thirty minutes at 2 seconds / minute off the pace of the qualifying lap. That’s enough to finish a session or contest a race where you either have a big disadvantage or big advantage.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I think that it is quite likely that by the time fifteen years rolls around, there will have been significant improvements in battery chemistry and design that this will not be an issue. We’ve come a long way in the last fifteen years, and there are further improvements on the horizon.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @sirwired: While I agree we will probably see improvements in battery chemistry over the next 15 years, it’s the design factor that’s going to make the difference. What the author above failed to note is that the early Model S was capable of several laps during track day at a number of different tracks before dropping into ‘limp mode’ to cool the batteries, though he made sure to note the Leaf can only barely handle ordinary summertime heat. This already shows that Tesla’s battery pack design is superior to Nissan’s.

      I would also note that there has been a new racing series running over the last couple of years called Formula E, where Indy-style cars are powered exclusively by batteries. Those cars are capable of about 15 laps before they run ‘dry’, but they’re also pretty small packs. The series has their pit stops for the driver to swap cars to keep the action going. Moreover, Tesla itself is sponsoring a race series this year (I haven’t seen any races yet) where the teams are allowed to do anything with the car EXCEPT change the drivetrain and battery. In other words, stripped out and custom suspensions for certain and maybe even enhanced cooling for the battery pack. I’m thinking they could manage between 50 to 100 miles at speed, depending on what they do and how they do it.

      And like with ICE, racing the BEV will help the manufacturers design in better thermal control, possible even with active shutter systems on the intakes similar to what we’re seeing on full-sized pickup trucks today to help warm the engines on cold days (or in an electric’s case to limit cooling air when the system is trying to heat the batteries. Remember, cold batteries tend to offer less output compared to warm.)

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Worth noting that Nissan decided not to provide active thermal management for their batteries on the Leaf. This makes the Leaf, in particular, more susceptible to hot weather performance degradation and accelerates the decline of driving range over time, especially in hot climates.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          My Escape Hybrid is showing the best mileage ever in our current weather of daytime highs of 75-80 degrees. Up to the ’09’s they had extensive temperature conditioning of the battery, and the fact an 8 year old hybrid is getting the best mileage ever is proof of the effectiveness of the system at preserving the battery.

          • 0 avatar
            Not_a_luddite

            Your escape uses nickel metal batteries, not lithium ion. It’s an apples/oranges comparison.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        It’s not easy to determine the typical distance of a Formula E race. But the cars are limited to 140mph and they run for about an hour. So the distance should be about 100 miles. Formula 1 races are limited to two hours and they used to stop to refuel at least once. Presumably as battery technology improves the Formula E races will get longer, and/or not switch cars and/or allow faster speeds. I find it odd that they don’t swap battery packs instead of cars.

  • avatar
    toplessFC3Sman

    I would absolutely expect the cooling and air handling systems of any Corvette, and especially the Z06, to be able to handle a track environment. Sure, I completely understand why warranty coverage may be diminished or refused depending on the conditions, and I would certainly expect elevated rates of wear, but this is a car sold on the promise of being able to destroy much pricier hardware on a track.

    I’ve taken my mostly stock, 11 year old, 200k mile Saab 9-3 to a few HPDEs, and go into it knowing that I’m going to burning through brakes and need to keep an eye on the temperature gauge, but it will survive 20-25 minute sessions unless the air temperature gets much over 90 F. Not only is this also a reasonably complex, boosted car, with some powertrain packaging compromises (mostly b/c FWD for interior space, as opposed to RWD and compact for aerodynamics), but its definitely not designed for this type of use. If I stepped up into a Z06 that was ostensibly designed for the track and encountered the same issues, I’d be very upset and side with the owners in the class-action lawsuit.

