June 22, 2008 Chevrolet 2009 ZR1 was first shown in January, but until the on-road perfeomance figures were released this week, we weren’t fully aware of how the vehicle’s specs would translate to tarmac performance. The US$103,300 ZR1 does 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds, 0-100 mph in 7.0 seconds, has a top speed of 205 mph (330 km/h), and puts a quarter-mile behind it in 11.3 seconds. And the racetrack isn’t the only place where the ZR1 trumps its super-car competitors – it beats them at the gas pump, too. According to fueleconomy.gov, the ZR1’s EPA-rated 14 mpg city and 20 mpg highway mileage ratings beat 2008 competitors such as the Ferrari 599 GTB (11/15); the Lamborghini Murcielago (8/13) and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage (12/19).

While the car’s performance figures put it firmly in supercar territory, it will be the ZR1’s performance-per-dollar ratio and its ability to balance performance, price and fuel economy that will attract the majority of its buyers. The Corvette ZR1’s 0-60 performance is 0.3-second quicker than the already-quick Corvette Z06 and the 0-100-mph performance is nearly a full second quicker – 7 seconds vs. the Z06’s 7.9 seconds. It is performance that is equal to or better than many super cars costing substantially more.

A new LS9 6.2L supercharged small-block engine powers the ZR1’s performance capability. Heavy-duty and lightweight reciprocating components support high-rpm performance, while a new, sixth-generation supercharger (and complementing charge-cooling system) helps the LS9 make big power and torque across the rpm range. The engine is hand-assembled at GM’s Performance Build Center, in Wixom, Mich.

In addition to the LS9 engine, the ZR1 is a technology powerhouse, designed with lightweight and unique components that reinforce its performance with a confident feel on either a highway or road course.

The standard ZR1 comes with accoutrements based on the Z06, including lightweight seats and lightweight content. The available uplevel interior package includes power-adjustable, heated and leather-trimmed sport seats (embroidered with the ZR1 logo); side air bags; Bose premium audio system; navigation system; Bluetooth connectivity; power telescoping steering column; custom leather-wrapped interior available in four colours and more. Chrome wheels are the only other available option on the ZR1.