Corvettes have a long history with Geneva Motor Show. Twenty years ago the famous motor show was used by General Motors as the launch point for the 1989 Corvette ZR-1. Earlier this month, Chevy was in Geneva again and they brought all four C6 Corvettes models to tour the Old World, and from all accounts, the C6s gave the Europeans a show.
American performance was on display as the entire Corvette lineup – Coupe, Convertible, Z06 and ZR1 – made their presence known. Whether at the show, on the road or at the track, stock or upgraded with Aftermarket Corvette parts, the latest C6 is a dominant force to be reckoned with on either continent.
Historically, the European stage has been dominated by the elite sports car manufacturers like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and Aston Martin. But GM has turned the tables and the gauntlet has been thrown down. The base coupe and convertibles now deliver up to 436 horsepower yet cost thousands less than the European establishment. The Corvette Z06 with its big 7.0 liter LS7 V8 is the quintessential American – loud, brash and fast. The widebody styling that flows seamlessly from the front fascia, to the ground effects to the signature Z06 wheels is a true testament to the marriage of style and performance.
But the real show-stopper at the GM stand in Geneva in 2009 was the all new Corvette ZR1. Making its European debut a year earlier at the 2008 Geneva show, this supercar-slaying Corvette totes a relatively hefty price tag compared to its siblings of $105,000 for an entry-level ZR1. But with that price tag you get the most powerful and fastest sports car ever produced by GM. Based on the already impressive Z06, the ZR1’s power-to-weight ratio is better than other noteworthy superstars like the Porsche 911 GT2, the Ferrari 599 and even the Lamborghini LP640.
When gazing at the Corvette ZR1, lucky onlookers might catch a glimpse of the 638 horsepower supercharged LS9 through the polycarbonate window on the ZR1’s hood. With the carbon fiber chin spoiler and hood scoop, most aficionados agree it’s worthy of the same respect as a work of fine art. In fact, it’s almost a crime to put a Corvette cover over it. Catching a glimpse of the ZR1 is a must, because this is Corvette history in the making.
So the Geneva Motor Show wrapped it up for another year. The 2009 Corvettes on display will be transported to other shows and then eventually sold, and Europeans will have to wait until next year to see the newest Corvettes.