A perfomance monster
GM Authority / Anthony Alaniz / Nov 20, 2018
(Photographs courtesy GM and Road & Track)
There are few arguments against the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1. It’s a performance monster that punches far above its weight class, taking on cars double or even triple its price with ease. The Corvette built its legacy on affordable performance. Yes, the C7 Corvette ZR1 commands six figures; however, it’s starting price of $122,095 is still well below its performance output. It’s one of the reasons Road & Track named the ZR1 its Performance Car of the Year.
“The C7 Corvette ZR1 won because it brought out the wide-eyed enthusiast in all of us—IndyCar pros, club racers, and jaded journalists alike,” writes Road & Track. “Everyone wanted more time in the ZR1. Every aspect of the ZR1, from the rib-cage-vibrating engine note to the adjustable traction control, strikes a chord. The Chevy also happens to exhibit many of the McLaren’s qualities at one-seventh the price.”
The C7 Corvette ZR1 packs a supercharged LT5 6.2-liter V8 engine producing 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. Top speed is 212 miles per hour while a sprint to 60 mph from a standstill takes just 3.1 seconds. It runs the quarter-mile in 11.1 seconds at 129.1 mph. That’s supercar levels of performance in a relatively affordable package.
The torque from the LT5 V-8 comes on like a hammer when pushed hard, but the engine will stay in the background with a light throttle foot. There’s so much torque that shifting the tight and positive TREMEC 7-speed gearbox is rarely necessary. Speed builds relentlessly, and the sound makes you think you might be swallowed whole by an angry Demogorgon.
The C7 Corvette ZR1 competed against the likes of the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, Ferrari 488 GTB, and McLaren Senna to win the award. The Ferrari is priced closest to the ZR1—$252,000—but it’s down nearly 100 horsepower. The Porsche GT2 RS makes 700 horsepower, but it starts at almost $300,000. The McLaren Senna is a seven-figure hypercar. Comparing prices along makes it easy to see why the Corvette ZR1 took top honors.
Another C7 Corvette ZR1 perk is its ability to offer a wide range of features. You can order one with a stick shift, sparse interior, and the aero package, or you could opt for a leather-finished interior, subdued wing, and automatic gearbox, as the magazine writes. At six figures, the Corvette ZR1 still gives customers choices while delivering unrivaled performance. That sounds like a win in our book.
Motor Authority loaded more accolades on the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 as the Best Car to Buy in 2019.
7-Speed Transmission Specs Are Something to Admire
There have been a few manual 7-speeds in the past under different model numbers with slightly different specs, but no matter how you look at it, a true 7-speed manual is something to appreciate. A good example is the Tremec TR-6070 7-speed manual transmission used in the C7 Corvette. This mechanical wonder boasts triple overdrive and Active Rev Matching, which helps ensure smooth transitions between gears no matter the RPMs. Plus, you get precision downshifts even at high speeds so shifting does not change the smoothness of the ride.
The TR-6070 model in the C7 generations of Corvettes are mounted in the rear of the vehicle, bolted directly to the differential, to achieve as close as possible to 50/50 weight distribution and are driven through a clutch system and torque tube attached to the rear of the engine block.
TREMEC created a new friction material for the synchronizer rings that is a composite of carbon fiber and sintered bronze for world-class smooth shifting and improved durability with high-horsepower and high-torque applications.
The TR-6070 also features a rail-position sensor at the rear of the transmission that works with a computer-controlled mode switch called the drive-mode selector. This program controls 12 attributes including throttle, active fuel management, steering effort, exhaust tone, magnetic ride control, stability control and traction control. The rail sensor informs the computer which gear is being selected, and the management system will blip the throttle on both upshifts and downshifts for much better rev matching without driver intervention.
The drive-mode selector has five general settings: Weather, Economy, Touring, Sport and Track – all of which can be further tuned to the driver’s wants.
The vehicle uses an advanced clutch set with a dual-mass flywheel to further isolate engine-firing pulses and prevent rattling the transmission gears.
The Corvette ZR1 is truly a wonder of design and improvement over an already-fabulous car. Lighter and faster, with an absolutely gorgeous body design, Corvettes are now truly world-class vehicles.
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