100 Cars I Love: #17 – 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1


Greetings, dear readers. We’ll step forward to number seventeen of one hundred of the cars I love. Again, this listing is in no particular order of favoritism, excepting #1.
The Chevrolet Corvette has always been considered America’s Sports Car, with the first generation ‘vette inspiring the Ford Thunderbird, which itself grew into a bloated personal luxury coupe. The Corvette has always had sporting pretensions, and while these have waxed and waned over the years (some of the third generation Corvettes where particularly pathetic, being so emissions-strangled), the sixth generation Corvette ZR-1 is delightfully, stupidly fast. If Gran Turismo 5’s emulation of how the machine handles is even close to true, then all one needs to do is merely think about triple-digit miles per hour and the coupe happily obliges. In 2009, the ZR-1 took a trip around the sacred green Nurburgring in 7:26.4, a time that’s still quick today. I recall Nissan and Porsche having a little PR battle for who could take the title of first loser behind this magnificent machine.
On the mechanical standpoint, this speed demon’s motivated by a GM LS9 V8 peeking through a window on the hood, which, while shrunken in displacement from the 7.2 liters/454 cubic inches of the Z06 to 6.1 L/376 CID, it certainly makes up for it with a intercooled supercharger setup that squeezes 0.7 bar of additional pressure. These numbers translate to 638 stupendous horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque. A six speed Tremec manual transmission routes this celebration of speed to the rear wheels. Zero to sixty in 3.3 seconds, a 11.2 second quartermile at about 130 mph, and speed ceiling of 205 mph. With powerful brakes and a lightened body, this car’s more than just a stump-pullin’ American dragster, it’s a genuine track car.

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