Matt Farah’s ZR1 One Take Leaves Him Impressed…and Intimidated
Did Chevy’s work on the ZR1 make it a perfect daily and track monster?
One of the things that the ZR1 had to do was not only be faster than the Z06, but be able to handle long stints of high-speed driving with ease. Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire had the opportunity to find out when Chevrolet invited him to have a go in the new super-‘Vette at Road Atlanta. Typically, most well-heeled journalists can find a fault with a car on track, but Farah had a tough time coming up with any for the ZR1. More about that later.
Initially, Farah gives us some factual data about the front end, specific to the ZR1, and meant to mitigate heat. “We all know what happened with the Z06 and overheating. GM knows what happened, and they don’t want that to happen again, so this car has 13 heat exchangers.” Aside from that, almost everything from the firewall forward is different. That includes front aero, which when combined with the rear wing produces 900 lbs of down-force at top speed.
But all that power is kinda useless without grip, or a way to rein it in. Farah, who is no stranger to fast cars says,”the power is so crazy, but not as crazy as the brakes.” That’s saying something considering what’s under the Vette’s hood. “And then there’s the stick. There’s so much of the stick. There’s so much grip, this thing will do 1.2 G once the tires are warmed up.”
ALSO SEE: Chevrolet Releases Top Speed Run Video of 2019 Corvette ZR1
The power is put to good use by carrying around less heft. It’s the most carbon fiber intensive Corvette ever made. The payoff is obvious. “The weight is 3,580 pounds, so it’s not super light, but it’s a full 1000 pounds lighter than a Hellcat,” Farah notes.
Despite the immense grip, it takes immense bravery to reach the limits because they are so far above what a standard car can achieve. Farah pleads, “This is so. Much. Car. They need to stop. I don’t want to say normal people cant drive this, because they can — it’s very easy to drive. But this is a very scary and intimidating car if you don’t know what you’re doing”
But for those of us that do, it’s the best weapon GM has made to hammer away at enemy lap times.