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Blue Devil / ZR1

Is the Sun Setting on the Corvette ZR1?

A proverbial bombshell was dropped last night when Patrick Gramm of DigitalCorvettes.com posted news about GM halting Corvette ZR1 production. Patrick was told by a source that ZR1 production was to be halted and the model may have been cancelled despite no known issues that would warrant a production stop.

The story was given credence with Corvette Conti’s post about Corvette ZR1 orders with production dates suddenly disappearing from the system. Corvette orders are assigned a Target Production Week (TPW) and when those TPWs start disappearing, people get nervous.

We confirmed the order process with Kerbeck Corvette’s Sales Manager Dave Salvatore who told us that not seeing a TPW is completely normal, especially on early production cars. Dave says they did the same thing to the Corvette Z06s when they came out. “They do this so as not to get people mad or nervous if there’s a delay during the early production.”

Fact is, production has been halted on the Corvette ZR1 as well as the other three models this week as GM idled the Bowling Green Assembly plant to allow for a bit of constriction in supply. Salvatore says that he is hearing that once the plant’s operations resumes next week, Corvette ZR1 production will be doubled to make up for the loss numbers during the shutdown.

Finally, Autoblog weighed in, pulled out the rolodex and called GM’s Terry Rhadigan, Global Communications Director for Chevrolet, who responded with a terse statement designed to put this rumor to bed: “Not True”.

Going back to the Digital Corvettes post, there are several members with “sources” within the Corvette program that have provided reliable information over the last few years when it comes to Corvettes in general and the ZR1 specifically. They are saying that this rumor is not true and not what they are hearing. One of the members said the following:

The huge amounts of money that were spent on the ZR1 were for R&D. In other words, most of the money was spent before the car even went into production. That money is spent and gone…it’s never coming back. Killing the ZR1 at this point won’t get that money back and wouldn’t really save that much money in the grand scheme of things. There might even be penalties to pay to suppliers for cancelling the parts contracts. Even if you do cancel the contracts, how much are you really saving by not paying for the parts for a 2000-3000 unit/year vehicle program? Again, not that much in the grand scheme. It makes more sense to keep building this super-limited run vehicle and get all the money out of it you can. They will sell every one they build.

We count Patrick of DC as one of our online friends and his information is usually reliable. But I feel for the guy who may have led him astray on this if that’s the case. Patrick followed up with a comment in the thread that mentioned “balls” and “chopping block” so we’ll see where this story goes.


Sources:
DigitalCorvettes.com
Corvette Conti’s
Kerbeck Corvette
Autoblog

Related:
GM: Corvette Production Being Cut to Reduce Supply

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Top Gear Testing the Corvette ZR1

I warned you when we heard that Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson was testing driving the Corvette ZR1 out on the Bonneville Salt Flats about his tendency to talk glowingly about Corvettes and then bashing them. It’s beginning to look like that’s what we’re in for after we saw this quote about Clarkson’s time in the Corvette ZR1 in his very unflattering review of the Chrysler Sebring Cabriolet.

In the Sebring review, which Clarkson calls the “worst car in the World”, he’s ranting about the poor quality of American cars when he drops this in eight paragraphs from the end:

“I spent most of my time in America this time in a new Corvette ZR1. It is a fabulous car. Mesmerisingly fast, good looking and amazing value. But after three days the damn thing was beginning to disintegrate. It made me growl with annoyance and despair.”

The next seven paragraphs is typical Clarkson, bashing America and our lack of “history” as the root cause. I’m not going to go into any more details. His constant rants on the subject of American cars and therefore America itself is so tiresome. Unfortunately, he’s about to turn his sights on our favorite sports car and I for one could really care less…


Source:
UK Times Online via Motor Trend Forums

Related:
UK’s Top Gear to Test Drive The 2009 Corvette ZR1
[VIDEO] Top Gear Reviews Z06 Corvette

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[VIDEO] Another Corvette ZR1 on the Dyno pulls 549.9 RWHP!

by Keith Cornett on September 30, 2008

2009 Corvette ZR1 Dyno Sheet

The Vette Doctors of Amityville, NY had a customer bring his new 2009 Corvette ZR1 into their shop and this time we got three dyno runs on video. The sound this Corvette makes is impressive. I think that it would have been pretty cool to have been there in person to hear it.

