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Corvette ZR1 Enters The World Of Supercars

Source: GM Media

2009 Corvette ZR1 Supercar GENEVA Ė The Corvette ZR1 is set to make its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The ZR1 brings the technology and engineering refinement of carbon-fiber, ceramics and electronics together in a distinctive design.

The specialized components of the new ZR1 work harmoniously to deliver the most powerful and fastest automobile ever produced by General Motors. This supercar has outstanding performance with smooth driveability at low speeds, yet surprisingly fierce performance when required. Performance data will be announced later this year.

Preliminary testing indicates that the ZR1 builds on the respected Corvette Z06 in every performance category, from acceleration and braking, to cornering grip and top speed. The ZR1 power-to-weight ratio is better than the Porsche 911 GT2, the Ferrari 599 and even the Lamborghini LP640. In fact, the ZR1 is expected to be the first production Corvette to achieve a top speed of 320 km/h. A limited number of the Corvette ZR1 is expected to be available in Europe at the end of 2008.

The new LS9 6.2L V8 engine is the power plant behind the ZR1ís performance of 620 horsepower* (462 kW), and 807 Nm of torque. A large, positive-displacement supercharger with a new, four-lobe rotor design, plus an integrated charge cooling system that reduces inlet air temperature, contribute to the ZR1ís supercar performance. The engine is hand-assembled at GMís Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich., and incorporates specialty processes typically seen in racing engines to produce a highly refined and precise product.

The engine is backed by a new six-speed manual transmission and a twin-disc clutch that provide exceptional clamping power, while maintaining an easy clutch effort. ZR1-specific gearing in the transmission provides a steep first-gear ratio that helps launch the car, and top speed is achieved in sixth gear.

Ride and handling
The ZR1 is built on the same aluminum-intensive chassis as the Corvette Z06 and features similar independent SLA front and rear suspensions, with aluminum upper and lower control arms. Magnetic Selective Ride Control is standard and tuned specifically for the ZR1. The systemís ability to deliver a compliant ride with nearly instantaneous damping adjustments enabled engineers to develop a surprisingly supple ride that still delivers cornering grip of more than 1g. From a high-performance perspective, Magnetic Selective Ride Control helps the rear axle remain planted during launch for smooth, hop-free acceleration. It also helps suppress axle movement when cornering on broken or uneven pavement.

Brakes, wheels and tires
Commensurate with the ZR1ís engine output is the braking system. The system features carbon-ceramic brake rotors made of a carbon-fiber-reinforced ceramic silicon carbide material, with resulting low mass and resistance to wear and heat. Clamping down on the high-tech rotors are six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers, each painted a ZR1-exclusive blue.

The brakes are visible through the ZR1ís exclusive wheels: 20-spoke alloy rims that measure 19 inches in diameter in the front and 20 inches in the rear. They come standard with a bright, Sterling Silver paint finish. Chrome versions are optional. The wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires developed specifically for the ZR1, measuring P285/30ZR19 in front and P335/25ZR20 in the rear.

Exclusive exterior
The ZR1 is instantly recognizable. It has a raised, all-carbon-fiber hood that incorporates a clear, polycarbonate window that provides a view of the top of the engine. Widened, carbon-fiber front fenders with specific, dual lower vents, and a full-width, body-color rear spoiler incorporating the center high-mounted stop lamp, are also unique to the ZR1. All of the exterior features of the car were developed to enhance high-speed stability and driver control.

Interior details
The ZR1ís interior builds on the brandís dual-cockpit heritage, with high-quality materials, craftsmanship and functionality that support the premium-quality experience promised by the carís performance. The ZR1 specific cabin features include ZR1-logo sill plates, headrest embroidery, boost gauge, Head-Up Display and lightweight seats.