    As for your main question on electric cars, I’d expect a similar distinction. Something designed as a “performance” electric car, like a Tesla model S, roadster etc I would absolutely expect to handle high speed or track use (battery capacity limitations aside anyway, at least initially). A Nissan Leaf or Chevy Bolt – not so much. I don’t excuse the Leaf from the degraded range in hot environments due to air-cooling the batteries; that’s just poor engineering choices (or cost-cutting too much to get to a price point), but I wouldn’t expect one to handle a track without issues either.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “I would absolutely expect the cooling and air handling systems of any Corvette, and especially the Z06, to be able to handle a track environment.”

      I wouldn’t. While I won’t deny in an open-air type of circumstance is should be sufficient, my ’96 Camaro hated hot days, showing elevated engine temperatures even on the open highway and forcing me on some days to turn off the AC, open the windows and blow heat through the cabin just to keep it from going all the way over, especially in heavy traffic where the air is unsettled and blowing over the car more than into the car, as it were. The Corvette’s grill is very low to the ground which will affect air flow into the radiator. If you’re trying to improve aerodynamics for speed, you might well reduce that air flow even more.

      Now, I’ll grant that a BEV may not need as much open radiator as an ICE, it still needs enough to help cool a liquid-cooled battery. Over the course of the racing seasons we may see larger intakes for battery cooling which would probably migrate over into the production cars over time.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “A few years ago, Mr. Holland drove a Tesla Model S at the Burgerkingring, where it promptly engaged “reduced power mode” after about three minutes at full “throttle”.”

    At what point did the accelerator pedal snap off? :-P

  • avatar
    ajla

    “You can’t design a car to work well in both.”

    I think the Z06 *should* be designed to work well on a racetrack even if that comes at the expense of on street performance.

    The Corvette line has many flavors (normal Stingray, Z51, Grand Sport, Z06, ZR1), there is no reason for the “track” version to be as compromised as it is.

    As far as electric racing performance goes, you know that answer better than me.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      I think our expectations have gotten too high.

      Take a V6 Camaro. It races the track better than any 1970 sports car, and handles the street better than any 1970 sedan, and you can have a blast in either one.

      Yeah that changes at the competition level, but thats just because there are specialist cars which always excel at doing one thing well. The Demon, fast in straight line, that was the point. Do you want to put that against a LaFerrari on a road course? it would be laughable.

      You can certainly design a car to work well in both, but you can’t make a car BEST in both. Just like you can make a pizza sandwich, but you cant make the best pizza also the best sandwich. You can make a all in one screw driver that does a great job at screwing screws, but it won’t be as good as a perfectly designed screw driver.

      The cars designed to work well in both are AMAZING today… but our expectations have grown because the specialist systems are even better

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Hmmm….so….

    A Nissan Versa would undoubtedly be a better track car than a Chevy Bolt, which would absolutely *waste* the Versa in everyday driving.

    Therefore, we are heading for a crapsack future.

    Okey dokey.

    (No, electric cars aren’t going to be good to go racing with, but there will always be plenty of good ICE cars for that.)

  • avatar
    tommytipover

    But what about fifteen years from now? What if we really do end up living in a Crapsack World of automotive performance? Whatcha gonna do then, huh?

    Start hoarding those Neons and Corollas now…

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Wrong, the Two By Two Hands Of Blue folks are going to be coming for the millions of Corollas out there. You heard it here first!

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      If it’s a Corolla you’ll need to be hoarding Toyota 6-speed manuals also because the TM 5-speed manual is basically a grenade with the pin pulled, especially if you’re planning to beat on it for track use.

  • avatar
    mcs

    What defines hot weather? The Leaf lizard battery should have solved the problem. I haven’t had any problems with running in 100-degree heat with mine. No noticeable degraded range either – other than the maybe 3% drop from the heat pump. No experience with it in 120-degree heat, so maybe in some places there are issues.

  • avatar
    a5ehren

    I’ve never driven 100mph on public roads, so it isn’t an ability I care about my cars having *as long as* they are rock-solid stable at ~80mph.

