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Enthusiasts Corvette ZR1: 8 things to know about its past and present

18:40  11 march  2018
18:40  11 march  2018 Source:

How Would You Spec Your 2019 Corvette ZR1

  How Would You Spec Your 2019 Corvette ZR1 Want a 755 horsepower Corvette? Of course you do. Show us your ideal spec.The 2019 Corvette ZR1 goes on sale soon, which means Chevy's car configurator is now live. If you're a frequent reader of this website, you know that means we're playing around building our perfect ZR1s. And, of course, we're curious to see how you'd spec yours, but first, here's mine.

The ghosts of ZR1s past


chevrolet corvette
chevrolet corvette

The 2019 C7 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 adds a fourth generation to the ZR1 lineage. The supercharged evolution from progenitor to Potestatum incredibilus would be comparable to buying a feisty goat in 1972, and by the time that goat had a great-grandkid, that great-grandkid was a rail gun.

This 1990 Corvette ZR-1 Has Only 350 Miles

  This 1990 Corvette ZR-1 Has Only 350 Miles I might get some flak for this but I truly believe the 4th generation Corvette is the best generation. Sure it had barely 200-horsepower out of a wheezing V8 when it debuted in 1984 but it also had pop-up head lights, saw blade wheels and looked like a shovel with t-tops. In 1990 Chevy decided to debut the first ever Corvette ZR-1. This new performance package included modified suspension and an entirely new engine built by Mercury Marine that made 375 horsepower. The ZR-1 competed against the likes of Porsche and Lamborghini. It was a big fiberglass Vaporwave wedge and I still think it looks great today.

First-gen 1970-1972 C3 ZR-1:

a close up of a green car: A 1972 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, front three-quarter view.© Provided by AOL Inc. A 1972 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, front three-quarter view.
  • A "Special Purpose Engine Package" intended for racing, not a standalone model. Upgraded mechanicals like brakes and suspension; omitted power steering, air conditioning, radio, and wheel covers.
  • Engine: Reworked LT1 350-cubic-inch V8 with a four-barrel carburetor. Put out 370 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 380 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. Not the most powerful trim in the lineup; a 454-c.i. LS5 option got 390 hp.
  • Specs: 0-60 miles per hour in 5.7 seconds, quarter-mile in 14.2 seconds at 102 mph, 3,285 pounds.
  • Price: $968.95 on top of the $5,192 base Corvette coupe price.
  • Production: 53, coupe and convertible, four-speed manual only.
  • Note: The only ZR-1 so far to come near the beginning of a generation; the C3 launched in 1968. A Car and Driver review at the time said, "The present Corvette will doubtlessly be the last front-engine model," predicting a mid-engined coupe by 1972 (the C3 retired in 1982). Chevrolet's then-GM John DeLorean "pronounced the mid-engine version must be a functional sports/GT car, weighing in the neighborhood of 2600 lbs. and containing an engine of about 400 cu. in."

Second-gen 1990-1995 C4 ZR-1:

Older Guy In Challenger Hellcat Surprises Corvette By Street Racing

  Older Guy In Challenger Hellcat Surprises Corvette By Street Racing Just because someone is getting older, doesn't mean that he or she can't still have fun.More Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat News:2018 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Widebody First Drive: Wider Means BetterDodge Challenger Hellcat Obliterated After Just 18 MilesDodge Challenger Hellcat Driver Jailed For Hitting 158 MPH

