This thing is basically Dethklok… the car.
I’ve just wrapped up a wonderful week with the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, and it’s ruined the notion of raw speed for anything else I’m set to drive. How is it capable of doing so? The 6.2-liter aluminum V8 sitting out in the snout joins forces with a supercharger and it’s a marriage that’s good for 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. And all of that whoosh, thrust, and grunt is sent through a seven-speed manual gearbox on out to the rear wheels.
[Disclaimer: Chevy tossed me the keys to a gassed-up ZR1. I had big plans for video and some photos… then I got a cold, followed by a sinus infection. So that didn’t happen. This article is happening in its place.]
The C7 Corvette is a wonderful driver’s car. At every level, it’s an enjoyable sports car that can be driven easily on a daily basis and enjoyed on a race track. The ZR1 is no exception here, but the daily drivability will net you speeding tickets and the on-track stuff could result in brand-new lap records anywhere you go. When I say this thing is fast, it’s wildly so. And yet it’s still comfortable when you’re in traffic on the freeway. Or running to the store for groceries. Or, the most likely event, heading back to the gas station for more fuel.
On the outside, this Vette is not subtle. That large rear wing at the back? It works in concert with the snow plow of a front splitter to create real, usable downforce on a road course. It also lets every other car on the street know that you’re not one to toyed with in tests of stoplight-to-stoplight shenanigans. The exhaust helps in this space too. Set the car in either Sport or Track and all four pipes bellow a downright ridiculous song. It’s as loud as the wing is high.
Every angle of movement is revealed through finally honed instruments. The steering is quick and properly weighted. Throttle response is immediate and power is put to pavement thanks to a set of 335-series rear tires. Tucked behind the front wheels sit a set of 15.5-inch vented discs and the rears use 15.3-inch discs, so you stop very quickly, very consistently. Finally, the magnetically damped suspension keeps the action planted yet still compliant, which is how you can enjoy driving to the track, on the track, and then home from the track.
Is it expensive? Yes, of course it is. This is a laser-focused Corvette ZR1 with 755 horsepower. The base price is a bit over $120,000 and the version I tested is likely sitting between $130,000 and $140,000. For as much car as you’re getting, however, that’s a damn bargain. During Car and Driver’s 2018 Lightning Lap testing, the Corvette ZR1 was the second fastest of an incredibly fast crew of cars. It bested the McLaren 720S, Lamborghini Huracan Performante, Ford GT, and the Porsche 911 GT3. The only car faster was the Porsche 911 GT2 RS Weissach, and that car costs $330,000.
With this ZR1, Corvette has truly created a monster. The styling is hilariously over the top. The exhaust note is worthy of a chuckle every time you fire up the engine. And the raw straight line and corner speed is life altering.
Tonight we ride on clouds of fire
We’re damned by gods our deaths conspired
We fear no mortals in these worlds
The gift we give you is your soul