Source: GM Media
The ZR1 is the ultimate expression of Corvette's technology-driven performance legacy, which stretches six decades. That milestone is commemorated in 2013 with an available 60th Anniversary Design Package. It is also the final year for the current “C6” generation of the Corvette.
Corvette ZR1 is the fastest production model ever offered by General Motors, with a top speed of 205 mph. A supercharged, hand-assembled 6.2L LS9 engine and suite of advanced performance technologies, including Performance Traction Management and Magnetic Selective Ride Control, are the elements behind the highest-performing Corvette in history.
Capability of the ZR1 is maximized with the available PDE performance package, which is highlighted by Michelin ® Pilot ® Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires. When combined with Performance Traction Management (PTM) technology – which manages torque delivery for maximum performance – the tires offer up to an 8-percent gain in maximum lateral acceleration, to 1.13g, and improved braking distance.
The PDE package's effectiveness was demonstrated in 2012 with a new lap time of 7:19.63 around Germany's legendary Nürburgring, which improved on the ZR1's previous benchmark there by more than six seconds.
The new 60th Anniversary Design Package is available with the 3ZR trim and the content includes:
Also new for 2013 are optional black-painted aluminum wheels and a pair of new exterior colors: Black – returning to the lineup – and Night Race Blue Metallic. And all 2013 Corvettes feature 60th Anniversary badges on the fascias, as well as 60th logos in the instrument panel gauge cluster and on the sill plates.
Customers who opt for the Corvette Engine Build Experience (option code PBC) can participate in the assembly of their engine at the General Motors Performance Build Center, in Wixom, Mich.
Corvette ZR1 design and exterior features
The Corvette ZR1's fixed-roof body style optimizes body rigidity and mass. Low weight is also the benefit of the w ide, carbon-fiber front fenders – with ZR1-specific dual ports – carbon-fiber hood with a raised, polycarbonate window (offering a view of the intercooler below it), carbon-fiber roof panel, roof bow, front fascia splitter and rocker moldings. The ZR1's curb weight is 3,353 pounds / 1,521 kg (dry weight of 3,183 pounds / 1,444 kg).
The roof panel, roof bow, splitter and rocker moldings feature a visible carbon-fiber weave that's covered with a UV-resistant clear coat. The exterior also is distinguished with a full-width rear spoiler with raised outboard sections and four large, stainless steel exhaust outlets.
Additional features include:
Twenty-spoke painted aluminum wheels – 19 x 10-inch in the front and 20 x 12-inch in the rear – are standard, with chrome-aluminum versions available. Also available are new black-painted aluminum wheels and the lightweight cup-style wheels that are part of the PDE ZR1 High Performance Package. Machined Cup wheels with gray pockets are available on any ZR1.
Corvette ZR1 interior
Corvette's interior is inspired by the car's dual-cockpit heritage. Seats that were introduced in 2012 deliver improved appearance, and larger bolsters on the seat back and cushion areas provide better driver support, especially in high-performance driving. Microfiber seat inserts are optional.
Additional features include:
A custom leather-wrapped interior package is standard on the 3ZR trim, featuring a leather-wrapped upper and lower instrument panel, door pads and seats; choice of exclusive colors: Dark Titanium, Ebony or Cashmere, with unique color breakup; padded door panel armrests; “Corvette” embroidered on passenger-side dash pad and a unique center trim plate with a gunmetal pattern.
Corvette ZR1 powertrain and drivetrain
The supercharged LS9 6.2L small-block engine is the power behind the ZR1's performance. A sixth-generation Eaton supercharger helps the LS9 make big power and torque at lower rpm and carries it in a wide arc to 6,600 rpm, as it pushes enough air to help the engine maintain power through the upper levels of the rpm band – the area where supercharged performance tends to diminish. Heavy-duty and lightweight reciprocating components – including titanium connecting rods – enable the engine's confident high-rpm performance.
The LS9 is hand-assembled at GM's Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich., and incorporates special processes typically seen in racing engines to produce a highly refined and precise product. For example, cast iron cylinder liners are inserted in the aluminum block and are finish-bored and honed with a deck plate installed. The deck plate simulates the pressure and minute dimensional variances applied to the block when the cylinder heads are installed. This ensures a higher degree of accuracy that promotes maximum cylinder head sealing, piston ring fit and overall engine performance.