    Formula E tech advances will probably solve the track stuff for people who actually care about that, but I expect ICE or super-hybrids to survive in that realm for a long time.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Having not kept up with the state of electric car racing, do any of them have swappable battery packs? We don’t expect an ICE car to run a full race on a single tank of gas, so if electrics can be made to work similarly in a downtime sense, no problem there. If some series start instituting limitations on how many packs you can use in a season, someone will quickly find whatever advancements could br had in either capacity or heat management

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      As I said above I find it odd Formula E swaps cars and not battery packs. I have no idea how they regulate battery life. Or capacity. They must have rules about this.

      Formula 1 cars no longer refuel during races. They are hybrids now but more for a power boost than for mileage. Fast-as-possible refuelling was too expensive and dangerous.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        The hybrid components in F1 exist for fuel economy, not power. Fuel capacity and flow are limited to encourage efficiency, and they certainly are much more efficient than their predecessors. They’re using about 2/3 the fuel of those. But they would still be faster with a lighter, simpler, less-restricted, non-hybrid drivetrain; assuming that minimum vehicle weight be allowed to decrease by the amount of the hybrid components.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    It won’t matter how long an EV can run on the race track because the batteries will run out of juice at full-throttle running very quickly. If they put bigger (heavy) batteries in to increase range, then the limiting factor will be tires that wear out after 3 laps.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      Familiarize yourself with Formula E.

      • 0 avatar
        stingray65

        I am familiar – they run short races and switch cars in the middle. They are also purpose built race cars – not street cars converted to race use.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          I’m suspicious your position boils down to electric cars being of no use unless their power trains are superior to ICE cars in every respect.

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            brandloyalty – – –

            b: “I’m suspicious your position boils down to electric cars being of no use unless their power trains are superior to ICE cars in every respect.”

            Ummm … I think you said it wrongly.

            It should be: “Electric cars are of no use because their power trains are inferior to ICE cars in every respect.”

            There. That’s much better. Wouldn’t you agree?
            We can all use correction from time to time… (^_^)….

            =====================

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “It should be: ‘Electric cars are of no use because their power trains are inferior to ICE cars in every respect.\'”

            — Totally false statement to anybody who has actually bothered to study the concept for any length of time. While ICE does have their advantages over BEV, those advantages are extremely limited to specialized purposes, most of which require travel beyond 200-300 miles; and even there the BEV for one brand cuts into that advantage fairly effectively. And this is BEFORE the modern BEV is even fully matured.

            • A) With very limited exceptions, highway speed limits around the world do not exceed 100mph (160kph). So no vehicle outside of purpose-built or highly customized cars for racing have any need to exceed that speed. The available racetrack in most communities tend to see race speeds average around 80mph because of their small size and dirt surface and you certainly don’t see street-stock cars racing on those tracks, either.

            • B) As has been stated before, the average American drives less than 100 miles per day, which means having range longer than 200-300 miles is simply unnecessary for daily purposes outside of commercial services. Most of those commercial services themselves, such as courier services for medical pickup and delivery, floral delivery, etc., rarely exceed 300 miles per day. And if they do, plugging in for even one hour on a level 2 charger can boost that range by another hundred miles. Lunch break, for many such services, is an hour.

            • C) No need to handle smelly fuel pumps or expose yourself to the weather, hot or cold, wind, rain, snow, whatever, for longer than it takes to plug in and walk into the house. One of the longest and loudest complaints about BEVs is the length of time it takes to charge, but the simple fact that you don’t have to stand beside the car while it’s charging makes that argument specious at best. What is worse in my opinion is when some ICE driver plugs that fuel nozzle into his tank and walks into the store, leaving pump and vehicle unattended. Said owner then proceeds to spend ten to fifteen minutes in the store, blocking access to that pump and in the case of a two-or three pump island may block access to at least one other pump on that island for at least that long. Talk about a lack of consideration!

