Corvette moves into new era of high performance
Supercar to come with $100,000 price tag
2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
December 20, 2007
The fastest, most powerful and most expensive Chevrolet Corvette ever will roar to life at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.
Boasting a 620-plus horsepower V8 and a price expected around $100,000, the 2009 Corvette ZR1 is the result of General Motors Corp. chairman Rick Wagoner's challenge to build the ultimate Corvette.The ZR1 aims to match the performance of supercars like the 612-horsepower $273,845 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano F1 coupe, which accelerates to 62 m.p.h. in 3.7 seconds.
"Our goal with the ZR1 is to show that an American supercar can deliver performance that beats exotics that cost two, three or four times as much," Chevrolet general manager Ed Peper said.
Chevrolet hasn't announced the exact price for the 2009 ZR1, but the supercar was born when Wagoner asked the Corvette team to show him what it could accomplish with a $100,000 Corvette.
Within GM, the secret project was referred to as the Blue Devil, a reference to the mascot for athletic teams at Wagoner's alma mater, Duke University. The super-Vette features a supercharged 6.2-liter version of GM's legendary small-block V8 engine, extensive use of lightweight carbon-fiber body panels and a host of other performance upgrades.
Chevrolet hasn't revealed performance figures yet, but the ZR1 will have a top speed in excess of 200 m.p.h. and will be able to race from zero to 60 m.p.h. in first gear.
"The Corvette is really a brand unto itself," said Michelle Krebs, editor of AutoObserver.com. "The ZR1 is a logical extension of that."
The hand-built engines will come from GM's performance-build center in Wixom. The Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Ky., will build the car.
The ZR1 will be recognizable on the street thanks to a clear panel in the hood that provides a view of the engine, a unique, clear-coated carbon-fiber roof and other changes that include massive disc brakes with a unique shade of blue used only on the ZR1.
It took years to develop the clearcoat for the carbon-fiber because sunlight degrades the material over time. The coating, which only the ZR1 has, uses a special additive to prevent that. The additive alone costs $60,000 a gallon, while the mixture of clearcoat and additive applied to the roof costs $2,200 a gallon.