It’s hard to think of something that costs over $100,000 as a bargain, yet that is exactly what Chevrolet was doing when they reintroduced the Corvette ZR1 in 2009; giving the world a true bargain. How could this be considered a bargain?
Consider the fact that the all new ZR1 would once again put the Corvette among the elite super sports cars in the world and not just the United States and you begin to see why it is a bargain. Yes the new ZR1 was introduced to much fan fare and acclaim and rightfully so. With the new specs it was boasting there was little doubt that this new version of a classic would keep pace with the Porsches, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis of the sports car world and at a fraction of the cost.
The ZR1 was never really a concept of the C6 generation of Corvette but when the engineers at GM came out with the impressive Corvette Z06 GM boss Rick Wagoner reportedly wondered aloud that if $60,000 could produce the Z06, what kind of Vette would $100,000 produce? That gave chief engineer Tadge Juechter all he needed by way of a green light and he and the other engineering geniuses got to work to create something special; and special it was.
The project was code named “Blue Devil” and not for the reason that you may thing. The Blue Devil is the mascot at Duke University which just so happens to be where Wagoner went to school. When it was all said and done the boys at GM had a new super Vette with an all new supercharged engine and they didn’t need to look far to find a name for it.
The LS9 supercharged V-8 engine would end up putting out over 600 horsepower and would be driven at top speeds of just over 200 miles per hour when first tested by Car and Driver. Couple that with the upgraded braking and suspension system literally taken from the racing world and the ZR1 was once again the “King of the Hill.”
Most importantly though, GM was able to prove its worth and show all the doubters that they were indeed capable of putting out a super sports car amid rumors and speculation of their demise. Once again the flagship of the fleet saved the day.
Just as in the initial run of the ZR1 back in 1990, the new ZR1 is probably too expensive for most, but it is still a bargain nonetheless. This $100,000 super car will eat almost anything else for breakfast whether on the road or the track. It just goes to show that while you may have to put out a good chunk of change to own this super Vette, you do not have to be a millionaire.
Going forward GM is going to have a very tough time indeed topping this magnificent automobile. But just as they always seem to do, GM is sure to pull a rabbit out of its hat when they need it the most and that rabbit will more than likely be in the form of some kind of Corvette super star.