            No, BEVs are notably superior for most everyday purposes. Yes, a few models are lacking, but even pickup trucks are on the way, one company already taking reservations for an “extended range” version but who is well known for building CNG trucks of all sizes. We now have a brand-new company proposing a new design pickup with a drivetrain suspiciously similar to Tesla’s. For the purposes most such “light duty” trucks are used, these will be ideal and will offer an economy the current full-sized ICE models can’t approach.

  • avatar
    NoID

    Herr Holland’s assertion that you can’t expect a car to perform well on both the street and track is pure hogwash. We strive to make our cars excel in both conditions.

    I can’t speak about our specific performance targets, but I will say then when I heard the Corvette engineer mention in the wake of their overheating debacle that their peak environmental performance objective for their cars is an amateur driver at 85 degrees F, I literally laughed out loud.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    considering practically nobody takes their street car (ICE or EV) onto a track, I’d really say it just doesn’t matter.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      Ding, Ding, Ding. Winner right here. I will say that high performance cars, like the Corvette in question, should probably be able to survive a modest track day though. Its sort of like the Nissan GT-R advertising launch mode and then disclaiming any warranty repairs when owners grenade the transmission in the process. I am sure if Hitler had a Corvette he would be mighty pi$$ed at the lack of track day ability. And if you haven’t seen the Hitler GT-R video, you simply must, it is masterful.

      At a minimum, GM should be selling optional track cooling systems. That way the people who will never track the car don’t have to pay extra and the people who want to have it covered.

    • 0 avatar
      Maintainer

      Holy cow! A voice of reason? On the internet? For real?

      I’m shocked the one “that guy” hasn’t chimed in here yet. You know, the one that claims to track his DD for 48 hours every week in all weather conditions.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      How well do any of these cars deal with European highways at elevated speeds? The summer autobahn for example.

      When I lived in Italy 25+ years ago the police mostly didn’t care what speeds people drove if the highways were not crowded and you were between the cities. There were rules though, no passing on the right, etc.

      I used to drive my bone stock US spec ’83 VW GTI at ~100 mph for 150 miles. The limiting factor was oil temps. They would climb until I backed off. My personal limit was 225F or so.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “I used to drive my bone stock US spec ’83 VW GTI at ~100 mph for 150 miles. ”
        —- And what kind of fuel economy were you getting at those speeds? Even 25 years ago, the average fuel price came out to around $6/US gallon.
        I would also note that, like here, the autobahns/expressways are much more crowded now than they were then.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    There was a tanker explosion on a Michigan highway near Flint – now, which one, I can’t remember, as Google suggests that this is a relatively common phenomenon. The salient point of this explosion was that it was late at night, and, being during the particularly bad years of Flint, there was very slow emergency response.

    I remember hearing the witness from another driver who was on the expressway who survived this. He wound his car up as fast as it would go and he punched through the flames. I’m sure the car was scrapped, but I recall them saying that, basically, he had just burned off all the paint; that the car was still mechanically running. I remember it also being not that fantastic of a car.

    Sometimes, you need speed. The driver judged that there was no way he could stop in time and get turned around. There are other times you just need speed. You can wind up a tiny 4-cylinder engine to pretty high speeds and then wind it down repeatedly without issue. That speed should not be damaging for a few minutes of high speed driving. If the Leaf is supposed to be the replacement for the commuter car penalty box, it should be as good as a Kia Rio or Forte in this regard.

    • 0 avatar
      a5ehren

      I imagine most EVs would smoke a Kia Forte in 70-100 times if you really need it for a quick burst.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        The only one that’s available that I would trust to do that is the Bolt. The Bolt and the Leaf will never make it to 100, though.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve65

          Performance limitations on BEVs are mostly deliberate, and built into the controller programming.

          There’s no particular reason a Leaf or Bolt couldn’t go well over 100mph. They just wouldn’t be able to do it for more than a minute or two without completely draining the battery.

