2011 Corvette ZR1 Overview
General Motors refers to the 2011
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 as the “ultimate Corvette”. This a bold claim
for one of the most famous performance cars in the world over the last
50+ years but the ZR1 has helped the Corvette name achieve true Supercar
status. Originally introduced in 2009, the ZR1 trimline builds on the
high performance aspects of the Corvette Z06 and adds lighter weight
components and the most powerful engine EVER offered in a factory GM
Like the Z06, the 2011 Corvette ZR1 features an aluminum framework in place of the standard steel frame and the already-light fiberglass body panels of the standard Corvette coupe have been swapped out for carbon fiber fenders, hood, roof, splitter, and rocker extensions. Also, the body of the 2011 ZR1 is distinctly “Supercar” and the carbon fiber hood features a window in the middle, allowing the ZR1 to proudly show off its supercharged LS9 engine.
The supercharged engine in the 2011 ZR1 offers 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque, trumping the output of any car in the US market and allowing the ZR1 to compete with any new car in the world. This output is achieved by a unique top mounted Eaton supercharged, using a separate low-profile intercooler for each cylinder head to keep the LS9 running as cool as possible. This high performance engine is mated only to a 6-speed Tremec TR6060 manual transmission with a close ratio gearset, allowing the ZR1 to reach its 205mph top speed in 5th gear – leaving 6th gear to help the ZR1 Supercar to see better fuel economy when cruising.
The 2011 Corvette ZR1 is built to be an all around performance car so while the low 11-second quarter mile time is impressive, the road course is where the ZR1 really shines. The Magnetic Selective Ride Control system allows the driver to select either “tour” or “sport” mode and the suspension system uses real-time input to adjust the suspension for maximum output or maximum comfort – depending on the mode chosen by the driver. The braking system of the 2011 ZR1 is second to none, with gigantic carbon ceramic rotors wrapped in Brembo 6-piston calipers in the front and 4-piston calipers in the back. When combined with the race-tuned suspension and ultra lightweight chassis, the braking system effectively makes the 2011 Corvette ZR1 one of the fastest cars in the world and GM proved that in 2008 when their stock ZR1 ripped around the famed Nürburgring in just 7 minutes and 26 seconds – a time bested by few production cars in the world.
If there is a downfall to the 2011 Corvette ZR1, it is most likely the price tag, as the $111,000+ MSRP puts this American Supercar well out of the financial reach of most people. However, if you consider the fact that the ZR1 offers nearly unbeatable performance when compared to any car in the world (and most of those cars cost well over $111k), the ZR1 is a bargain for today’s Supercar shopper.