The shop performed three base dyno pulls and their best run was 549.9 rear wheel horsepower and 500 ft-lbs of torque, better than what we saw last week when two Corvette ZR1′s averaged 535 RWHP on a dynojet. According to the post, these are adjusted numbers. That’s a 13.8 percent loss which again is within the normal parameters.

Now for the crazy part. The Corvette ZR1 is in the shop because the owner is “already looking for a little more power!”. Vette Doctors is working on some custom programming to get the full potential out of the new King of the Hill. They are also will be working with American Racing Headers to develop a ZR1 specific header system. The shop is hoping to have these changes on the car and back on the dyno in the next week and will be posting those new numbers as soon as they are available.


Source:
Corvette Forum
The Vette Doctors

Related:
2009 Corvette ZR1 Hits the Dyno
[VIDEO] GM Releases Official Corvette ZR1 Specs: 638 hp and 205 mph Technorati Tags:
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2009 Corvette ZR1 Goes on Sale in the UK

by Keith Cornett on September 26, 2008

2009 Corvette ZR1

The new supercharged 6.2 litre V8 powered Corvette ZR1 is now on sale in the UK. For a mere £109,000 or $200,400 US Dollars, you can be one of the lucky few to own one. And we mean few because only two are going across the pond in 2008 and no more than 10 will be available to order in 2009. Buyers of the Corvette ZR1 will receive an invite to an advanced driver course as well as a free change of shorts. Okay, maybe you’ll have to supply your own shorts but you get the idea.

FASTEST EVER CORVETTE NOW ON SALE IN THE UK

  • Ultimate American Corvette ZR1 supercar boasts 205 mph top speed
  • Supercharged 6.2-litre V8 delivers 647 ps and 819 Nm
  • 0-to-62 mph in 3.6 seconds, with 1.0g cornering ability
  • Advanced Driver Training Programme for every customer
  • Very limited numbers available in UK priced from £109,000 on-the-road

The fastest ever and most powerful series production car from General Motors, the 2009 Corvette ZR1, is on sale in the UK with first customer deliveries scheduled for late 2008. The eagerly-awaited ZR1 made its UK debut at the British International Motor Show in July, just a few weeks after claiming the ‘unofficial’ production car lap record at the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife circuit with a time of just 7 minutes 26.4 seconds.

The left-hand drive ZR1 will be available in the UK featuring a single premium specification level, with a number of exquisite and exclusive details inside and out setting the ZR1 apart from every other Corvette and supercar on the road. The ultra exclusive proposition will be available in the UK in small numbers with just two Corvette ZR1 arriving in 2008 and only single digit volumes available to order for delivery in 2009. The ultimate American supercar is priced from £109,000 on-the-road.

“The ZR1 combines a series of cutting edge technologies such as carbon-fibre, ceramics and sophisticated electronics with the instantly recognisable and distinctive design to create the ultimate American supercar,” explains Jonathan Nash, director in charge, Corvette UK.

“The result is spectacular. The Corvette ZR1 boasts astonishing performance, is visually striking and feels very special to drive. It outperforms much of the exotic supercar competition costing twice as much, while presenting buyers with a unique balance of stunning performance and exceptional driveability.”

“In addition, Corvette UK is determined to deliver an ownership experience par excellence, which starts with the specially-designed driver training experience and continues with technicians in the official Corvette service network receiving specific training on the unique features of the ZR1,” adds Nash.

Race-bred Technologies

To achieve its incredible performance, the new ZR1 features a range of technologies from the elite echelons of motorsport, including lightweight carbon-fibre panels, carbon ceramic brake discs, an advanced aerodynamic package and lightweight race-engineered titanium engine components.

At the heart of the ZR1 is an all-new, hand-built, race-tuned supercharged LS9 6.2-litre V8 engine that produces maximum power of 647 ps at 6500 rpm and peak torque of 819 Nm at 3800 rpm. The force behind the ZR1’s performance and refinement is a large, positive-displacement Roots-type supercharger with a new, four-lobe rotor design. It is augmented with an integrated charge cooling system that reduces inlet air temperature for maximum performance.

