Now in its sixth generation, the Chevrolet Corvette is being offered in its most powerful version ever, with the label ZR1 attached. The 638-horsepower ZR1 is the long-awaited addition to the Corvette line and it joins the the other three 2009 Chevrolet Corvette models, the Coupe, Convertible and Z06.
For the 2009 Corvette, all models gain two new color options, “blade silver metallic” and “cyber gray metallic,” while an older color, “machine silver metallic” has been discontinued. The options list now includes Bluetooth capability, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls are standard. The convertible has a base 1LT package available, which reduces the introductory price to $51,700, and the 2LT version now includes power-operation for the top.
The base Corvette coupe starts even lower, at $47,045, making it less than half the price of (and half the trouble in finding car loans for) the ZR1, though it still comes equipped with a 430 horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine with a 2.5-inch dual-chamber exhaust system available as an option. The Z06 comes with the same 505 horsepower 7-liter V8 as last year’s model, while the much-anticipated ZR1 ships with a supercharged 638 horsepower 6.2 liter engine.
All through the 2009 Corvette lineup the suspension options are carry-overs from the 2008 models, with a Z51 performance package that adds Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, stiff springs, aggressive damping, and large (13.4 inches in front, 13 inches in back) cross-drilled brake rotors with shortened ratios for first, second and third gears, but there’s also the Magnetic Selective Ride Control option that allows the driver to adjust damping on the fly, should road conditions warrant.
More specifically, the Z06, which has a starting MSRP of $72,405, receives the larger dry-sump oiling system already in use on the Z01, a 10-spoke wheel design that comes in four fashion colors, and an upgraded audio system.
The base-model six-speed Corvette is the most fuel efficient of the line, rated at 16mpg city/26 highway, though with the automatic transmission that number is reduced by one on each side. The Z06, with its all-aluminum mill has even lower fuel economy (15 city/24 highway) while the supercharged ZR1 really demonstrates that power does NOT equal efficiency with numbers coming in at 14 city/20 highway, though it’s still better than Ferrari’s F430, if that helps.
What does this lack of major changes mean for Chevrolet in general and the 2009 Corvette in particular? Well, it means that the focus is on the new guy, the ZR1. Even though it might not have the splashy look one might expect from a super car, loyal Corvette fans won’t have to adjust to major changes.
Source: Elaine Newland