        • 0 avatar
          Not_a_luddite

          My friend’s leaf will hit 96 indicated, not quite the ton, but the 4% is within the margin of error for a speedometer.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      How do these same cars deal with fast European highways if they can’t handle 80 mph in the USA?

      I’ve used the top end of several of my cars over the years. Late one night I backed way down to get some distance between me and a sleepy trucker. He had tandem trailers and the second trailer was wobbling back and forth in an alarming way.

      I was driving an ’83 CRX 1.3L 5MT. Took forever to make speed. Passed him at 90 mph plus to minimize time next to him. Was thankful he didn’t wobble into my lane b/c I might not be able to avoid him but I was young and immortal back then.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “I’ve used the top end of several of my cars over the years.”
        —- For the example you used, a modern BEV wouldn’t have needed that run-up and you certainly didn’t keep it there for all that long, either. Driving in my Fiat 500 over the last 2 years had me scooting around big trucks on I-95 without ever needing to run up and build speed to zip past those trucks at 80mph or faster. Even then, I never needed to even try for 90, though I might have managed it; I wasn’t exactly watching my speedometer when doing something like that because traffic on I-95 between Boston to Richmond is typically very heavy, even where the freeway is five lanes wide.

  • avatar
    arach

    If it can’t go all out for an hour, its useless.

    even casual track days take the heat for 30-45 minutes a run.

    Then typically you need at least 3 runs. You have some cooling and charge time there, but thats the LOW end.

    Would I pay $450 for a track day with the model S? heck no. You couldn’t enjoy it. You’d have more fun with a toyota tercel with non matching tires and 10 year old brake fluid.

    If you can’t even get a basic beginner track day out of the way, how do you have fun with it?

    As you get more competitive you’ll work into 1 and 2 hour segments, and thats not even getting into REAL competition, just you figuring out how things work.

    Now your talking 2-3 hours a day, with 1-2 breaks.

    This is a good conversation piece though, because that kind of sucks for the electric revolution. The part time use electric in NSXes and stuff could make sense but full electric for true performance use is probably many many years away.

  • avatar

    As long as the Corvette is engineered to withstand the rigors of sitting in an old man’s open garage it will sell just fine.

  • avatar
    tomm

    “considering practically nobody takes their street car (ICE or EV) onto a track, I’d really say it just doesn’t matter.”

    Actually I think that a lot of us take our performance cars to track events as a way to enjoy them in a way they were intended to be driven. If I owned a Z06 that overheated on the track for a DE event, I would be extremely upset about it. My 911 runs at 194 degrees on the street, regardless of ambient air temperature or how it is driven. In a DE event with 25 minute track sessions, I saw it go up to 196 degrees on one occasion. And the oil temperature never went outside of the range I normally see on the street. I would expect the same from any newer high performance car.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    Should an ICE car handle race car conditions? In an ideal world yes, but after the bean counters are through with it, no way. Auxiliary oil coolers? Nope. Ducting for said coolers and brakes etc? Sorry, rather have LED fog lights and we need peak MPG for CAFE.

    For EV, ultimately, we may see flywheels, capacitors or some other form of storage over batteries.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    IIRC, the pending Porsche Mission-E car supposedly licks this problem. Porsche pointed this out in a jab at Tesla.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I suppose I get the jab at Robb Holland for forgiving, perhaps undeservedly so, the Corvette for lack of track day cooling ability. However, I read the hill climb piece yesterday and must say that it was perhaps the most entertaining and captivating piece of automotive fluff I have found on the interwebs in quite some time (including this site).

    I for one thought it was great journalism even if it has the ulterior motive of free parts, labor and sponsorship promotion. Kind of shocked that TTAC is slamming him, the article and or the whole endeavor.

    I don’t know, maybe just a question of the day: Should the Corvette be forgiven for its lackluster cooling system? and reference the article…vs “look at this shill and his ridiculous whoring for attention and free stuff.”

