America Brings Out a Lightsaber… To a Gun Fight
We all know that the Corvette has always been the bargain sports car. And the arguments have raged on for years upon years on whether the Corvette was better than the Porsche 911 and the entire Ferrari lineup throughout the years. In 2006 we saw the new Z06 come out and show the world that Corvette wasn’t fooling around anymore and wasn’t just playing the war of who can add more power to something so un-unique. With the Z06 it had 505hp and 470lb-ft of torque making it capable of a 3.4s 0-60 run according to Car and Driver and a ¼ mile time of 11.5s or less. The Super-Vette even posted an awe inspiring 7:42.9 Nürburgring lap time. That is right on target with the Porsche 997 911 GT3 RS, Ford GT and only 2s behind the McLaren-Mercedes SLR, Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG, The 997 911 Turbo, Lamborghini LP640 and the all too over-talked about Bugatti Veyron. Now that America has been just pacing the greats around the world they are ready to step up to the plate and beat them at every turn. Please ladies and gentleman welcome the 620+hp 600lb-ft of torque Corvette ZR1.
America was tired of being told it was sub-par and just adequate. They pulled out all the stops for this car. Where the Z06 will rub your wallet at roughly $80,000 or less, the ZR1 hits the $100,000 mark. Yes, I’m not joking when I say that. It’s well worth it too once you realize what this car has in it and is made of for that $100k. I already mentioned the 620+hp engine, but what I didn’t mention is that it is still a V8, which Corvette already does so well, so why change it? Even more so the non stock engine V8. This isn’t just a beafed up Z06 7.0l LS7 motor. Oh no! This is a supercharged 6.2l LS3 V8 that comes standard with 430hp in the regular Corvette.
This sort of power is made from an all new Eaton supercharger that almost matches the best turbo’s of the world today just without the major lag issues that come with most of them and while producing 10.5 psi peak boost. The engine is all business with a clear polycarbonate window showing off the hidden top mounted intercooler. This engine was taken apart and put back together with nothing but the best pieces in the world, and by hand too just like the Z06. Even better there are just a handful of people that work on the engines by hand to ensure perfection in every one. None of the power numbers are set in stone and no one has officially tested the vehicles true abilities yet, so the SAE has a job on their hands to post up that information.
With carbon fiber fenders, hood, front splitter, rockers and roof including c-pillar, this car weighs just that of the 3,162lbs the Z06 weighs, maybe a little more. The cf (carbon fiber) coloring that is visible is coated with a nice clear coat to help prevent any fading of the carbon fiber. Other weight saving materials that help the ZR1’s performance are standard Brembo carbon ceramic cross-drilled brakes with 6 piston calipers up front and 4 pistons in the rears. The brakes are fitted with all new Michelin Pilot Sport 2’s that were made special for the car. Giving a bigger tire up front, 285/30R19, and a monstrous 335/25R20, all helping to keep the new Uber-Super-Vette planted in the turns, stopped quickly and even more so helping the car stay at ease with the new chassis setup to achieve 200+ mph.
Remember that the Z06 did 60mph in first gear? Well the ZR1 does 64mph in first. Hell I’m just throwing my car into third gear around that time. That is just insane. Expect the 0-60 time of this American beast to be around 3.2-3.0s. The new ZR1 will be raced around the ‘Ring soon I’m sure, and probably by none other than Jan Magnusen who ran the Z06 perfectly around the ‘Ring as well.
All this, but will it be civilized? Or will it just be another non daily driver from America? It will be probably more well rounded then the current Z06. The ZR1 comes standard with the regular Corvette’s Magnetic Selective Ride that is oh so smooth on all types of road surfaces.
Will this Vette truly be the one that takes on the world and really beats them? As we know the Z06 does well against everyone it goes up against, but, can the ZR1 beat the Enzo’s, Carrera GT’s and SLR’s of the world? Can it really once and for all show that Corvette is the only true American sports car/super car? I believe that every time someone says Viper or SRT-10 against the Corvette people will finally laugh The new ZR1 is supposed to be taken to the streets immediately against the Ferrari 599GTB Fiorano and Porsche 911 GT2. It can survive, and will. Can it be just as good if not better for $100,000+ less? Only time will tell, but, I’m already saying yes! You can have your reservations, I understand. Just don’t expect the ZR1 to show up to a smoking battle not knowing what the hell is going on. This is the American super car we have been waiting for. Oh yeah, and did I mention they are only making 2000 per year? Yum, I never knew victory could taste so sweet.
Photo courtesy of: MotorTrend.com