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Thread: ZR1 Reveiw Motor Trend.

  1. #1
    Formally FI_FSDE Rotary_Powered's Avatar

    Mazda RX7 '87' & Hyundai Tiburon GT '05'

    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    ZR1 Reveiw Motor Trend.

    First Test: 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
    Mind Blowing: The Incredible Numbers -- 200.5 MPH Top Speed Included -- From the Most Powerful Production Car in GM History
    text size
    By Arthur St. Antoine
    Photography by Evan Klein

    2009 Chevrolet Corvette Zr1 Driver Side Motion

    Prepare to be humiliated. If, that is, you're a sports-car maker other than Chevrolet. Call it what you will -- "Blue Devil," "King of the Hill," even "Steve" -- the all-new 2009 Corvette ZR1 is a world-beater. We've just spent a breathless week with the supercharged beast, the most powerful GM production car ever, and we've got all the numbers -- observed top speed included.

    If you're easily frightened, now would be a good time to tune to another channel.

    Drive a 600-horsepower Dodge Viper SRT-10? Better move out of the way, bub. Launched well (and that means enough revs to keep the blown 6.2L V-8 from bogging but not so many revs that you simply whirl the rear tires into black jam), the 638-horse ZR1 blitzes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a scalding 3.3 sec (versus 3.7 for the Dodge). Once those huge rear 335/25ZR-20 Michelin Sport PS2s are well and truly hooked up, though, the ZR1 really gets down and dirty. The quarter-mile flashes by in just 11.2 seconds at a trap speed of 130.5 mph (at that point the Viper is doing 124.4 mph). By the second half of the quarter-mile, the ZR1 is running away from almost every other automobile we've ever tested. The sound? Imagine an IndyCar being flat-footed around the Brickyard by a screaming Sam Kinison.

    Is the ZR1 still pulling hard? Does Ben & Jerry's molest waistlines? The world offers few roads long or open enough to legally push this four-wheeled ICBM to its top speed, but we found a good stage for the ZR1's main event: the five-mile banked oval at Chrysler's Arizona Proving Grounds. With former IndyCar driver and Daytona 24 Hours winner Didier Theys at the helm, and with Mother Nature taunting our troupe with 25-mph wind gusts, the ZR1 screamed around the circuit at a wind-corrected Vmax of 200.5 miles per hour. "Very nice, very stable at speed," said Theys with Belgian accent and shoulder-shrugging nonchalance. "No problem."

    Yet even the APG oval might not be grand enough to let the ZR1 breathe fully. Our computer traces indicate that the Chevy was still pulling (albeit with a tailwind) when Theys had to lift slightly for a bump entering Turn Three. And as the car blasted off Turn Four, the strong headwind pushed against the speedo needle all the way down the front straight. Given no wind and several miles of smooth, straight asphalt, the ultimate Vette might well reach 203 mph. Maybe even 205. But we've seen a verified 200-plus. The ZR1 has clearly revealed its bona fides -- and earned admission to that most exclusive of performance clubs.

    Straight-line speed is merely one skill in the ZR1's remarkable portfolio. With its huge Brembo carbon-ceramic binders, borrowed from Ferrari's FXX (front) and Enzo (rear), the ZR1 stops from 60 mph in just 97 feet. The car does equally brutal things to your gizzard when you swing hard on the steering wheel. Max cornering lat: 1.1 g. The mighty Viper SRT-10 lets go at 0.99 g.

    Of course, the ZR1 is a Chevy, not some fragile Euro star needing an entourage of handlers and regular therapeutic visits to the hydraulic lift. At light throttle, it drives like a regular Corvette. Use your right foot with restraint, and your passenger might not even notice that he's actually riding inside King Kong (that's assuming he doesn't notice, say, the carbon-fiber roof or the intercooler cover visible under the polycarbonate hood insert). The variable-stiffness magneto-rheological shocks sand off the edges of road imperfections. The supercharged motor burbles when sipping fuel. Control forces are easy. You're driving a pussycat.

    Aren't you? The ZR1 is the ultimate prankster that way. Just as your passenger is lulled into the false serenity of smooth V-8, cushy leather, and Bose audio, smack down on the go pedal.

    Said hapless copilot would wake up more sweetly with a blast from an air horn.

    FC 4 life.

  2. #2
    Formally FI_FSDE Rotary_Powered's Avatar

    Mazda RX7 '87' & Hyundai Tiburon GT '05'

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    Jul 2006
    Car seems insanely fast. I just want to ride in one someday.
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  3. #3
    Ike Magnifico CantCMe's Avatar

    '02 Protege ES

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    Md near DC
    Communication...the first thing you learn as a child.
    Tryin' to get rid of some stuff...

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  4. #4
    Registered Member dmitrik4's Avatar

    '04 RX-8 || '10 CX-9

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    Aug 2002

    a guy brought a new Z06 to our last autoX...yes please.
    mike #44 CS
    '04 RX-8 - daily and racer
    '10 CX-9 - family truckster

    Quote Originally Posted by Jalopnik
    We'd rather be taken out and shot behind the storage shed than spend $28,000 on a perfectly competent automobile that delivers very good fuel economy.

  5. #5
    Mazdaspeed 6 GT Newf's Avatar

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    Oct 2001
    Newfoundland, Canada
    sadly, this could be one of the last good vette's...if GM doesn't pull itself out of the hole it's in. Collectors car maybe?
    2013 Honda Accord V6 Touring
    2009 Honda EXL V6
    2006 Mazdaspeed 6 GT - retired
    2003.5 Mazdaspeed -retired
    2001 Mazda Mp3 - retired

  6. #6
    Formally FI_FSDE Rotary_Powered's Avatar

    Mazda RX7 '87' & Hyundai Tiburon GT '05'

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    Jul 2006
    Insideline just posted their review as well.
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