Retro Review: 1990 Corvette ZR-1

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If there’s one thing I learned about the 1990 Corvette ZR-1 from MotorWeek‘s retro review video below, it is how incredibly fast the ZR-1 actually was. Under 13 seconds in the quarter mile, 0-60 in just a tad over 4 seconds — these are headlines for today’s current crop of sports cars. But, 26-years ago, those were the headlines for the newest and fastest Corvette.

In 1990, GM had the guts to debut the Corvette in Europe at the Geneva Auto show. Bold, perhaps, but surely a move to get the attention of Europeans and Americans alike. With a Lotus developed V8 engine making 385 horsepower, there was nothing this side of the Atlantic that could come close. Lotus also worked their magic on the steering and suspension to make sure that the ZR-1 wasn’t just a showcase for the engine. Amazingly, all of that power and handling went through rims with only 17-inch diameters, though they were nearly a foot wide. Anything from Europe had a much higher price tag (even though an approximate cost of $60,000 was tough to swallow in 1990).  It’s no wonder why some people consider the C4 ZR-1 to be a modern classic.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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