ZR1 DESIGN AND EXTERIOR
The Corvette ZR1’s fixed-roof body style optimises body rigidity and mass. Low weight is also the benefit of the wide, carbon-fiber front fenders – with ZR1-specific dual ports – carbon-fiber hood with a raised, polycarbonate window (offering a view of the intercooler below it), carbon-fiber roof panel, roof bow, front fascia splitter and rocker mouldings. The ZR1’s curb weight is 1,521kg.
The roof panel, roof bow, splitter and rocker mouldings feature a visible carbon-fiber weave that’s covered with a UV-resistant clear coat. The exterior also is distinguished with a full-width rear spoiler with raised outboard sections and four large, stainless steel exhaust outlets
Twenty-spoke painted aluminium wheels – 19 x 10-inch in the front and 20 x 12-inch in the rear – are standard, with chrome-aluminium versions available. Also available are new black-painted aluminium wheels and the lightweight cup-style wheels that are part of the PDE ZR1 High Performance Package. Machined Cup wheels with gray pockets are available on any ZR1.
Corvette’s interior is inspired by the car’s dual-cockpit heritage. Seats that were introduced in 2012 deliver improved appearance, and larger bolsters on the seat back and cushion areas provide better driver support, especially in high-performance driving. Microfiber seat inserts are optional.
A custom leather-wrapped interior package is standard on the 3ZR trim, featuring a leather-wrapped upper and lower instrument panel, door pads and seats; choice of exclusive colours: Dark Titanium, Ebony or Cashmere, with unique colour breakup; padded door panel armrests; “Corvette” embroidered on passenger-side dash pad and a unique centre trim plate with a gunmetal pattern.
The supercharged LS9 6.2L small-block engine is the power behind the ZR1’s performance, producing 476kw (638hp). A sixth-generation Eaton supercharger helps the LS9 make big power and torque at lower rpm and carries it in a wide arc to 6,600rpm, as it pushes enough air to help the engine maintain power through the upper levels of the rpm band – the area where supercharged performance tends to diminish. Heavy-duty and lightweight reciprocating components – including titanium connecting rods – enable the engine’s confident high-rpm performance.
The LS9 is hand-assembled at GM’s Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich., and incorporates special processes typically seen in racing engines to produce a highly refined and precise product.
Backing the LS9 is a six-speed manual transmission and a twin-disc clutch that provides exceptional clamping power, while maintaining an easy clutch pedal effort. ZR1-specific gearing in the transmission provides a steep first-gear ratio that helps launch the car, and top speed is achieved in sixth gear.
The rear axle also is also unique to the ZR1 and features asymmetrical axle-shaft diameters – 33 mm on the right side and 40 mm on the left – that were developed after careful testing to provide optimal torque management.
CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION
Magnetic Selective Ride Control is standard and tuned specifically for the ZR1. The system’s ability to deliver a compliant ride with nearly instantaneous damping adjustments enabled engineers to develop a surprisingly supple ride quality in a supercar that still delivers cornering grip of more than 1g.
Launch Control with Performance Traction Management (PTM) technology optimises traction for greater and more consistent on-track performance. PTM system holds a predetermined engine speed while the driver pushes the throttle to the floor. That allows the driver to quickly release the clutch and the system modulates engine torque 100 times per second to maximise the available traction. PTM also integrates the ZR1’s traction control, active handling and selective ride control systems to enhance track driving consistency and overall performance. When full throttle is applied upon exiting a corner, it automatically manages acceleration dynamics.
Commensurate with the ZR1’s engine output is the braking system, headlined by Brembo carbon-ceramic brake rotors. Found on only a few exotics and more expensive supercars, carbon-ceramic brake rotors are made of a carbon-fiber-reinforced ceramic silicon carbide material. The advantages of these rotors are low mass and resistance to wear and heat. In fact, the rotors should never show corrosion or require replacement for the life of the vehicle, when used in normal driving.
The vented and cross-drilled rotors on the ZR1 measure 15.5 inches (394mm) in diameter in the front and 15 inches (380mm) in diameter in the rear – making them among the largest carbon-ceramic rotors available on any production vehicle.
Clamping down on the high-tech rotors are six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers, each painted a ZR1-exclusive blue. The brakes are visible through the ZR1’s exclusive wheels: 20-spoke alloy rims that measure 19 x 10 inches in diameter in the front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear. A Sterling Silver paint finish is standard; chrome and black versions are optional. Machined Cup wheels with gray pockets are also available. The wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres developed specifically for the ZR1, measuring P285/30ZR19 in front and P335/25ZR20 in the rear.
The PDE High Performance Package features Michelin® Pilot® Sport Cup Zero Pressure tyres, developed by the same Michelin engineers who developed tyres for Corvette Racing in the American Le Mans Series and are essentially street-legal versions of a racing tyre. The 285/30-19 (front) and 335/25-20 (rear) tyres are matched with aluminium cup-style wheels. They are about five pounds lighter (2.2 kg) and stronger than the standard 20-spoke wheel.
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