Barely any amount of time has passed since the dust settled upon the first unveil of the Corvette ZR1 in Dubai and already we have some of our first indications that the 563kW/969Nm American really is as big and bad as Chevy is touting it to be.
Granted, the car isn’t technically in the hands of buyers yet, but for all intents and purposes those lucky first batch owners will be receiving an unchanged unit from the car that made the ZR1’s Middle Eastern debut.
Chevrolet, you see, has announced that their new king ‘Vette has set the new lap record for a production car around the Virginia International Raceway’s Grand Course West layout. That’s all well and good, but it’s only once that is contrasted with the car that previously held that title - the 2017 Ford GT, it’s lap of 2 minutes 37.25 seconds being 1.37 seconds faster - that the magnitude of this becomes clearer.
It’s relatively safe to say, then, that the new Corvette ZR1 is at least as fast as the Ford GT - a very expensive full-fledged supercar that was purpose built to be the ultimate expression of what the Blue Oval and their technology can achieve, and one that required a Ferrari-style invitation for the privilege of owning one.
The ZR1, however, can be bought by anyone with a fat enough bank balance and/or a decent credit score - a fact that’s worth of applause. The car will start at $119,995 US Dollars at launch, roughly equating to $150,000 Aussie Dollars.
“The Corvette ZR1’s lap record at VIR, arguably America’s most challenging road course, is a testament to its supercar status,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “On the racetrack, the ZR1 can compete with any supercar — at any price.”
To ensure that the Corvette’s lap time was not augmented by any outside influence or unfair advantage, the only precautions Chevrolet said to have taken before attempting the lap was to outfit the totally stock ZR1 (with the optional ZTK pack) with track seats, five-point harnesses, and harness bar.
No ECU tweaks or aerodynamic alternations were made over the standard car, and the run was done with the same Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres from the factory. Chevrolet even maintains that they had no real intention of breaking that record originally as they were just putting the ZR1 through some routine testing when they just happened to beat the Ford GT. Whoops?