Grussner registered minor pangs of disappointment, until we urged him to nail the center pedal at speed. "The blood rushing to my head after engaging the brakes at 160 mph made me dizzy," he revealed, just before he turned around to give his Brembo carbon-ceramic brake system a second spanking.
Boiling down our data revealed that the ZR1 is the true Corvette acceleration king based on its ability to sprint to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds during an 11.9-second blast through the quarter-mile traps at 126 mph. Tighter third-through-sixth gear-ratio spacing and the 3800-rpm torque peak (versus 4800 rpm in a Z06) also make the ZR1 more enjoyable to stitch through traffic without incessantly flogging the shifter.
In both braking and cornering performance, the ZR1 can't touch the Z06, most likely because the more expensive Corvette carries two-thirds of its 273-pound weight gain on its front wheels. Nevertheless, the ZR1 earns style points for its more benign behavior at the limit and its more compliant highway ride.
Blemishes we noticed during our 500-mile round trip in the ZR1 include a loud, unfiltered roar from the rear tires over textured pavement and an annoying amount of exhaust heat wafting off the floor. Third and fifth gears sometimes go hiding when the driver attempts expeditious upshifts. And, amazingly, there's no iPod or MP3 connectivity when you opt for a navigation system in this $100,000-plus Corvette.
Those are venial sins. The Corvette ZR1 surely will be one of the last great blessings we receive from Chevy before our Volt penance comes due, so we plan on enjoying it wherever and whenever we can. Next on our agenda is finding five or so miles of open road and inviting Grussner along to explore the remaining 10 mph in the ZR1's portfolio.
|0-60 MPH||3.7 sec|
|1/4-MILE||11.9 sec @ 126 mph|
|70-0 MPH braking||157 ft|
|Speed In Gears||1) 64 mph|
|Cornering (L/R)||1.04/1.04 g|
|weight dist. f/r||52.0/48.0 %|
See our top-speed blast down a rural Michigan runway with the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.