31 December 2007

Super ’Vette

Say hello to GM's most powerful car ever: the Corvette ZR1

Corvette ZR1

General Motors has, over the years, produced a lot of cars. An awful lot of cars. But this is the most powerful one ever: the Corvette ZR1.  

Taking the Z06's aluminium chassis and adding a bunch of carbon fibre and, more importantly, a new supercharged 6.2-litre V8 small block engine, the ZR1 puts out 620bhp and 595lb ft of torque.  

There's no firm word on performance yet, but considering that the Z06 - with a mere 506bhp - hits 60mph in under four seconds and tops out at 199mph, we must be looking at a new entrant to the 200mph club.  

It sounds like a genuinely awesome engine: a Roots-style supercharger means that 300bhp is available from just 1,000rpm, while 90 per cent of the peak torque arrives at 2,600rpm. That's some serious low-end grunt.  

It should be more driveable than Corvettes of old, thanks to a Magnetic Selective Ride Control system, which works in a similar fashion to the Audi TT's magnetorheologic suspension - electronically controlled shocks are filled with fluid that reacts to magnetic charges for near-instant damper adjustment.

We'll see the ZR1 in the flesh at the Detroit show next month. Roll on 2008.


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