Power is delivered to the rear wheels via an upgraded six-speed, ‘short-throw’, close-ratio race-bred manual transmission featuring a high-capacity twin-plate clutch. This new system also contributes to the ZR1’s exceptional driving quality, with smooth and easy shifting. The twin-disc design allows the clutch to handle a higher torque capacity with levels of inertia and pedal effort similar to the Corvette Z06.

The ZR1 has a curb weight of just 1528 kg and its staggering power-to-weight ratio betters that of the significantly more expensive Porsche 911 GT2, the Ferrari 599 and even the Lamborghini LP640. The mighty Corvette V8 engine launches the ZR1 to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 205 mph.

The ZR1 is built on the same aluminum-intensive chassis as the Corvette Z06 and features similar independent double wishbone front and rear suspension, manufactured in aluminium. Vehicle weight is distributed 51%/49% front/rear and the independent double wishbone suspension (front and rear), works with the ZR1’s advanced Magnetic Selective Ride Control to deliver a highly compliant ride without compromising on its exceptional handling and grip that is capable of generating more than 1.0g lateral acceleration in corners.

Colossal engine power is matched by massive Brembo carbon-ceramic brake discs, clamped by six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers. Ventilated and cross-drilled, the discs measure 394 mm (front) and 380 mm (rear) – making them among the largest carbon-ceramic discs available on any production vehicle.

The brakes are prominently visible through the ZR1’s exclusive 20-spoke polished chrome alloy wheels – 19 inches in diameter at the front and 20 inches at the rear. These are fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres – P285/30ZR19 (front) and P325/25ZR20 (rear) – which have been developed specifically for the ZR1.

A Truly Exclusive Appearance

The exterior of the ZR1 is truly distinctive. Widened, carbon-fibre front bumpers with specific, dual lower ports, and a full-width, body-colour rear spoiler (incorporating the centre high-mounted brake lamp) are also unique to the ZR1. All of the exterior features were developed to enhance high-speed stability.

One of its signature features is a raised, all-carbon-fibre bonnet incorporating a clear, polycarbonate window. This provides a view of the top of the engine’s intercooler, with the legend ‘LS9 SUPERCHARGED’ embossed on the left and right sides, and an engine cover with the Corvette crossed flags logo at the front.

Exposed carbon-fibre is used for the roof, sill mouldings, underside of the bonnet and for the prominent front splitter. A choice of seven exterior colours will be available – Black, Blade Silver, Velocity Yellow, Cyber Gray, Victory Red, Atomic Orange and Jetstream Blue.

Inside ZR1, high-quality materials, craftsmanship and functionality support the premium-quality experience promised by the car’s performance. A custom leather wrapped interior package is standard, and unique features include ZR1-logo sill plates and headrest embroidery, a bespoke instrument cluster design, and a Head-Up Display that includes a boost gauge.

Driver and passenger are supported firmly and comfortably in lightweight, power-adjustable, heated, leather seats. Infotainment is courtesy of a Bose® premium audio system with seven speakers and a dual-slot CD and DVD player, plus a DVD-based navigation system with 6.5-in LCD touch screen.

Unique Ownership Experience

In order to ensure that UK buyers can safely enjoy the performance potential of their ZR1, each owner will receive an exclusive invitation to a specially-developed driver training course. Highly experienced instructors will help customers to develop and advance their driving skills – for both track and road driving.

UK customers will also receive an exceptional level of ongoing aftersales care commensurate with the exclusive nature of their new acquisition. The UK’s official Corvette service network will provide specialist care in their workshops, where cars will be maintained by dedicated technicians specially trained on the unique bodywork, running gear and powertrain features of the ZR1. The ultimate Corvette supercar comes with a three-year / 60,000 miles manufacturers’ warranty.


Source:
GM.com

Related:
Europeans To Pay Over $214,000 for a 2009 Corvette ZR1
[VIDEO] 1st European Corvette ZR1 Hits 192 MPH On The Autobahn

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2009 Corvette ZR1 Hits the Dyno

by Keith Cornett on September 24, 2008

2009 Corvette ZR1 on the Dyno

Continuing our virtual checklist of things to do with the new 638-horsepower Corvette ZR1, a trip to dyno to see just how much power the new King of the Hill is sending to the rear wheels can now be checked off. Corvette Forum member “Alvin” had not one, but two Corvette ZR1′s to play with on a dynojet earlier this week. Word on the street and yet unconfirmed is that these two ZR1′s were part of the group purchase of 5 made by Hendricks Motorsports team.

