A Corvette ZR1 Prototype And Camaro ZL1 Together May Provide Answers

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They both have supercharged V8s, but one sounds a lot more powerful than the other.

We were just talking about how fast the Corvette ZR1 prototype seemed to be lapping the ring. We also mentioned how great it sounded. Well, we found ourselves another ‘Ring spy video that shows the upcoming ZR1, but it also shows off the Camaro ZL1 1LE as well. It makes for a perfect comparison highlighting some of the differences between the two cars. This video from Stateside Super Cars is set up as a pure noise comparison, but we think we can glean a lot more than that.

First, let’s take a minute to focus on that noise. Both cars obviously have supercharged V8 engines, but the ZR1 sounds a lot different from the Camaro. First, there’s the volume. The Corvette is a lot louder, which is astonishing. The 1LE package on the Camaro comes with a louder and more aggressive exhaust, yet the Corvette is still louder with additional exhaust silencers. If you listen closely, it also sounds like the Corvette is revving faster, and even a little higher. Sadly, there aren’t really long straights in the video to give a more conclusive answer on that.

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Moving away from the engine, this video just gives us a great example of speed. Nobody will call the Camaro ZL1 1LE slow. It’s tested lap time around the Green Hell is just 2 seconds off the Z06 Corvette. Over a 7-minute lap, that makes the Camaro just 0.3% slower. We decided to slow down the video to ¼ speed and try and some math comparing the pace of the ZR1 mule and ZL1.

At 1:28 in the video, the Camaro passes the end of some outside curbing and starts a turn. Later it passes the end of the inside curbing of that turn after 1:31. At 1:48, the ZR1 passes the end curbing and makes the corner to the next end curbing around 1:51. Now we can’t make any real assumptions about what that will mean for total lap times. We can’t even say that the Camaro driver is pushing as hard as the Corvette driver. But from our rough slow motion time keeping, it seems like the ZR1 is about a half second quicker through this turn. On a track that has an official turn count of 73, that half-second could add up really quickly.

When this new ZR1 drops, we think it may be dropping some records with it. In the meantime, just enjoy the sights and sounds of these two great cars blasting around one of the world’s great tracks.

Christian Moe contributes to many of Internet Brands' Auto blogs, including Corvette Forum, Club Lexus and Rennlist.

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