The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 represents the pinnacle of 'Vette tech and therefore acquires an enviable Total Car Score.
It possesses a 638-horsepower supercharged V8 engine, computer-controlled magnetic ride suspension and a set of performance figures that could make anyone think twice about buying something more expensive and Italian.
Standstill to 60 mph is completed in 3.4 seconds and the car doesn't stop accelerating until it reaches 205 mph. The ZR1 has a fiberglass/carbon fiber coupe body (no soft-top variant) and, just like every other Corvette, offers seating for two plus a usable trunk. For added coolness, the hood has a transparent polycarbonate panel showing off the hardware beneath. The brakes feature carbon-ceramic rotors and are the same spec utilized by Ferraris.
Once the adrenaline has calmed down, reviewers notice the ZR1's a less-than-premium cabin, which might make people reconsider buying something more expensive and Italian (or German) despite this Chevy's performance parity with those premium brands. And although road testers rate the ZR1's general ability highly, they often end up preferring the agility of European rivals (especially since the choice doesn't cost them a dime, either way).
For 2011, Chevrolet offers ZR1 buyers the chance to assemble their own engine (under supervision) at the company's plant in Wixom, Michigan.
The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 supercar coupe comes as either a 1ZR or 3ZR model.
Both are propelled by a 6.2-liter V8 that is supercharged to develop 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque. After going through a six-speed manual transmission (there is no auto option), that considerable muscle drives the rear wheels -- augmented by a standard-issue limited-slip differential.
The 1ZR has lightweight seats, a Bose audio system with satellite radio, dual-zone climate control, "magnetic ride control" suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels at the front and 20-inchers at the rear. Safety equipment includes ABS, side airbags and an adjustable traction control system.
The 3ZR adds navigation, a swisher Bose system, Bluetooth, power-adjustable steering column and heated seats with the ZR1 logo sewn into the leather.
The EPA rates the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 at 14 mpg city, 20 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined.
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