2009 Chevrolet Corvette Page 2

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The top of the supercharger is visible when the hood is closed thanks to a Lexan window placed in the center of the carbon fiber hood. The hood itself eschews big bulges for tasteful lines that tightly envelop the LS9 (compared to previous LS engines, the LS9 is only one inch taller overall, even with the supercharger and intercooler). No Pro-Stock hood scoop necessary.

The transmission is a modified version of the Tremec six-speed used in so many high-performance vehicles, including the Viper. In the ZR1, this iteration sports a close-ratio gear set that aids in acceleration. Unlike in the current Corvette where top speed is achieved in fifth gear, an estimated top speed of over 200 mph for the ZR1 will come in sixth. Wallace commented that, "One interior change we had to make was to ditch the standard 200-mph speedometer with a 220-mph unit because this car will so easily exceed 200."

While the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette provides plenty of impressive performance to dream and/or brag about, this car is not a one-trick pony. If ever there were a practical sportscar, this is it.

His pride was clearly evident. He added later that this combination is expected to economical enough to avoid the gas-guzzler tax. No specific performance figures were quoted, but Wallace said the ZR1 would easily beat the current Z06's performance of 3.7 seconds to 60 mph and the current car's 7:42-second lap time at Nurburgring. One member of the team noted that in its current form, first gear is good for 67 mph, an indication of the new gearing and the LS9's ability to rev.

With so much power comes heat, so the ZR1 has more and bigger coolers and heat exchangers for all powertrain components. A massive front spoiler with an integral splitter helps channel air to all the right places. Side sill extensions are similar to what was used on the C6R racecar. The side vents feature a large strake that bisects the opening.

Chassis-wise, Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) is standard. The near instant response of the dampers allows for softer spring rates, and GM claims the ride of the ZR1 is more compliant than the current Z06. Tire size increases at both ends, with 19-inch rims in front and 20-inch rims in the rear sporting 335/25Z/20 Michelin PS2s. Wheel widths are 10 and 12 inches respectively.

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