Saturday, February 20, 2021

2009 Corvette ZR1: The Era’s Most Pinnacle Corvette Built

2009 Corvette ZR-1

2009 Corvette ZR1 Comeback

When it comes to Chevrolet, nothing but the best engineering has always been used when the Corvette is involved, and this Corvette is absolutely no exception. 

Through the years, Corvette has always made a big splash with their Z-Series Vettes. Corvettes such as the ZO6, ZR1, and the ZL1 would receive just a little more power and torque, handling capabilities, and all-around upgrades for better track performance than anything else General Motors was pushing on the market. 

But around 2007, Corvette starting talking about this new ZR1 that would be introduced in 2009. This ZR1 would be so performance packed it would give it a supercar status that would have its name being mentioned in the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini. 

This first 2009 ZR1 was auctioned off for a Million bucks to a one, Dave Ressler. He is also the owner of the oldest known Corvette in existence, #003.

6.2-liter LS9

Motor and Transmission

The see-through Carbon Fiber hood allows anyone close enough to take a peek at the engine and see that this isn't just your average Corette. The ZR1 is powered by a 6.2-liter LS9 aluminum V8 with a Twin Vortices Series supercharger that forces air through an attached intercooler. 

Hand-built in Wixom, Mi. this powerhouse motor puts out 638 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 604-lb.ft. of torque at 3800 RPMs. 

Controlling all this power is easy with a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox and a high-capacity, high-performance clutch that makes anyone who is sitting in the driver's seat feel like they're driving a professional racecar. 

Sure, that may seem a little light in the power department now, but in 2009, that was as beastie as it gets

Performance Stats

This General Motors’ engine and transmission combination are responsible for the staggering numbers that it puts down while going in a straight line. This ZR1 gets from 0-60 in 3.4-seconds while reaching 100-mph in a matter of 7-seconds. The Corvette has no problem covering the quarter-mile in 11.3 seconds at 131 mph. With a top speed of 200-mph. Without a doubt, the most capable, powerful Corvette put into production.  

Frame and Suspension

The ZR1 comes standard with an aluminum frame structure that weighs in at a mere 138 pounds. This frame is the exact frame that is used on the C6.R race car, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 5.2 pounds per horsepower. The aluminum frame rides on a Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension. The Magnetic Ride Control is the most sophisticated suspension of its kind. The ride control gives the driver two different driving modes to choose from: A Sport ride control which is ideal for the racetrack and a Touring mode which is ideal for everyday driving. These modes can be switched back-and-forth right at the driver seat with a push of a button. Doesn’t seem like so much of a wow factor now, but back in 2009, this convenience was just starting to become a top technology on American vehicles. 


Now with all that power and a great suspension, you have to have some way of keeping the tires and wheels in contact with the ground, and in this department, GM spares no expense. By replacing the stock Corvette tires with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, the ZR1 was able to shred off three seconds per lap at the Virginia International Raceway. And that’s when the decision was made, the Michelin’s that performed the best would come on the best Corvette ever produced.

Corvette ZR-1 Wheels


You can't have a vehicle with all that power and ability without having an effective way of stopping it. So massive Brembo Carbon Ceramic 15-inch front and 15.5-inch rear vented cross-drilled rotors were added. These rotors can withstand 1000-degrees celsius before warping. The brake system includes six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear. When this system all works together it is capable of the type of stopping power that you would need for a 200 mph supercar.

Corvettes First Super Car

The Looks of a Supercar

With a wider stance than the average Vette, the ZR1 is designed to take corners better and get around the track faster. Sporting 19-inch diameter wheels in the front and 20-inch diameter wheels in the back, the look of the ZR1 says nothing but supercar.

All buyers would have had the option to choose the color of the wheels which include a bright silver coated finish, a deep black coated finish, or a chrome finish. All three colors look great depending on the look you are trying to achieve.

Corvette offered nine different exterior colors, all of which are in an exotic tint helping give the ZR1 the supercar look that Corvette is ultimately after. The bigger spoiler on the back is both functional and awesome looking, and the see-through Carbon Fiber hood really makes a supercar statement. 

Interior Options for the ZR1

Corvette ZR-1 Cockpit
When it comes to the interior, the ZR1 came with an abundance of options and colors. The buyer was able to request almost everything from the steering wheel to the door panels to be wrapped in rich leather. They would also have the option of different model-specific badges to be placed about the inside of the vehicle. Power adjustable heated leather seats with microfiber inserts could be purchased for a better day-to-day driving experience. Corvette also offers a package called the 3ZR. This package included a nine-speaker Bose system, Bluetooth wireless technology, a head-up display, and a SiriusXM satellite radio, all designed for a more convenient and exciting driving experience.

Price Tag and Gas mileage

With supercar looks and supercar power and track times to match, an MSRP price tag of $112,000.00 makes this ZR1 one of the best-priced supercars of its kind. The ZR1 also rated very high in gas mileage for a 2009 sports car - EPA-Estimated 14 city/20 highway mpg. For a V-8 powerhouse, this type of gas mileage is extremely good and should be extremely satisfying for consumers.

The best thing about the ZR1 was for the first time ever, Americans that were in the market for a supercar cloud finally choose an American-built supercar that is placed in a class with some of the best supercars in the world.