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E39 M5 (1998-2003)

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Old 02-25-2014, 12:29 PM
z06x60z z06x60z is offline
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Location: California
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: C5 Z06
2002 Corvette Z06 vs E39 BMW M5

Hello I am seeking some answers on my car vs the M5. I have a 2002 Corvette Z06. It is one of the most fun cars I have ever driven. It handles really well and takes turns flawlessly. I am however concerned about one thing. On the highway it seems to be sluggish in 4th and 5th gear. I want my car to be faster from a roll than it already is. Another concern I have is that its top speed is only 171-178 mph. It has a 405HP LS6 motor with a M12 transmission. The only reason the Z06 is faster from a roll is because its about 800-900lbs lighter. If the M5 was the same weight it would beat the Z06 from a roll. Now the M5 has the same HP as the Z06 but it has a higher top speed. I just don't understand why the M5 has a higher top speed and why it would beat the Z06 given it was the same weight. Both motors make about 400 HP. Is the LS6 a weaker motor when it comes to top end? How does it this work? I would appreciate it if someone can explain this to me. This same argument can be made for the C6 Z06 vs the E60 BMW M5. If I were to change the diff ratio on the Z06 from 3.42 to 3.90 I would be faster from a roll but lose even more top speed. The top speed would probably drop to 160 mph. I am really at a dead end here and would like to know what the answer is.

1st Gear 2.97
2nd Gear 2.07
3rd Gear 1.43
4th Gear 1.00
5th Gear 0.84
6th Gear 0.56
Final drive 3.42

E39 BMW M5
1st 4.227
2nd 2.528
3rd 1.669
4th 1.226
5th 1.000
6th 0.827
Final 3.150
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:17 PM
timfitz63's Avatar
timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
MT = Doppler Shifting
Location: Lorena & San Antonio, TX
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 879
Mein Auto: 2007 X3 (MT)
I'm not up on how all the numbers mesh when it comes to drive ratios, but one might make the following observation about the numbers you put in your post:

The M5 is running at the same gearing ratio in 5th gear as the Z06 is in 4th; basically the same thing when comparing an M5 in 6th gear with a Z06 in 5th. In other words, all other things being equal (including weight), a Z06 would need to remain in 4th gear to match the acceleration potential of an M5 in 5th gear; and same with 5th gear on the Z06 compared to 6th gear on the M5.

The C5's are geared for economy in the top two gears; that's why a 400-Hp car gets upper 20's gas mileage on the highway. Chevy did that to avoid the so-called 'gas guzzler' tax on the C5. Even in its top gear, the M5 won't get that kind of gas mileage, and BMW made no such gearing concessions for the sake of gas mileage or the consumer's purchase costs.

X3 w/6-speed & Sport Package:
A sports sedan disguised as an SUV...
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