American Beast – The Corvette ZR1 Official Pricing and Performance Specs

From the day the Corvette ZR1 was announced, it was going to be the fastest and most expensive stock Corvette in history. With it, GM was finally going to enter the supercar arena and compete with the likes of such icons as Ferrari and Lamborghini.

With 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft. Of torque, the ZR1 features the most powerful engine ever built by GM. The Corvette has always been a symbol of the American muscle car, and the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is American muscle at its finest.

GM has just released some more info on the ZR1. Pricing is to start at $105,000. A nicely equipped ZR1 will set you back about an extra $10,000. Throw in another $2,000 for the chrome wheels (Buying tip: Always get the chrome wheels, if possible. Always.), and you have yourself one expensive Corvette, with a price tag that hovers around $117,000. But from the looks of things, it sure as hell is worth it:

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Rear View

New performance info has got me salivating. The top speed will be 205 mph, which is in true supercar territory. 0-60 will come in just 3.4 seconds. This is all due to the ZR1?s beastly 6.2 liter V-8. The best part, however, is that those numbers probably aren’t true.

Remember that GM first announced the ZR1 would have 620 horsepower and 600 lb-ft. of torque. Then they slapped us all silly by releasing the official numbers: 638 pumping horses and 604 lb-ft. of torque. GM has underestimated the performance numbers for the CTS-V as well, and I hope they err on the side of caution again. I would very much like for the ZR1 to have a top speed of around 210 and a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds or so.

So what does all this mean? Well, for starters, the ZR1 will be competing with a brand new set of cars simply because the Z06?s competitors just can’t keep up. The Viper- crushed underfoot. Porsche 911 Turbo- decimated. The Nissan GT-R, which has got everyone hysterically yelling “Corvette Killer”- completely and thoroughly annihilated. Now, this doesn’t mean that the above cars will be freed from the Corvette altogether because the 2009 Z06 delivers even more power and will have everyone else, once again, playing second fiddle.

2008 Corvette ZR1

As for the looks of the car, I was somewhat disappointed. When I first heard about it, I expected a new generation Corvette, but the ZR1 builds on the Z06, which looks pretty sick already. The first thing most people notice is the hood. Not only is it mores muscular in design, but it also features a clear window at the top, which lets the whole world see its aluminum engine, embossed with the words “LS9 SUPERCHARGED” on each side.

This is just so completely arrogant, and so completely vain, and so completely awesome. The ZR1 also has a two-part fender air scoop that looks more aggressive than the Z06?s. Lastly, raw carbon fiber is used in many places, such as on the roof, on the underside of the hood, on the rocker molding, the front spoiler, and in numerous other places.

As for the interior, it’s not all that different from the Z06?s. The badges are different, and the “ZR1? is everywhere, from the door sills to the headrest embroidery to the tachometer gauge, just in case you forgot what you happened to be sitting in.

And, of course, in a world where gas is at the insane price of $4.54 a gallon (in San Diego at least), the ZR1 is a lot more fuel-efficient than many of its competitors, with an EPA estimate of 14/20.

Corvette ZR1

Now, that sucks, but some of the competitors are even worse. For example, a Ferrari 599 has 11/15, a Lambo Murcie has 8/13, and an Aston Martin V-8 Vantage gets 12/19. The Porsche 911 GT3, however, beats the ZR1 with 15/22. The ZR1, however, beats it in everything else.

So you can outperform a Porsche, look cooler than an Aston Martin, and get more miles per gallon than a Ferrari or a Lambo, all in a Chevy Corvette.

Doesn’t that just make you proud to be an American?


Price: $105,000

Engine: 6.2 liter supercharged V-8

Top Speed: 205 mph

Horsepower: 638

Torque: 604 lb-ft.

0-60 mph: 3.4 seconds

Mileage (mpg): 14 city/ 20 highway