Dan Neil - Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The rapture of the hypercar

    [​IMG]
    The Corvette ZR1 burns oil for a good cause: awesome power and agility

    By DAN NEIL, RUMBLE SEAT
    9:48 PM PDT, October 16, 2008

    Dear Future: We're really, really sorry. Kinda got carried away, what with all the petroleum and all. You're probably wishing that we had saved a few barrels of oil for you, for airline travel and making fertilizer. And those little plastic swim fins would come in handy, now that Greenland has melted.

    I know, "sorry" doesn't feed the bulldog. What's that? You've eaten your bulldog? OK, you're just making this harder.

    The problem with petroleum, you see, is that it's so utterly intoxicating, so rapturously explosive, such a giddy kick to the Newtonian groin. A gallon of gasoline represents about 125,000 BTUs of thermo-chemical energy and weighs a mere 6 pounds. To match the energy of a single gallon of gas, our most advanced lithium battery has to weigh between 30 and 40 pounds and be hooked up to a wind turbine for, like, ever.

    Gasoline is the light, sweet liquor of the gods, the glowing blood throbbing in Odin's temples. . . .

    Oh, right, sorry.

    If gas is our combustible heroin, cars like the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 are our big needles. This 638-hp, 205-mph, $105,000 affront to all that is good and decent and respectable, this angry strake of carbon fiber and aluminum turns gasoline directly into moments of teary bliss. Let me tell you, it's one thing to mouth the pieties of alternatively fueled transportation -- hybrids, diesels, electrics. It's quite another to feel the arch-adrenaline of dinosaur-fueled horsepower and say, "Never again."

    Some may wonder why badly bleeding General Motors would invest precious development dollars turning the already quite mental Corvette Z06 into this necromantic hypercar. Isn't the electric Volt the company's salvation?

    Maybe. But because the ZR1 builds on the Corvette program -- the aluminum-and-balsa chassis is the same; the supercharged LS9 is a titanium-rod-and-crank version of the base pushrod V8 -- it represents a relatively small marketing outlay. And marketing is what it is. This car has appeared on every magazine cover from Motor Trend to Bass Masters Quarterly.

    Having to get around in wooden, orphan-drawn carts, Future, it might be hard for you to appreciate what it's like to drive such a car. To begin with, in terms of comfort and usability, the ZR1 crushes comparable hypercars such as the Lamborghini Murcielago, the Porsche 911 GT2 and the Ferrari 599. To put four sets of golf clubs in those cars, as you can in the Corvette, you'd have to use a crowbar and a Sawz-All.

    At around-town, light-throttle speeds, the ZR1 drives like a two-seat limousine. The cabin is comfortable and easy to enter and exit. The dual-mode magnetic rheologic dampers (don't ask) deliver a freakishly supple and smooth ride, like every road was paved that morning. It's downright unnatural. The ride compliance is especially notable given the obscenely oversized Michelin Sport Pilot tires hanging luridly out of the wheel wells(19-inchers in front and 20s in the rear).

    With 320 pound-feet of torque at the flywheel at a breath off idle (1,000 rpm), the ZR1's engine is supremely tractable, quiet and refined around town. The close-ratio six-speed gearbox is slicker than a Glock soaked in KY jelly. The net of it is, then, that the ZR1 sacrifices very little to the war gods, not even fuel economy. You can stick the gearshift in sixth and get 20 mpg at highway speeds.

    But you wouldn't do that, Future, oh no. And neither would we.

    What you would do is line up the ZR1 on some empty straight of tarmac and nail the throttle. To do so is to throw yourself on a horsepower grenade. Even with traction control engaged, the wheel spin is enough to cause the ZR1 to sidestep in a cloud of Michelin-flavored smoke and thunder. A half-second later, the tires hook up and you're drowning in your own spit and hallucinating speed. In less than four heartbeats (3.4 seconds), you've gone through 60 mph and you're grabbing second gear.

    Now the four-lobe Eaton supercharger is fully angered, the gas is pouring down the V8 gullet, and the exhaust flaps are wide open. Can you hear me now? In 8 seconds -- long, loud, delirious seconds with a soundtrack from every NASCAR movie ever made -- you're in three-digit territory.

    It's around here I discovered a fascinating thing. If you punch the throttle at the top of third gear, around 6,500 rpm, where all 638 supercharged horses live, you can well and truly break the rear tires loose. Oh. My. God.

