From £62,996
Fastest Corvette is dominated by its engine and phenomenal pace

Our Verdict

Chevrolet Corvette C6
The sixth-generation Corvette is powered by GM’s LS3 6.2-litre V8

This smaller, lighter, faster Chevrolet Corvette continues to fly the flag for the old-fashioned, all-American sports car

  • First Drive

    Corvette Grand Sport Convertible

    Full of charisma but too lacking, dynamically and elsewhere, to justify its £70k-plus price
  • First Drive

    Corvette ZR1

    Fastest Corvette is dominated by its engine and phenomenal pace

What is it?

It’s the fastest Corvette, the ZR1. About which a couple of noteworthy things: Chevrolet's own website lists its competitors as the Ferraris F430 and 599 GTB. And its sixth gear will both drag it along on idle, yet also take it to 205mph, providing worthwhile acceleration across any of 175 different miles per hour.

Unlike the erstwhile fastest current Corvette, the Z06, the ZR1 uses a 6.2- rather than a 7.0-litre 16-valve V8, but with a supercharger nestled between its banks. The addition of the blower plus some extra equipment means that, at 1528kg it's heavier than the Z06 despite having a carbonfibre roof, splitter and inner bonnet.

Update: Chevrolet reveals the new track-focused Corvette Grand Sport at the Geneva Motorshow

What’s it like?

Don't let the additional weight bother you: with 638bhp and 604lb ft the ZR1 could weigh as much as the moon and still shift. As it is, is has a 0-62mph time of 3.6sec, which it would itself better were it not for a 51:49 weight distribution that limits its traction compared to mid- or rear-engined supercars. Very few proper series production cars have the ZR1's kind of urge, or its Nascar-aping noise once the exhaust valves open.

ZR1s get magnetically-controlled dampers on their double-wishbone suspension, which retains carbonfibre leaf springs at the rear. The ride's generally composed, although the 335/25 section rear tyres make a racket. Shifting the suspension from 'tour' to 'sport' mode tightens body control to the detriment of a ride that runs out of ideas more quickly than a fast 911 or 599 but is far from poor.

At its limit, it'll nudge into understeer but can be pushed/bunged into a slide that's easier to hold than in either the Porsche or the Ferrari. Its engine-dominated slidey nature is closer to an Aston DBS's. It steers positively, too, and its carbon-ceramic brakes haul it up impressively.

The interior? There are too many mass-market plastics, a crude infotainment display and ruched leather seats that look like they've seen a few miles when they haven't. They fail to make up for it in lateral support either, but they're comfortable during cruising which, with its leggy gearing, is something the ZR1 still does adeptly. More so on big open roads – being a left-hooker and 1927mm wide (before mirrors) limit its B-road ability.

Should I buy one?

Although the ZR1 feels a little less sophisticated than its European rivals, don’t automatically discount it on those grounds. Nothing that offers its pace also comes at its price.

At a touch over £100,000, the ZR1 undercuts cars like the Aston Vantage V12 or Porsche 911 GT2 by about £30,000, and big Astons and Ferraris by vastly more again. Put its speed, capability and price together and it’s harder to overlook the big-hearted Corvette.

Join the debate

Comments
106

20 August 2008

Easily the best value for a Supercar on the planet. Some more interesting info and video here, including Graham Rahal behind the wheel at the Milford test track. http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080820/FREE/3081899...

Don D

20 August 2008

To cure the seat complaint that some people have, maybe GM should make Recaro seats one of their options. GM has done it before in the Cobalt SS, why not the Corvette? Other than that, awsome car.

20 August 2008

My guessing for the reason that the seats are so crap is that they hae to be able to accommodate the fat arses of humungous Americans.

The cars performance is blistering however and a very impressive bit of kit for the money.

21 August 2008

[quote Hirsch Performance]

My guessing for the reason that the seats are so crap is that they hae to be able to accommodate the fat arses of humungous Americans.

[/quote]

And of course the British are as svelte and dainty as ballerinas…

Dainty Brit

You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows
—Robert Allen Zimmerman

21 August 2008

[quote Hirsch Performance]My guessing for the reason that the seats are so crap is that they have to be able to accommodate the fat arses of humungous Americans.[/quote]

The seats are the same used on other Corvettes. They seem to perform just fine breaking the lap record at Nürburgring (see in car video on above link). Are you going to drive faster than that on the street?

My guessing for the reason of your fat arse comment is that you are a twit, probably with a less than svelt derriere yourself.

Don D

23 August 2008

[quote jackjflash]

And of course the British are as svelte and dainty as ballerinas…

Dainty Brit

[/quote]

Excellent, but he just looks like Mr. average, happy in his body.

23 August 2008

[quote jackjflash]And of course the British are as svelte and dainty as ballerinas…[/quote] Come on, Jack. You've never seen a lardass until you've been to the States. That's not unfair.

24 August 2008

[quote shomann]

My guessing for the reason of your fat arse comment is that you are a twit, probably with a less than svelt derriere yourself.

[/quote]

Actually Shoman, I have Lingenfelter corvette Z06 (my profile picture should show it) that will do 212.234 gps mph, which the last time I checked was quicker than the ZR1. and For your information my body fat percenetage is 7%, or in other words, quite leen. so to say that I am a twit is just plainly stupid, but a less than svelte derrier, well then you'd have to ask my wife.

I beleive that the twit in this conversation is the one that tries to defend seats in a car that have flatter side bolsters than a size zero model's breasts.

24 August 2008

[quote julianphillips][picture of Long Hose dreaming up witty responses][/quote] Thank you. Yes, I am witty. Try and keep up Julian. Tell your Dad that he's likely to need a bigger fan with a carcass like that too.

24 August 2008

[quote Long Hose]You've never seen a lardass until you've been to the States. That's not unfair.[/quote]

It took me about 30 seconds to find this…

British Pounds

Now that’s a lard ass pictured there.

You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows
—Robert Allen Zimmerman

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