The first Corvette ZR1 to hit the dyno was this Cyber Gray car which had all of 30 miles on her. The bone stock SAE adjusted number came in at 530 rwhp and 508 ft-Lbs of torque. After making some tuning adjustments, we see the SAE adjusted numbers rose to 567 rwhp and 532 ft-lbs of torque. The dyno sheet is below:

The second Corvette ZR1 was Black and unfortunately seemed to be having some clutch slipping issues which can skew the dyno numbers we’re told. Alvin mentioned in his post that the guy who brought the car into PCMforLess where the dyno was performed said the car was acting fishy and smelled of “clutch”. That’s too bad for a Corvette with all of 200 miles on her. We don’t see a sheet for the initial run, but read that it was 540 rwhp. With the tune, Alvin was able to boost rwhp an additional 17 but the clutch slip makes this a moot point.

2009 Corvette ZR1 on the Dyno 2009 Corvette ZR1 Dyno Sheet

Averaging the two Corvettes, you get 535 rwhp, which is on par with the 15% average loss rule of thumb. Alvin said that the stock tune was pretty rich as well as the fact that once the engines loosen up after a few thousand miles they will usually provide a higher base number.

UPDATE: Check out this VIDEO of another Corvette ZR1 that pulled 549.9 RWHP on the dyno.
Source:
Corvette Forum
PCMforless.com Related:
NASCAR’s Hendricks Team Perk: Corvette ZR1s for Everyone!
[VIDEO] GM Releases Official Corvette ZR1 Specs: 638 hp and 205 mph Technorati Tags:
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UK’s Top Gear to Test Drive The 2009 Corvette ZR1

by Keith Cornett on September 22, 2008

Top Gear Testing the Corvette ZR1

The three hosts of the UK’s wildly popular Top Gear show arrived in San Francisco and then headed out to Reno where they picked up their rides for an all-American edition of the show. Frequent critic of all things American Jeremy Clarkson was spotted getting into a 2009 Velocity Red Corvette ZR1 while co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May had to settle with a Cadillac CTS-V and a Dodge Challenger SRT8 respectively.

Following their drive through Reno, billed as the Biggest Little City in the World (figure that one out), the three ended up at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Despite the fact that we’ll hear Clarkson make stupid quips about leaf springs, push rod V8s and plastic-fantastic interiors, we might just be treated to seeing the Corvette ZR1 pushed to its 200+ mph maximum velocity.

Top Gear Testing the Corvette ZR1 Top Gear Testing the Corvette ZR1 Top Gear Testing the Corvette ZR1
Top Gear Testing the Corvette ZR1 Top Gear Testing the Corvette ZR1 Top Gear Testing the Corvette ZR1

I am sure the show will offer plenty of Corvette ZR1 eye candy and we’ll be treated to some sort of stunt that only Top Gear can deliver, but Clarkson’s boorish comments and his bash-America attitude will make watching the segment a chore at best.


Source:
Jalopnik.com | FinalGear.com

Related:
[VIDEO] Top Gear Reviews Z06 Corvette
[VIDEO] Clarkson Shoots and Destroys a C4 Corvette

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NASCAR’s Hendricks Team Perk: Corvette ZR1s for Everyone!

by Keith Cornett on September 19, 2008

Hendricks Motorsports Corvette ZR1s

Corvette Conti brings us the news that NASCAR’s Hendricks Motorsports team was at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green this week to take delivery of five 2009 Corvette ZR1s. Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon were in attendance as well as Rich Hendricks. One of the Corvettes is also going to Dale Jr, but he wasn’t available to make the trip. At $120K a pop, that’s a serious perk!

