In Detail: Corvette ZR1 Performance Tech

There are countless elements that determine the success of a sports car: handling, braking, styling, to name a few. But, in order to be considered a truly great high performance vehicle, there is one absolute neccesty: a truly great high performance powerplant. The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 delivers with a supercharged LS9 6.2L "Small Block" engine. While some might debate the validity of applying the Small Block moniker to an LS engine, Chevy believes you can draw a direct line between these modern mammoths and the original Small Block introduced over half a century ago.
The 8-cylinder LS9 is rated at 638 hp, powering the ZR1 to a top speed of 205 mph, making it the fastest GM production car ever built. With a 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds, the ZR1 ranks just below super cars like the Ferrari Enzo and McLaren F1. Now, we're not saying that $100,000ish MSRP is cheap, but if you have the means, it's a steal considering the elite company this Corvette finds itself in.

All of that power is greatly augmented by an Eaton TVS supercharger that makes use of a twin four-lobe rotor design. To further increase power and efficiency the supercharger has been outfitted with a charge cooling system that decreases inlet air temperature.

Another feature that places the ZR1 among a class of pricier exotics are its standard Brembo carbon-ceramic brake rotors. Made of a ceramic silicon carbide material backed by ultra-strong and lightweight carbon-fiber, these durable rotors could feasibly last the entire life of the vehicle.

GM didn't stop there with the use of carbon-fiber. The entire hood is constructed of the spaceage material, save for the distinctive clear polycarbonate window that offers a view of the engine's intercooler from the exterior. The roof, rocker molding, front spliter, front fenders, and rear spoiler get the carbon-fiber treatment as well.

The ZR1 continues a Corvette tradition of offering high performance at a low price (relative to competitors) and packs enough tech to pull TRANSLOGIC away from the electric cars and bullet trains for a day of spirited driving in Detroit.

Click the image below to watch TRANSLOGIC 69: Corvette ZR1:

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