Showing posts with label Z06. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Z06. Show all posts

Sunday, March 27, 2022

2009 Corvette ZR1: The Era’s Most Pinnacle American Sports Car

2009 Corvette ZR-1


Corvette ZR1 Comeback


Corvette has always made a big splash with their Z-Series sports cars. Badass Vettes such as the ZO6, ZR1, and the ZL1 would receive more power and torque, handling capabilities, and all-around upgrades for better track performance than any other vehicle General Motors was pushing on the market at the time (expectation '14 and '15 Camaro Z28). 

Chatter started around 2007 about a new version of the ZR1, a ZR1 that would be so performance packed it would give it a supercar status that would have its name 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

6.2-liter LS9 aluminum V8 with a Twin Vortices Series supercharger and a top-loaded intercooler is what powers the ZR1. Hand-built in Wixom, Mi., this powerhouse motor puts out 638 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 604-lb.ft. of torque at 3800 RPMs.

Sure, nowadays there are some stout performers that make more horsepower and torque, but not 13 years ago. 

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

Performance Stats

This General Motors engine and transmission combination is 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, this was 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 was the most sophisticated suspension of its kind. This ride control system gives the driver two different driving modes to select, Sport ride-control, which is ideal for the racetrack, and a Touring mode, which is ideal for everyday driving. These modes can be easily switched back-and-forth in the cockpit by the driver with just a push of a button. This may not seem like much of a wow factor today, but back in 2009, this convenience was just starting to become a top technology on American vehicles. 

Tires

With all that power and such a capable suspension, you have to have some way of keeping the tires and wheels sticking to the ground, and in this department, GM spares no expense. When testing the Corvette at the Virginia International Raceway, the stock Michelin tires were eventually replaced with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires. With this change, the ZR1 was able to shred a considerable amount of time off of each lap. And that’s when the decision was made, the Michelins that performed the best would come on the best Corvette ever produced.


Corvette ZR-1 Wheels

Braking

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 heat of 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 creates the 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 19x10-inch wheels in the front and 20x12-inch 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. There are nine color options for the exterior finish, all of which are in an exotic tint helping give the ZR1 the supercar look that Corvette is ultimately after. The spoiler on the back is both functional and proportional-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 comes with an abundance of options and colors. The buyer was able to request almost everything from the steering wheel to the door panels 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 offered 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, supercar power, and track times to match, this ZR1 puts otherworldly supercars to shame when you compare price tags to performance. When brand new, the MSRP price tag was $112,000.00, which was much cheaper than a higher-powered Farria, Lambo, or a Porsche at the time. The ZR1 also rated very high in gas mileage for a 2009 sports car. With an EPA-estimated 14 city/20 highway mpg, the Corvette did better than most vehicles with that size engine. 


The best thing about the ZR1 is for the first time ever, Americans that were in the market for a supercar cloud finally buy an American-built supercar, minus the outrageous cost of maintenance, luxury tax, and everything else that comes along with owning an overseas supercar.  


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