    Just sayin, not cool, unnecessary.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    “A race track is a very different environment than the street. You can’t design a car to work well in both.”

    I get what Robb is trying to say here. Anything built to do more than one purpose results in some form of compromise, which means it won’t do both things as well as a single purpose “tool.” The more you’re willing to spend, the less compromise you end up with. You can buy a $15 knock-off Swiss army knife with the little plastic toothpick that you will lose 5 minutes after you put in your pocket. Yes, the scissors work, yes the knife works, yes, the leather awl works, sort of. Or you can spend $100 on a Leatherman tool. Yes, it is still a compromise over a dedicated tool box, but it will do a lot of these things better than a Swiss army knife.

    I’ve never driven an Audi R8 for example, but everything I’ve read and watched indicates it is both a practical, from a supercar standpoint, daily drive, and an amazingly forgiving track car. Another example that comes to mind is the Porsche 911 and all the various variants from the last 5 decades. Great on the street, livable as a daily if you have the money, amazing on the track if you have the skills.

    I hated my week with a Zeta platform V6 Camaro, but did conclude that its strength lies in being driven past 6/10ths. It is still a livable street car if you can accept some day-to-day torture, but it sure seems it would be a great track car.

    If you’re willing to pay enough, the compromises of track vs. street become minimal.

    To the questions how long is long enough? I think the bigger issue of racing an electric car is recharging. You either need to get through the day for each heat, even if they’re are individually short, and be able to recharge quickly for your next time on the track.

    I don’t see any of the electric vehicles out today able to answer that question without arriving and leaving on a trailer, pulled by an ICE.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    Simple as this: Manufacturer posts Nurburgring time? Then it should handle that Nurburgring time x2 without overheating. Which should discourage posting Nurburgring times and make the times useful.

    Seriously though,

    It basically comes down to how it’s marketed to me.

    Since a demon is specifically marketed at 1/4 miles, it should be able to do a few back to back runs without issue.

    I think a 1le camaro, or a gt350 has an implied warranty that it can handle some trackwork. I think a z06 does as well, but a regular stingray may not.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    In 15 years car racing probably will be electric-only.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Stop using single laps around the Burgerking drive through, and start using Cannonball runs, as the fast car metric uber alles. Infinitely more relevant for actual usage of fast street cars, than any track escapade.

  • avatar
    psychoboy

    While I’m not foolish enough to compare a stock Corvette to the hundreds of fairly street-ish cars that regularly compete in AER, WRL, Lucky Dog, Chump, or LeMons, I would like to question the notion that street cars can’t (or shouldn’t) be expected to run balls out for lengthy amounts of time.

    Most of the competitive teams I follow in these leagues are running about 2 hour stints for 14 hours, with maybe 5 minutes of cool down during driver swaps and refueling. Many of them may not be able to hang with the pre-limped Corvette around the whole track, but they /are/ generally operating at their own limits for much of that time. And while those cars can find several ways to end a weekend, a pure overheat due to design concerns (as opposed to head gaskets, leaks, or other damage issues) are quite rare.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Car manufacturers test their engines for lengthy high rpm runs. I was in a Nissan test center recently where they were running their engines for days close to the red line. I believe they said 72 hours, checked and more hours. Imagine glowing red exhaust manifolds. These are engines that reach production in ordinary vehicles – minivans, sedans and SUVs.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Jack, again for no reason you are picking on Corvette and GM. This time it is the Z06. Remember last time you were complaining about ring times for Camaro ZL1 and how that means nothing. Now its Z06. Did some Corvette driver teach you a lesson on a race track? Is this why you are angry?

    The overheating issues are resolved. Corvette Z06 just had the best Corvette time at Pikes Peak. Even Road and track that you work for has that on their site. A little research before you post mundane stories about Corvettes and Corvette drivers help.

