2019 Corvette ZR1 Tailgates McLaren 720S During Road Course Hotlaps
McLaren pulls away in the straights, but the Corvette is clearly superior in the turns.
The McLaren 720S is one of the most heavily-praised sports cars out there, offering a twin-turbo V8 exotic experience and Formula 1-inspired handling. Similarly, the C7 Corvette ZR1 is the leading American supercar, earning it plenty of praise as well. The HiPo Driver YouTube channel regularly features a new ZR1 on the track and recently, that Vette went head-to-head at Summit Point with a 720S.
If you are unfamiliar with the road course capabilities of these two cars, you might expect that the McLaren walked away from the ZR1, but you would be wrong. The 720S has a clear advantage on the longer straight stretches, but the LT5-powered Corvette is practically tripping over the British supercar in the corners.
Provided these two supercars are mostly stock, the McLaren packs a twin-turbocharged V8 that delivers 710 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque while the Corvette is powered by the LT5 V8 with 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft of torque. The Chevy has a pretty significant power advantage, but the McLaren weighs over 600 pounds less than the Vette, also giving the 720S a slightly better power-to-weight ratio.
Additionally, we do know that racing tires are part of the equation in this battle. The ZR1 is fitted with Pirelli road racing slicks and the 720S is riding on Hoosier R7 tires, which are basically a road racing slick tire.
Finally, it should be noted that the McLaren 720S pricing starts around $289,000 and climbs to nearly $400,000 when loaded up. Meanwhile, the ZR1 starts around $122,000 and climbs up to around $150,000 when fully loaded. In other words, the 720S costs at least twice as much as the ZR1.
Battling on the Track
The video above shows us seven full laps (including the out-lap) with the McLaren 720S and the Corvette ZR1 storming around the road course at Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia. The footage is captured from the built-in camera of the Chevy’s Performance Data Recorder. The PDR system offers up full vehicle telemetry, a track map and a lap timer, all of which shows the handling excellence of the Corvette.
Throughout most of the video, the McLaren is in front of the Corvette as the two rip around the track. When they hit long, straight stretches, the lighter 720S is able to pull away, but the Corvette more than makes it up in the braking zones, and through the corners. As a result, the ZR1 is all over the 720S where it counts, but when the two hit the straightaways, the McLaren pulls away.
On the final lap of the video, the McLaren lets the ZR1 pass, but the footage ends shortly after, so we really only get to watch the Corvette chase the 720S around the track, but for a car that costs far less, it does an awesome job of swallowing up the McLaren in the corners.