Corvettes didn’t really appeal to me as a kid. You got a lot of bang for your buck performance-wise, but as an overall package, they were a complete shamble. The reliability wasn’t there, and the quality of the materials used, especially in the cabin, was appalling. The C6 Corvette was the major turning point for me because it proved that Chevrolet can actually build a quality item.
The C7 Corvette further emphasized that, and I especially loved the high-performance Z06. Nothing was a substitute for the mad C6 ZR1 though. Chevrolet fans have begged for the return of that iconic nameplate, and after years in the making, it’s finally here. Well, almost anyway.
The official début will happen in Dubai in a weeks time from now, but most of the details have been ‘leaked’. In the world of crazy sports/supercars, the new ZR1 brings a whole new meaning to the words extreme.
Unlike the previous C6 ZR1, the new car isn’t a bespoke model. It’s essentially a Z06 on steroids. There’s more aero, more power, more grip… more of everything. It’s an evolution of the existing Z06 platform, rather than a complete reinvention of the wheel. That doesn’t mean it’s less special though.
Chevrolet decided to keep the same LT4 engine, but sell it under the LT5 plate to keep the ZR1 tradition going. The supercharger has been swapped out for a brand-new one, however its capable of squeezing a lot more power from the 6.2-liter V8. How much power do you ask? Well, how do 750 horsepower and 680 lb-ft of torque sound?
The body gets a trick aero package, with a new front bumper and a massive rear wing, à la Porsche 911 GT2 RS style. The rest of the body is essentially a Z06, but you can definitely tell the two apart even from a distance. Chevrolet also fixed the Z06’s biggest issue: overheating. They’ve improved cooling by fitting larger intercoolers, hopefully solving the annoying problem most Z06 owners reported.
The ZR1 uses a bigger throttle body and a strengthened crankshaft, but the running gear is a carryover from the Z06. This includes the same seven-speed manual/eight-speed auto, along with the exact gear ratios. The automatic is going to be quicker, but only on a track. In normal use, it’s slower and more annoying than Porsche, Ferrari or McLaren’s equivalents, despite what Chevrolet will tell you. For that reason alone, I wholeheartedly suggest everyone order the manual and enjoy ample amounts of driver involvement.
The ZR1 houses more tire than the Z06, but it utilizes the Z06’s optional rotors, calipers, and pads. Due to the added aero bits, the bigger supercharger, and the beefier tires, the ZR1 is actually 140 lbs. heavier than the Z06. I have no doubt it will be massively quicker though, whether it be in a straight line or around a bend.
No official figures out yet, but if I had to take a stab at guessing, I’d say 0-60 in under 3 seconds, 0-125 mph in under 9, and a top speed in the region of 215 mph. That, in case anyone is wondering, is seriously fast.