The Chevrolet Corvette has been an American icon since its introduction in 1952. Over the years there have been six generations of this iconic car. A defining characteristic of the Corvette is that its body panels are made out of fiberglass and plastic to save weight. The latest generation, C6, has been around since 2005. The best performing variant of the C6 is the Corvette ZR1. The ZR1 is a race car that can be driven on the road. Since it is a grand tourer, it has a trunk. The ZR1 can compete and outperform supercars from Europe. It combines speed, power, and handling. It is the total package. The engine that powers the ZR1 also powers the Hennessey Venom GT, a hyper car that can reach speeds over 260 mph.

I first saw the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 at the 2011 Houston Auto Show. It was one of the best cars I saw there. While looking at it, I talked with a stranger about seeing this car in an episode of Top Gear. I like the small exterior details of the ZR1. I like that you can see part of the engine through a small piece of glass on the hood. I like its aggressive styling.

Powering the ZR1 is by a LS9 engine, a supercharged 6.2L V8 engine that produces 638 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque, and is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 205 mph. It is faster than a Ferrari 458, Audi R8, Lamborghini Gallardo, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, and an Aston Martin DBS.  With prices start a $110,300, it is cheaper than the competition. Compared to the competition, it is a bargain.

Motorweek named the Corvette ZR1 one of its 2009 Driver’s Choice Best Dream Machines, along with the Ferrari California. Motorweek also reviewed this car in 2009. Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson drove one during a road trip from California to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. He went 176 mph in a standing mile, a record for the Salt Flats. Jay Leno featured a 2009 Corvette ZR1 on his website, www.jaylenosgarage.com. The ZR1 is playable in Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, available for both the police and racer factions, Grand Turismo 5, and Forza Motorsport 3, just to name a few games.

Final Thoughts: WHAT A CAR! It is fast, handles well, has a trunk, and is a great value for its price. Then the competion cost $150,000 and up and cannot perform like the ZR1, it shows that the ZR1 is a great buy for a car that costs $110,300. It can be used on the track and on everyday roads. It looks aggressive. It is a great alternative to Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

CarJunkie

Photo taken from a camera phone

May 22, 2011

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