Click above for high-res gallery of the 2009 Corvette ZR1

The car that Top Gear liked to drive, if not exactly to look at, has a price they definitely won't want to pay. At an on-the-road price of £109,000, the ZR1 costs nearly £48,000 pounds more than a Z06 in the UK. As if that weren't problematic enough, that price puts the left-hand-drive-only ZR1 £8,000 past the 911 Turbo and a colossal £55,000 beyond the GT-R Premium Edition. True, that's still the base GT-R, but Nissan has a whole lot of room to play with when it prices the V-Spec.

True as well, the price of the ZR1 also includes a driver training course and a 3-year / 60,000-mile warranty, which should count for something. Perhaps not £55,000, though. Luckily for Chevrolet UK, it will only have to sell two of them this year, and single digits in the years to come. You can read the full press release after the jump, and then decide if you'd rather have one lump of incredible American metal or a GT-R and a Swiss bank account.

Related GalleryFirst Drive: 2009 Corvette ZR1

[Source: GM]




PRESS RELEASE

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.