a car parked on the side of a road: The 1989 Corvette ZR1, front three-quarter view.© Provided by AOL Inc. The 1989 Corvette ZR1, front three-quarter view.
  • The RPO Z01 option effectively created a different car.
  • Engine: New all-aluminum 5.7-liter, 32-valve, quad-cam LT5 V8 designed by Lotus in England, built by Mercury Marine in Oklahoma. 375 hp and 380 lb-ft. That was 125 hp and 40 lb-ft over the standard Corvette. The air management system could deactivate eight of the sixteen intake runners and fuel injectors to satisfy fuel economy requirements.
  • Tires: Goodyear Eagle GS-C 315/35 ZR 17 all around. The just-launched LamborghiniDiablo wore 245/40 ZR 17 tires in front, 335/35 ZR 17 in back.
  • Specs: 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, 13.13 quarter mile at 110 mph, 180-mph top speed, skidpad 0.93 G, 3,465 pounds.
  • Price: $58,995 — the $27,016 option price on top of the $31,979 base coupe MSRP. In 1991 the Z01 price jumped to $31,000, making the ZR-1 the first GM product to cost more than $60,000.
  • Production: 6,939, all six-speed manual coupes.
  • Note: The C4 ZR-1 broke records, birthed a legend, and by the end of its run the 475-hp LT5 V8 was the first mass-produced V8 engine rated over 400 hp in the post-smog era.

Third-gen 2009-2013 C6 ZR1 ("now hyphenless, kids!"):

C5 Corvette's 773,338-mile journey ends at the Corvette Museum

  C5 Corvette's 773,338-mile journey ends at the Corvette Museum Owner's previous Corvette had 342,000 miles.To save you the math, that's an average of about 43,000 miles per year, or about 117 miles per day, every day, for 18 years. Blackwell logs a lot of highway trips to Georgia and southern Florida for work.

a car parked on the side of a road: The 2010 Corvette ZR1, front three-quarter view.© Provided by AOL Inc. The 2010 Corvette ZR1, front three-quarter view.
  • A dedicated model, the fastest, most powerful, most expensive model GM had ever built.
  • Engine: Highly modified LS3 called the LS9 — a supercharged, 6.2-liter, pushrod V8 with 638 hp and 604 lb-ft, 208 hp more than the base Corvette, 133 hp more than the Z06.
  • Specs: 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds, quarter mile in 11.5 seconds at 128.3 mph, 205-mph top speed, skidpad 1.05g, 3,350 pounds.
  • Price: $105,000, compared to $47,895 for a base coupe and $30,055 add-on for the Z06.
  • Production: 4,684. Coupe, six-speed manual only.
  • Note: Was the literal answer to the real-life question, "Geez, if that's what you can do with $60,000 [for the Z06], I wonder what a $100,000 Corvette would look like?"

ZR1 spotter's guide: From wallflower to war hammer

a black and orange car: The 2019 Corvette ZR1 coupe, front three-quarter view.© Provided by AOL Inc. The 2019 Corvette ZR1 coupe, front three-quarter view.

The C3 ZR-1 hid its fancy bits inside, and was indistinguishable from the regular Stingray. The C4 ZR-1 had a wider rear with a convex fascia and rounded-square taillights, rectangular exhaust tips, and a CHMSL at the top of the rear hatch. C6 ZR1 flourishes like the hood's polycarbonate window, twin gills on the front fenders, carbon brakes and CF roof make it unmistakable. The C7 ZR1 can only be confused with the kind of mortal threat usually plastered with "BEWARE OF" signs.

Watch the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Shoot White Flames

  Watch the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Shoot White Flames <p>This $130,000 Corvette spits hotter bars than Kendrick Lamar. Humble, the ZR1 is not.</p>Chevrolet released an unlisted video of a camouflaged ZR1 testing its new exhaust system last month on its Youtube channel, although the clip has only just gone viral this week. A byproduct of the lovely sound that LT5 makes at wide-open throttle is white-hot flames exploding out the back. Orange and blue fire-spitting cars are far from uncommon, but this car takes it to a new level. You don't need to have a degree in chemistry to know that white flames are the hottest, so the Corvette ZR1 is even more insane than we thought.

A suspension's bumpy road

In 1988 GM engineers worked with Lotus and Bilstein on an Active Handling system for the C4 ZR1 that would measure "speed, tire load, steering, throttle, and several other inputs into a complex algorithm" to adjust twin hydraulic dampers on the fly. Bilstein had helped develop the active suspension on the Porsche 959, and Lotus' Formula 1 team had been working on Active Suspension since 1981.

