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Nitto NT555 G2 + Nitto NT555 RII Tire Review: First Impressions on a Corvette C5 Z06

Since the C5 Z06 left the market in 2004, it almost instantly gained notoriety in the enthusiast community as a performance bargain. Straddling the line (literally and figuratively) between the more old-school Corvettes of the 20th century, and the modern machines of the 21st, the C5 Z06 has proven to be an excellent choice for budget-minded buyers.

2004 C5 Corvette Z06

Even compared to modern RWD cars, the C5 Z06 still holds up. With 0-60 times of four seconds flat and quarter-mile ETs in the low 12s, the 'Vette's acceleration is still fantastic by today's standards, as are its handling capabilities.

2004 C5 Corvette Z06 rear

When Z06 owner Anthony McConnell purchased this 2004 Chevy Z06 Corvette, he was initially drawn to the sleek body lines, the lightweight fiberglass body, and the immense power and capabilities of the LS6 engine. He likens the car to the feeling of being in an adult go-kart.

2004 C5 Corvette Z06 rear wheel

New to High Horsepower RWD Performance

Coming from the world of FWD Honda performance, the Z06 came with a little bit of a learning curve for Anthony. “The primary difference that I immediately noticed is the torque. Through all the years and all of the cars I have owned, the insta-torque is quite incredible. There is no comparison. The adrenaline and joy when driving this car is something to talk about. I'd say the biggest challenge, without making myself look foolish, is driving a decently high WHP car that can easily get away from you,” Anthony said.

2004 C5 Corvette Z06 side profile

Although Anthony only recently purchased the car, the previous owner had modified it with a Vararam cold air intake, light head work, FLP Custom Street Cam, Borla exhaust, cat delete, and a supporting tune. Anthony has not dynoed the car, but it is safe to assume that it has a considerable amount of more power than it left the factory with.

Chevrolet LS6 in C5 Corvette Z06

NT555 G2 + NT555 RII Combo

Unsatisfied with the wheel and tire setup when he initially purchased the car, Anthony commissioned a set of staggered diameter and width CCW wheels to allow for more tire, and thus, more grip. When he plugged in the tire sizes he wanted to his preferred tire vendor, he immediately went for a set of Nitto tires: 245/45/17 Nitto NT555 G2 ultra high performance summer tires for the front, and 305/35/18 Nitto NT555 RII D.O.T.-compliant competition drag radials for the rear.

2004 C5 Corvette Z06 rear 3/4

Anthony was excited to be able to use this particular tire set up. “I have run Nittos on many vehicles. I have always respected the quality of the tires and I knew these perfect. I went with staggered sizing because I don't plan to auto cross—I wanted the maximum street legal traction in the rear I could get, with the matching brand up front. I made the right decision with the NT555RII,” Anthony said.

Nitto NT555 G2 on Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Engineered to Work Together

Nitto designed the G2 and RII to complement each other, so drivers can put the drag radials on the driven axle and the NT555 G2s on the non-driven axle. When developing both product lines, Nitto matched the tread pattern and sizing to fit modern performance vehicles.

Nitto NT555 RII on Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Predictable on the Street, Wet or Dry

When asked for his initial impressions, Anthony simply noted how grippy the RIIs were. The high-grip compound and semi-racing construction provide increased traction in performance situations, while the large circumferential grooves aid wet handling for unexpected inclement weather. He admits, “I drive the car fairly regularly and it has been driven through rain. I have no concerns with these tires in inclement weather.”

Nitto NT555 G2 on C5 Z06

Even for a driver like Anthony who isn’t tracking his car, this NT555 G2 and NT555 RII combo allows a high horsepower car to be street-able for experienced drivers. For those that live in a part of the country that allows for daily-driven ultra high-performance tires, this combo is a solution for balancing traction needs and on-road drivability.

C5 Corvette Z06 on Nitto Tires

  • Looking to pick up your own C5 Corvette Z06? Here's our quick buyer's guide
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