    Last weekend I dusted off a motorcycle rider (it was a Harley or fat BMW), a souped up Mazda 3 and a BRZ in my stingray. The motorcycle rider turned away at first right turn in shame. Never saw the yellow BRZ after I dusted him with the stingray. And the souped up Mazda gave me thumbs up.

    The stingray is what you need to test and drive. The Z06 is a beast. Drive it and give us your feedback. I know you have been driving McLarens and Ferraris and Lamborghinis (Lotus is irrelevant), we want to hear about the Z06, not your old generation C5 hand me down from Matt Farah.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Jack really should try driving a C7 in Admiral Blue before making any further comments about them.

      • 0 avatar
        pmirp1

        I have one in Atlanta and looks and drives beautiful. Z51 mag suspension, chrome wheels. Last weekend a lady cyclist at stoplight couldn’t stop saying how beautiful it is to me. Wonder how often that happens to Porsche or irrelevant Lotus driver. Little kids dance to my Stingray and I have seen people take pictures with their phones. He said previously he has seat time in Stingray and (probably) Z06. Why not talk from personal perspective? He is a good driver and we can get some real feedback if he is honest.

        Instead all we get are news about supercars. I get it he works for Road and Track and that is part of their responsibility. Been subscriber to that magazine for a long time (as well as Car and Driver). But you can also drive American and convey your feedback as a good driver. (Truth be told I like his piece on Road and Track about Challengers, that new Challenger is one sexy beast, but I already also have a Deep impact blue Mustang premium GT 2014, so two car garage is full) and the Jeep GC(every day car) and lady’s RAV-4 sit outside.

        Instead, all we get are supercar reports or old car reports. At least his brother talks a good game and drives American. Wish TTAC let Bark back in. Jack talks a great game, but as he said he is a German brand shill.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          I do find the C7 to be especially pretty in darker colors like that.

          Jack appears to have driven a few C7s and I can’t recall him saying anything particularly negative about them, just as I can’t recall him being overwhelmingly positive about any German manufacturers. A quick search seems to indicate an appreciation of the C7. A couple examples:

          “With a few niceties, our Stingray cost $66,775. Contributing editor Jack Baruth called it the “finest combination of track pace and back-road aplomb any manufacturer has ever offered for that price.””

          roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a25867/long-term-test-wrap-up-2014-chevrolet-corvette-stingray/

          “To answer that, I thought about my final drive in the Corvette, down the vicious, dark side of a steep hill. The C7 may not have the flash of the Black Series, and it might not be as affordable as the Fiesta, but down a difficult road or around an open track, it has virtually all of the former’s pace with the accessible brilliance of the latter. You can use full throttle, you can use the brakes. You can use the C7, but you won’t use it up. It’s the most capability that any manufacturer has ever delivered for this money, it’s rewarding to drive for everyone from novice to seasoned racer, and it is, definitely and deservedly, the Road & Track Performance Car of the Year.”

          roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a5850/2013-road-and-track-performance-car-of-the-year/

          Unlike most automotive writers, he is willing to call out flaws in anything. That said, overheating the Z06 was not one of them.

          “The most frequent text I got however, from auto journalists and casual friends and my own relatives was this: Did the Z06 blow up yet? Did it overheat? Did anything happen to it? After the tenth message to that effect I started to view PCOTY as a Guns N’ Roses tour during the “Use Your Illusion” period, where sometimes eighty thousand people and all the event workers and all the security and the roadies and the whole band would be there waiting to get started… but Axl Rose would be face-down in a public restroom somewhere. It was bound to happen, right? At some point, the Z06 would just check out. It would overheat or someone would put it in a tire wall or maybe one of the massively complicated computers that control everything from the differential to the multifunction LCD dash would just check out. I was told again and again that it was bound to happen. Just a matter of time.