GM built 25 prototypes in 1989 to test the system, but Active Handling wouldn't jibe with 1980s technology and production-car requirements. Problems included electrical interference, insufficient responsiveness, the system's 300-pound weight, and a 5-hp draw to run the 2,200-psi, belt-driven hydraulic pump. Furthermore, boutique bits like Moog actuators jacked up the price; at one point GM planned on making Active Handling a $39,000 option on top of the C4 ZR-1's price.

GM walked away from that to develop the Selective Ride FX3 suspension, still a notable advance. However, engineers applied the C4 ZR-1 lessons and new technology to the Active Handling on the C5 Corvette, and the now-familiar magnetorheological suspension that's still good enough for the C7 ZR1.

The 700-plus horsepower F/R couple club

a black and orange car: The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 convertible at the 2017 LA Auto Show, rear three-quarter view.© Provided by AOL Inc. The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 convertible at the 2017 LA Auto Show, rear three-quarter view.

Excluding miniscule-production exotics, four OEM front-engined coupes currently in production throw at least 700 horsepower at the rear wheels. The Ferrari 812 Superfast gets tenor gravitas from a 6.5-liter V12 with 789 hp and 529 lb-ft. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat cows local officials with a 6.2-liter Hemi V8 spewing 707 hp and 650 lb-ft. The 840-hp, 770 lb-ft Dodge Challenger SRT Demon hulks in the corner because no one knows how to talk to it. The 755-hp 2019 ZR1 just had its membership approved, and brings the only convertible to the party. We hear the 2019 Ford Mustang GT500 might be preparing an application ...

Watch This Corvette Hit 238 MPH in One Mile

  Watch This Corvette Hit 238 MPH in One Mile That is fast. Very fast.

Anyone seen Jake?

The C6 ZR1 engine bay featured an embossed Jake on the intake snorkel, as a nod to the Corvette Racing Team. Does Jake appear anywhere on the C7 ZR1? Some trivia: One of Jake's origin stories says he's named after the "Blues Brothers" character. The stylized blue version of Jake seen on C6 ZR1 mules and prototypes was "Blue Devil" Elwood, "Blue Devil" being the development code name for the C6 ZR1.

Keep it down back there

Chevrolet says the manually adjustable High Wing in the ZTK Performance Package produces up to 950 pounds of rear downforce at speed. The Big Wing on the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR collected 1,500 pounds of downforce at 150 mph. The Bugatti Chiron rear wing produces 772 pounds of rear downforce at 236 mph; in full 49-degree airbrake mode the Chiron wing presses nearly 2,000 pounds on the rear axle.

Killing Vipers

a group of people riding on the back of a car© Provided by AOL Inc.

The C4 ZR-1 needed major surgery to beat the original Viper (admittedly, the original Viper was little more than two seats and four wheels bolted to an explosion). Chevrolet engineer and race driver John Heinricy created the so-called "Snake Skinner" ZR-1 by practically gutting a C4 ZR-1 interior, tweaking the engine, and swapping stock parts throughout for lighter parts.

The C6 ZR1 needed no operations, winning every comparo that didn't involve a Viper ACR, and that judged anything other than raw personality.

The Viper's gone, but the C7 ZR1 still wants one more round in the 'Ring with it: The Viper ACR's 7:01.30 Nürburgring time still stands as the fastest lap by an American production car.

But you know what's crazy?

The Car and Driver cover story on the 2019 Corvette ZR1 says, "The ZR1 might be the ultimate track Corvette, but its creators don't see it as being the craziest. That title still belongs to the Z06." Which is, well, crazy.

The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is This Year's Indy 500 Pace Car .
Leading drivers in the 102nd running of the iconic raceAfter what felt like years of buildup, Chevrolet finally revealed the Corvette ZR1 in November of last year. With 755 hp on tap and an extreme aero package, the ZR1 has already set a lap record at Virginia International Raceway. Based on our first ride impressions, we have a feeling that won't be the last record it breaks. Next month, at the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500, the ZR1 will also hit the track as the race's official pace car.

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