ZR1 Pitted Against Camaro, Demon in Three-Way Comparison
Top Gear magazine brings together ZR1, Camaro ZL1, and Challenger Demon to determine which is the best American supercar.
This is a great time to be alive if you’re into raw, American horsepower. The Corvette side alone has plenty of worthy beasts, including the ultimate ‘Vette, the ZR1. With 755 horses and 715 lb-ft of torque on tap from the supercharged 6.2-liter LT5 V8, plus a top speed of 212 mph, there’s no disputing how hardcore the ZR1 is today.
Of course, there are those who’d like to take the crown from the ZR1. Top Gear magazine brought two of the contenders along in a comparison test between them and the ZR1: the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and the Dodge Challenger Demon. All three cars being track tested at the magnificent country club and race track resort, The Thermal Club.
Up first, of course, is the ZR1. Top Gear says the ‘Vette “is quite possibly the angriest car ever,” and thanks to its $130,000 price of admission, the ZR1 is on par with the McLaren 720S as far as performance goes. The magazine’s tester comes with the seven-speed manual, perfect for wringing out all of the power the LT5 has to offer as it roars through the test track.
Next is the ZR1’s sibling, the Camaro ZL1. Powered by the same 650-horse LT4 as the Corvette Z06, the ZL1’s power “is still a bit like being punched in the face. In a good way, of course.” Despite also weighing thousands of pounds, the ZL1’s 1LE package allows the car to throw all that weight around the corners like a slot car.
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Finally, there’s the Dodge Challenger Demon, a car whose sole purpose in life is to destroy one and all, one quarter-mile at a time. Despite this, Top Gear says the Demon isn’t “that much of a pig to drive when you get on the track” due to its massive tires and adaptive dampers for better drivability to and from the drag strip.
So, which car is best American super car? Top Gear says it’s the Camaro ZL1, due to its amazing performance on the track, excellent streetability, and ability to take the fight to the likes of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS at half the price. The Demon comes in second, though they appreciate it for its “single-minded purpose” and excellent engineering. And alas, the ZR1 takes third, for despite offering massive amounts of power, the magazine says the ‘Vette has “a little bit of a whiff of midlife crisis about it.” Can’t win ’em all, but at least this win can still be tied back to the Corvette, one way or another.