Backing the LS9 is a six-speed manual transmission and a twin-disc clutch that provides exceptional clamping power, while maintaining an easy clutch pedal effort. ZR1-specific gearing in the transmission provides a steep first-gear ratio that helps launch the car, and top speed is achieved in sixth gear. The twin-disc clutch system employs a pair of discs, which spread out the engine's torque load over a wider area. This enables tremendous clamping power when the clutch is engaged, while also helping to dissipate heat better and extend the life of the clutch.
The rear axle also is also unique to the ZR1 and features asymmetrical axle-shaft diameters – 33 mm on the right side and 40 mm on the left – that were developed after careful testing to provide optimal torque management. The axles are mounted on a more horizontal plane that correlates with the wider width of the rear wheels and tires.
Corvette ZR1 chassis and suspension
The ZR1 is built on an aluminum-intensive chassis and features an independent SLA front and rear suspensions, with aluminum upper and lower control arms. A magnesium cradle serves as the attachment point for the engine and some front suspension components. It is lighter than aluminum, yet incredibly strong, and helps improve the front-to-rear weight distribution, as do carbon-fiber front fenders and wheelhouses.
Magnetic Selective Ride Control is standard and tuned specifically for the ZR1. The system's ability to deliver a compliant ride with nearly instantaneous damping adjustments enabled engineers to develop a surprisingly supple ride quality in a supercar that still delivers cornering grip of more than 1g.
From a high-performance perspective, Magnetic Selective Ride Control helps the rear axle remain planted during launch for smooth, hop-free acceleration. It also helps suppress axle movement when cornering on broken or uneven pavement.
Launch Control with Performance Traction Management (PTM) technology optimizes traction for greater and more consistent on-track performance. PTM system holds a predetermined engine speed while the driver pushes the throttle to the floor. That allows the driver to quickly release the clutch and the system modulates engine torque 100 times per second to maximize the available traction. The system is capable of approaching a skilled driver's best effort and repeats it consistently. PTM also integrates the ZR1's traction control, active handling and selective ride control systems to enhance track driving consistency and overall performance. When full throttle is applied upon exiting a corner, it automatically manages acceleration dynamics.
Commensurate with the ZR1's engine output is the braking system, headlined by Brembo carbon-ceramic brake rotors. Found on only a few exotics and more expensive supercars, carbon-ceramic brake rotors are made of a carbon-fiber-reinforced ceramic silicon carbide material.The advantages of these rotors are low mass and resistance to wear and heat. In fact, the rotors should never show corrosion or require replacement for the life of the vehicle, when used in normal driving.
The vented and cross-drilled rotors on the ZR1 measure 15.5 inches (394 mm) in diameter in the front and 15 inches (380 mm) in diameter in the rear – making them among the largest carbon-ceramic rotors available on any production vehicle.
Clamping down on the high-tech rotors are six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers, each painted a ZR1-exclusive blue. The brakes are visible through the ZR1's exclusive wheels: 20-spoke alloy rims that measure 19 x 10 inches in diameter in the front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear. A Sterling Silver paint finish is standard; chrome and black versions are optional. Machined Cup wheels with gray pockets are also available. The wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires developed specifically for the ZR1, measuring P285/30ZR19 in front and P335/25ZR20 in the rear.
The PDE High Performance Package features Michelin ® Pilot ® Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires, developed by the same Michelin engineers who developed tires for Corvette Racing in the American Le Mans Series and are essentially street-legal versions of a racing tire. The 285/30-19 (front) and 335/25-20 (rear) tires are matched with aluminum cup-style wheels. They are about five pounds lighter (2.2 kg) and stronger than the standard 20-spoke wheel.
Corvette ZR1 by the numbers
ZR1 models are distinguished from other Corvette models by their vehicle identification number, or VIN. Each carries a unique, identifying VIN digit, as well as a sequential build number. These identifiers make it easy to determine the build number of a specific car – information treasured by enthusiasts and collectors. For example, a ZR1 with a VIN ending in “0150” would indicate it is the 150th ZR1 built for the model year.
Corvette ZR1 safety and crash-avoidance features
Corvette ZR1 is designed to help drivers avoid crashes, while protecting the occupants in the event a crash occurs. A strong body structure is designed to absorb crash energy and provide a protective “safety cage” around occupants.
Additional safety features include:
Corvette ZR1 and OnStar
Six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on Corvette ZR1. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.
OnStar's RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. A new, opt-in service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.
Corvette ZR1 also features new OnStar button icons. Drivers will notice an updated look for the Hands-Free Calling button, blue OnStar button and red Emergency button.