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Chevrolet Corvette ZR1: 2018 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car Contender

Chevy's 755-hp monster

Chevy's 755-hp monster

We were ready to lap the ZR1 at the end of day one at WeatherTech Raceway, but the Chevy team begged for a morning run in the cool, dense air. Perhaps they should have let the afternoon heat rob this 755-hp beast of a few wheel-spinning horses, because even in the scorching heat of Route 198, every driver complained about overpowering the rear tires. We’ve seen this movie before: Is Chevy rerunning it to promote its forthcoming, better balanced mid-engine Corvette?

Traction-enhancing plot twists this year include ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and a big-wing aero package good for 950 pounds (431 kg) of downforce at top speed. But absent a 180-mph (290-km/h) headwind in low-speed corners, even this car’s ultra-savvy traction-control system was utterly overwhelmed. Randy Pobst reckons that with five days and 10 sets of tires he could shave another second-plus off his lap time. But that would still leave the Corvette 1.5 seconds off the pace of our current leaders.

Want EVEN MORE from 2018 Best Driver’s Car? See the cars in action right here.

Merely quick mortals find themselves even farther off the pace they can set in the top-finishing cars. Notes Chris Walton: “The front obeys, but I never, ever trust the rear.” Scott Evans called out its “nerve-wracking ride.” The automatic transmission’s sport-shifting logic and slow shifts—even when using the paddles—drew universal ire. “I’m tired of the excuses,” Jonny Lieberman sniped. “It’s the equivalent of driving an Igloo cooler with 755 horsepower.”

Pluses include its furious engine and exhaust notes as well as the phenomenal binders that allowed Pobst to delay braking until he was “up there where I brake in the 300-hp cars.” The informative head-up display with upshift indicator helps, too.

Ed Loh declared the ZR1 “the best-sounding one here from idle to wide-open throttle.” Guest judge Jethro Bovingdon described it as “so angry—loud enough to wake the dead and sharp enough to sometimes make you think you’re about to join them.”

More 2018 Best Driver’s Car Contenders:

“The ZR1 needs to go to finishing school to get all of its kinks worked out; otherwise, what’s the point of all this power?” -Ed Loh, Editor-in-Chief
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (1ZR w/ZTK)
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD
ENGINE TYPE Supercharged 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads
VALVETRAIN OHV, 2 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 376.0 cu in/6,162 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.0:1
POWER (SAE NET) 755 hp @ 6,400 rpm*
TORQUE (SAE NET) 715 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm*
REDLINE 6,500 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 4.8 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 2.73:1/1.77:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Control arms, composite leaf spring, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; control arms, composite leaf spring, adj shocks, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 16.4-12.0:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.4
BRAKES, F; R 15.5-in vented, drilled, carbon-ceramic disc; 15.3-in vented, drilled, carbon-ceramic disc, ABS
WHEELS, F;R 11.0 x 19-in; 12.0 x 20-in, spun-cast aluminum
TIRES, F;R 285/30R19 94Y; 335/25R20 99Y Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 ZP
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 106.7 in
TRACK, F/R 63.5/62.5 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 179.8 x 77.4 x 48.5 in
TURNING CIRCLE 37.7 ft
CURB WEIGHT 3,650 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 51/49%
SEATING CAPACITY 2
HEADROOM, front 38.0 in
LEGROOM, front 43.0 in
SHOULDER ROOM, front 55.0 in
CARGO VOLUME 15.0 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 1.4 sec
0-40 1.9
0-50 2.4
0-60 3.0
0-70 3.7
0-80 4.5
0-90 5.3
0-100 6.3
0-100-0 9.7
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 1.2
QUARTER MILE 10.8 sec @ 133.1 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 88 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 1.11 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 22.7 sec @ 0.98 g (avg)
2.2-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 92.46 sec
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,200 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE $125,090
PRICE AS TESTED $131,300
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes
AIRBAGS Dual front, front side/head
BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/100,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 5 yrs/100,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY 18.5 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 12/20/15 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 281/169 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.33 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded premium
*SAE Certified