How Fast Can the ZR1 Hit 60 in Real World Conditions?

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Hint: you probably won’t go as fast as Chevrolet claims you could.

When you buy a new car, especially one as hyped up as the Corvette ZR1, you want to test it out. You want to experience the same blistering acceleration that all those magazines were able to get in their testing. And with the Corvette’s performance data system built-in, you, yourself can see just how close you can get.

But here’s the thing, no manufacturer is ever going to show you real world performance. They’ll only announce the stuff that grabs headlines. For the ZR1, its big headline was 0-60 in less than three seconds.

If you wanted the worst conditions possible for a launch, Chuck from the Corvettes 918 YouTube channel experienced all of them. Cup tires, concrete surface, excessive heat and high humidity all worked against him. As well, he’s a self-described average driver. So how did he do? Well, in real world conditions, he accelerated to 60 miles per hour a full second slower than claimed. There was even one run to 60 miles per hour in the 4 second range, but for Chuck he did hit a few at around 3.8 seconds.

Corvette ZR1 real world performance

So is it car, or driver, or both? Well, we’re going to have to say it’s the car and the environment, actually. Being built for a track means launches for the ZR1 just aren’t that important. Lateral grip is. As such, suspension settings and tire design are worlds apart from what you’d need for a proper launch. Aside from that, a prepped surface allows the ZR1 to actually get power down, and lower heat and humidity would allow that engine to run at its best.

In cars with all-wheel drive or with less horsepower, the surface wouldn’t nearly matter as much, but for the ZR1, it sure does. If you’ve ever wondered why roll racing is as popular as it is, here’s your reason.

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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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