          And yet it didn’t . . .”

          roadandtrack.com/new-cars/road-tests/a27092/corvette-z06-pcoty-opinion/

          You’ll probably like this one:

          roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a8637/the-peoples-car-c7-chevrolet-corvette/

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    How long should an electric car be able to run on track?
    ZERO!

    Put the electric appliances in the hands of the huddled masses to drop our carbon footprint and leave the “closed course” or “offroad only” work to ICE.

    What amount of heat-related degradation is acceptable?
    See above – it is an appliance for to and from work and trips to the health food store.

    Are you okay with knowing that your car is incapable of running over 100 mph for sustained periods of time?
    Um – where in North America do we have highway speeds of 85 mph let alone 100 mph?

    If BEV’s want to race, that is for their manufactures to worry about.

    When will they make a BEV pickup that can last more than 200 miles towing 10k or with 2k in the box?

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    JB Summary questions:
    “So the real questions are: How long should an electric car be able to run on track? What amount of heat-related degradation is acceptable? Are you okay with knowing that your car is incapable of running over 100 mph for sustained periods of time?”

    1) JB: “How long should an electric car be able to run on track?”
    ANS: ~90 minutes. (Approximate average time of a WeatherTech IMSA race.)

    2) JB: “What amount of heat-related degradation is acceptable?”
    ANS: Question not addressable:
    a) How do you define and quantitatively measure “heat degradation”?
    b) And then, how much do you measure that effect in ICE cars (if there is any)?

    3) JB: “Are you okay with knowing that your car is incapable of running over 100 mph for sustained periods of time.”
    ANS: No. Any IMSA car (e.g., Corvette, Porsche, Jaguar, Ferrari, Aston Martin, BMW, Ford) needs to be able to run at 100-150 MPH for >90 minutes to compete in GTLM. If there is a special class set up for just Tesla-like EV’s, then that’s a different issue.

    Ref: http://sportscarchampionship.imsa.com/schedule-results/current-results

    =======================

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Run them hard and take the lessons learned to the production cars. There have been significant improvements in all the EVs and hybrids over the past decade.

  • avatar
    JRobUSC

    I don’t know that I’d care that my electric car couldn’t complete a full bore lap at the Nurburgring. However, if my electric car was famous because the media kept playing up its ridiculous 0-60 times, I WOULD care that I could only launch the car that way a couple of times on a full battery before I’d have to pop the car back onto a charger and let the car cool down. Somehow in the rush by the press to fellate Tesla and Elon Musk for anything they do, this never gets mentioned. All they tell you is how quick it is, never that it’s only that quick a couple of times on a full battery, and then it’s a normal car.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Ultra capacitors will make huge improvements to EV efficiency, and maybe racers will adapt them for track work.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    So, the Mopar guys say the Challenger Hellcat can run for 20+ minutes on a track without issue but a Z06 overheats after a few minutes?

    I guess if it were an endurance race the Challenger would win?

    Facetiousness aside, a “performance” vehicle should be able to run a whole HPDE session without any issues.

  • avatar
    LazyJK

    I owned a street car that shrugged off 20+ minute track sessions in scorching hot weather. It was a goddamn Peuegot 206 2.0 turbo diesel! Twice I did full track days of 300+ km of track time during a hot summer. The instructors could not believe it. Engine temps ok, not a slightest hint of brake fade but it did eat the front tires (basically 1 track day = 2 new front tires). That was a factory geometry issue (I had it checked more than once). Compare this to the car I have now, a 2008 VW Polo GTI that starts to lose brakes after 3-4 hard applications… to say I am disappointed is a freaking understatement. And this is not even on a “real” track day but on a Nordschleife “tourist drive”. This year I got fed up with feeding it expensive brake pads and switched to street ATE pads – I might still take it on a track now and then but I have no plans for it now. I refuse to punch holes in the bumper, put racing pads or big brake kit (and necessary larger wheels) on a car that I want to get rid of in two years. Fuck you, VW.


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