What’s Up in the Forums: C7 Corvette ZR1 First Drive and Initial Impressions!

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C7 Corvette ZR1

Here’s the most detailed (and relevant) C7 Corvette ZR1 review you’ll see anywhere!

In case you’ve been living in hiding recently, you’ve undoubtedly heard all about the C7 Corvette ZR1. This beast of a machine is every bit as good as advertised, too. With insane power, roadholding capabilities, and a reasonable price tag, there isn’t much in the automotive world that’ll touch the mighty ZR1. But even though professional car reviews are cool and all, we’re really curious to hear what Corvette Forum members think of the new ride. And SLBelt‘s recent review didn’t disappoint.

The first thing the OP learned about the C7 Corvette ZR1 is that it isn’t exactly stealthy.

“If you’re the kind of person who likes to stay low key, don’t buy this car. I had people following me taking pics, talking to me at every stop, etc. A lot of folks don’t know what it is, but they know it’s something different from a normal ‘Vette. Lots of attention as expected.”

C7 Corvette ZR1

And he didn’t find the enlarged hood to cause any visibility issues, like many have experienced.

“Anyone who thinks the view out the windshield is restricted by the hood must be quite short. Admittedly, I’m on the upper end of height (6’7″) for someone that can fit in this car. But the view isn’t even close to being impacted by the hood. I wouldn’t even have thought that if I hadn’t read it here first. On the other hand, staring across the glossy CF dash out at the sea of CF under the hood that’s visible from the driver’s seat is pretty awesome.”

Like us, the OP wants to hear all 755 of his ponies. Even under normal driving situations.

“If you, like me, want to hear the car. Setup the sound in engine management in settings for Track mode. This will keep the valves open nearly all the time. There is a noticeable difference in sound between Sport and Track. In Track, the sound is incredible when starting and driving. However, wait until you downshift and hear the burbling through the exhaust. A sound the Z06 does not make. It’s awesome. I kept doing it over and over just to hear it. I love that sound!”

C7 Corvette ZR1

And unlike many Corvettes of old, the interior of the C7 Corvette Z06 is a very nice place to be.

“The interior is definitely a notch up from my 2015 Z06. The diamond pattern on the ceiling of the roof panel is a nice touch. It is NOT the chosen stitch color though. So my red stitching did not carry up there. However, the paddles are red, which is another nice touch. The Glossy CF dash is sweet. Acres of alcantara, suede, or whatever they call that material throughout the cabin. Since I did museum delivery, instead of the normal badge on the center console, I have the museum delivery badge with the VIN, my name, and the museum delivery caption. I did the regular seats (not comp) and noticed no differences between the Z06 and the seating comfort in the ZR1. All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the step up in the interior with the ZR1 over the Z06.”

As far as rolling stock, the OP loves his wheels. But the tires? Not so much.

“I went with the Carbon Flash wheels which have the embossed ZR1 logo like the Z06 wheels had. They have a nice gloss and I’m actually liking them much better than I had thought I would from the pics. I think these are going to stay on the car for now anyway. The tires are, of course, the Sport Cup 2s and for me they’re on the must replace list. I’ll either be going to the Conti Extreme Contacts or Michelin SSZPs.”

C7 Corvette ZR1

So the only question left to ask is, what does the all-new C7 Corvette ZR1 drive like? For starters, the shifts seem to come fast and surprisingly velvety.

“Now for some pretty early views on the driving characteristics. I’ve not gotten into it much yet but it’s clear the transmission programming is different. Definitely seems to be faster shifts than the Z06. I was a bit surprised that when in track mode and in manual shifts, the shift aren’t as hard/harsh as I would have expected. They’re very smooth. Almost too much so for my liking. I like a hard shift and it doesn’t do that. Downshifts seem to be very quick whether in paddle shift or auto modes.”

And yet, it’s hard to find that extra hundred horsepower over the Z06. But of course, this is far from a scientific test.

“Performance seems strong. But I have to say, I’m not seeing a huge difference from the Z06. I’m sure it’s there. 100 HP is pretty significant. I’m just not wowed by the seat of the pants feel. I’ve not done any real timed runs or anything, but my one unofficial test is a place near where I live in the country on a deserted road where I use two landmarks to check what speed I can get to. I’ve done this for years and with all my ‘Vettes since about 2000. This roll on speed test on the Z06 allowed me to get from 60 to about 127 in that span, and the ZR1 got to 128. So not much difference. Time will tell as it further breaks in and my experience with it goes up.”

C7 Corvette ZR1

Certainly, no one really buys a C7 Corvette ZR1 for fuel economy. But it’s still nice to know that this thing is pretty efficient, regardless!

“For those that care, even without eco mode and cylinder deactivation, I was getting around 23-25 mpg on the way home running about 80. That’s pretty darn good for a 750 hp car doing 80. Not that I really care about MPG in this car, but that was a pleasant surprise.”

And heck, it won’t even beat you up on regular roads!

“As far as ride quality and handling, I didn’t notice a lot of difference from the Z06 w/Z07 package that I had. Since it’s a ZTK car, it has the suspension programming for the track. But if you put the car in Tour like I did for the drive home, it was actually pretty smooth. Don’t be concerned about ride harshness off the track if you buy the ZTK option. It’s fine. I did have in track mode a bit yesterday and it definitely stiffens up like the Z06 and I’m sure will handle well on the track. No chance to evaluate that yet.”

Pretty awesome write up, we must say. But we’re looking forward to the OP’s report from the track, which is reportedly happening soon. Head over here and stay tuned to see how this awesome C7 Corvette ZR1 performs moving forward, both on and off the circuit!

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Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Corvette Forum, Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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