Corvette ZR-1

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Corvette ZR-1


A pure brawn star that can put the willies up much more expensive machinery. The cheapest way into 200mph performance in the world. A very Top Gear kind of car, and one of JC’s faves.

Additional Info

What is it?

OK, so the ZR-1 may look like a standard Corvette, but it drives like a lunatic car... and it's American for God's sake! what's going on?


Corvettes have always been tidy handling cars - better than many Europeans would like to think - but the ZR-1 takes things to another level. The steering is fast and more than a bit nervous, but set it up properly and mid-bend balance and damping control are simply sublime. You can't just stuff down the throttle and go - rear drive and this much horsepower precludes that sort of shenanigans, but the ZR-1 can hold its head up in the company of cars worth twice as much. That's something to boast about. 

The ZR-1 is stiff - it needs to be to deal with all that power - but it rides surprisingly well thanks to those transverse leafs springs. The only time it gets a bit wobbly is if you have one wheel in the gutter and one on a smooth surface across an axle. Seats are nicely comfy, but way too soft for the kind of lateral ‘G' that the big 'Vette can generate. Still, better than any 200mph-capable supercar we can think of.  

Be aware, you're probably going to get your bum soundly kicked by this American import. It's a 6.2-litre supercharged V8 throwing out nearly 650bhp and over 600lb ft. That means that when you stamp the throttle you'll be looking at 0-62mph in just 3.5 seconds, topping out at 205mph. Anyone care to argue with that? Thought not...

On the inside

The Corvette is the Transit van of supercars. That big rear hatch means that you can get loads into the rear load area - you just have to make s ure that you strap it down to stop it bouncing around in the enormous space. In terms of cars capable of this sort of speed, the Corvette has them all beaten, hands down.  

The reason the ZR-1 'Vette is cheap is because it shares a dash and some other bits with the lesser versions, so it just doesn't feel as special as it could. But then again it all works, and the technology is there (the car is mostly carbonfibre), so rest assured that the car has the quality - it just might not be on show. 


£106k in the UK, much less in the States. Very few mpg, lots of C02 (but possibly not as much a you might expect). You're buying this for the thrill - let's not talk about the boring stuff. Did we mention 647bhp? 205mph?

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Latest road tests

9/10 Corvette ZR-1 Coupe
September 2009
9/10 Corvette ZR-1 ZR-1
October 2008

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