Hendricks Motorsports Corvette ZR1s Hendricks Motorsports Corvette ZR1s Hendricks Motorsports Corvette ZR1s

See more photos at CorvetteConti.com


Source:
CorvetteConti.com
Top Photo Credit: Corvette Forum Member 2TONE82

Related:
[VIDEO] Jimmie Johnson and a Z06 Take Manhattan
Dale Jr: Member of Corvette Lunatic Fringe

 

Corvette ZR1 and the Camaro SS

Here is the 2009 Corvette ZR1 joining her much anticipated sibling, the 2010 Chevy Camaro SS for a few laps around the track. The video shows the Camaro SS first and then is joined by the Corvette ZR1.

The video is raw though and when the two cars are shown together, the sound goes blank. Zero, Nada. Time for a voiceover? Maybe that silence is a good thing considering the sound emanating from the 6.2L LS3 V8 Camaro SS is a little lame. But with the starting price of the SS anticipated to be around $30,000, you’ll have a few dollars left over to add a Corsa exhaust system.

This is the second time in recent memory that we’ve seen the Corvette paired with a new Chevy car, the other being the Cobalt. Like that commercial, the Corvette is the scene stealer, especially in closing seconds as you’ll see. While some are wondering if the new Camaro SS will siphon sales from the Corvette, it’s important to remember that the Corvette is a Corvette and the Camaro SS, well, isn’t.


Source:
CamaroZ28.com via Jalopnik.com

Related:
Corvette: The Next Four Door Sports Car?

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2009 Corvette ZR1 on the Autobahn

Dutch automotive site Autoblog.nl rides along with GM engineer and test driver Patrick Herrmann as they shakedown the very first European 2009 Corvette ZR1 on the autobahn. Before Patrick goes full throttle, we see him checking all the fluids and air pressure, as well as the DIC readouts once the Corvette is warmed up. Then all hell breaks loose as Patrick unleashes the 6.2L supercharged Corvette ZR1 on the autobahn, easily reaching speeds up to 310 kph or 192 miles per hour.

Usually we just share the video and you can watch it here in the wonderfully crappy youtube format. But for this drive, we recommend visiting Autoblog.nl where you’ll be able to see the Corvette ZR1 presented in widescreen HD glory. Oh, and when Patrick’s ready to start the Corvette for the very first time, you will want to have your speakers volume set to 10. This is one awesome ride!

We also grabbed some frames as the Velocity Yellow Corvette makes for some great eye candy. Besides, American’s aren’t used to see a speedometer that goes up to 330 kph.

2009 Corvette ZR1 on the Autobahn 2009 Corvette ZR1 on the Autobahn 2009 Corvette ZR1 on the Autobahn

Only 70 Corvette ZR1s are expected to be exported to Europe this year. Dutch importer Kroymans, the company that handles the sales of Corvettes in Europe, has set the price for the new 2009 Corvette ZR1 at 136,000 Euros. At current exchange rates, that translates to over $214,000 US Dollars.


Source:
Autoblog.nl Related:
[VIDEO] Things to do in a Corvette ZR1: Burnouts!
[VIDEO] Official Video of Corvette ZR1′s 7:26.4 Nürburgring Lap
[VIDEO] 1st 2009 Corvette ZR1 Sold for $1 Million

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Bondurant Driving School Adding 2009 Corvette ZR1 to Fleet

by Keith Cornett on September 5, 2008

The Bondurant School of High Performance Driving

Want to drive the 638-hp 2009 Corvette ZR1 but are have trouble coming up with the $105,000 entry fee? The Bondurant School of High Performance Driving is adding at least one of the new supercharged Corvettes to its fleet of Corvettes as part of its 2-day ZR1 Driving Course. The new top of the line Corvette is expected to be at the school’s Phoenix facility in late September.

The ZR1 Control Course is one of the benefits buyers receive when they purchase the new Corvette. The 2-Day Corvette ZR1 Driving Course is offered for free to new Corvette ZR1 owners. Non-ZR1 owners can also take the course, which is expected to run $3395.

Drivers will first start out in seat of the regular Corvette C6 Coupe before moving up to the high performance Z06 and then the ZR1. Bondurant’s students spend 80% of their time at the school on the track and the student to instructor ratio of 3:1 will ensure that participants will come away from the track with a positive experience.

Visit the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving for more information and don’t forget to make your plans for the Bondurant Corvette Performance Experience on December 6th.


Source:
Bondurant via Motor Trend

Related:
[VIDEO] Bondurant School of High Performance Driving

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