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ZR1 balances price, performance, economy

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June 21, 2008

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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.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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