    Meanwhile, the ZR1 has more lateral grip than the world's current supply of Polident. On big, fast, neck-wrenching esses and sweepers and mountain switchbacks, the ZR1 just puts a shoulder down and carves through them. The two-mode dampers, set on Sport, null out whatever body roll might have the temerity to sneak past the oversized anti-roll bars. The ZR1 might have a touch of stiff-nosed, low-speed understeer, but with the phenomenal, right-now torque at your toe, rotating the car is as easy as dialing in the radio.

    If your will and wisdom should fail you, you can resort to the staggering, 15-inch carbon-ceramic front brakes, some of the biggest land anchors in the world. Feel free to laugh like Tickle Me Elmo.

    But look, Future, here I am, going on about an awesome gas-powered car, when you're running your rickshaw on distilled cow flops. Sorry about that. I just want you to know that we in the early 21st century want to conserve gasoline, and we're trying. But then a car like the Corvette ZR1 comes along.

    We're only human.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. victimizati0n

    victimizati0n New Member

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    trishield :bowdown:
     
  3. KDubb

    KDubb everyday I'm hustlin'

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    i want those brakes

    it still blows my mind to think that the REAR brakes on the ZR1 are the Ferrari Enzo's FRONTS :mamoru:
     
  4. fukujoushi

    fukujoushi dswoop

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  5. spooky

    spooky OT Supporter

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    weaksos
     
  6. spooky

    spooky OT Supporter

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    a turbo'd h22a4 eg hatch would kill that
     
  7. victimizati0n

    victimizati0n New Member

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    i watched a youtube vid befre where a guy floors his vette in 6th gear on the highway and his tires broke loose, i was like :eek4:
     
  8. victimizati0n

    victimizati0n New Member

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    same with a dodge neon srt-4 and the toyota prius
     
  9. CitznFish

    CitznFish Don't live life by a single sentence OT Supporter

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    Because the corvette can hold 4 people and needs room for 4 golf bags? :rofl:
    same with the Lambo, and GT2..
     
  10. spooky

    spooky OT Supporter

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    i/h/e on a srt4 would leave that penis enlarger in the dust :bowdown:
     
  11. Ricey McRicerton

    Ricey McRicerton New Member

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    :bowrofl:

    Best writing style ever.
     
  12. JM Popaleetus

    JM Popaleetus OT Supporter

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    Really Really WANT!
     
  13. Bobby Ballsack

    Bobby Ballsack I could be a friend to you

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    Wordds are getting in the way of my jackoff material.
     
  14. MP

    MP New Member

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    that's pretty awesome
     
  15. iPost

    iPost OT Supporter

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    Wirelessly posted via wap.offtopic.com (Fuck bitches get aids: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F136 Safari/525.20)

    that was written so well
     
  16. RyeBread

    RyeBread If you tell the truth you don't have to remember a

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    :ugh::ugh::ugh:
    replace two of the golf bags with some weekenders, and you have a pretty damned nice/fun/comfortable car to take for a run up the coast and/or a long weekend of golf...

    after relaxing, and all checked in at the resort, could hop back in the car and check out the local track, and/or beat the snot outta it in the mountains.

    the point obviously isn't that this will be a golf course caddy's car, it's that it has supercar performance, and reasonable utility as well...
     
  17. <Mark>

    <Mark> A flute without holes, is not a flute. A donut wit

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    I find corvettes pretty meh, but I would love to have one of those.
     
  18. trixareforkids

    trixareforkids Taked baby. Meet at later bar, night or day someti

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    He is my new favorite writer

    :wackit: this car is > *
     
  19. dmora

    dmora Guest

    That article is stupid...

    Its propagating the dependency on oil.
    Alcohol/ethanol are just as explosive, if not more so. And renewable.
     
  20. TQ

    TQ OT Supporter

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    Sick.
     
  21. maxxpower

    maxxpower OG Lauren Crew - Observer OT Supporter

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    whats the numbers like for the ZR1 compared to the GTR?
    1/4, 0-60-0 etc?
     
  22. CitznFish

    CitznFish Don't live life by a single sentence OT Supporter

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    Thanks Capt. obvious :)

    i was making a point that his analogy sucks
     
  23. sneakysnake

    sneakysnake New Member

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    damn, thats pretty insane :o But enzo > zr1 :coolugh:
     
  24. Mercury

    Mercury Guest

    And you're goddamn WRONG. It was spot on.
     
  25. Chirp08

    Chirp08 Pockets on swole

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    I hope you die along with the planet :squint:
     

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