Thursday, December 27, 2007

December 2007 Dream Car of the Month - C6 Corvette ZR1

Well, this car isn't even out yet but it made my list of dream cars. Originally, I had planned to feature the C6 Z06 as the car of the month, but with the official release of the ZR1, I figured this new, "ultimate corvette" deserved the spotlight. It really is a pretty impressive piece of machinery.

For those of you that don't know, or didn't happen to see my last post on the unveiling of the car, the upcoming 2009 Corvette ZR1 is poised to be the fastest most expensive Corvette ever made and possibly, the fastest American car ever produced. The details are still not final but the car is expected to have at least 620HP and 590TQ from the 6.2L LS9 supercharged V8. A final curb weight of around 3300lbs should ensure that the car will drop 0-60 times in the sub 4 second range and 1/4 mile times may dip into the 10s. Top speed should exceed 200mph. The brakes are the same as found on the Ferrari Enzo, only bigger, and the car will feature extensive use of carbon fiber. All this for around $100,000 which is no bargain until you consider that this car will be faster than many cars up to 10 times it's price. In that context, it's a downright bargain.

The car reportedly came about when GM's Rick Wagoner, who was very impressed with the C6 Z06, said something to the Corvette team to the effect of; If we can accomplish this in a $70,000 car, imagine what we could do in a $100,000 car. I guess the team took that as a green light to try and find out. The result is a car that will probably become one of the greatest sports cars ever produced in America. I just wish I had an extra $100K laying around.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's Official - 2009 Corvette ZR1 finally revealed!

If you've had enough of all the speculation and spy shots teasing you about the long rumored "Blue Devil" Corvette, well your Christmas gift has arrived. GM finally officially confirmed and released info on the upcoming 2009 Corvette ZR1 and it is an absolute beast!

Preliminary info from GM indicates that the car will feature a supercharged 6.2L V8 dubbed LS9. This powerplant will produce at least 620HP and 590TQ in a car that will weigh around 3200lbs. Due to the added weight of the supercharger setup, GM has employed extensive use of carbon fiber on the fenders, hood, and roof. The fiber on the roof is exposed and covered by a special clear coat which contains an additive costing $60,000 per gallon. The clear coat itself costs $2,000 per gallon and it makes the ZR1 the first car ever to have a carbon fiber clear coat that will last the life of the car. The new "Super Vette" will also use carbon ceramic brakes to slow it down from an expected top speed of over 200mph. The front rotors are larger than the ones used on the Enzo Ferrari. At about $100,000 it will be the cheapest car in the world with such brakes.

The price will of course put it in some serious territory as it will be, by far, the most expensive Corvette ever produced. That being said, it will definitely also be the fastest Corvette ever and maybe the fastest American production car ever. It will also give cars that are several times it's cost a very big scare and a serious run for the money. Just when I thought that the new Nissan GTR was the performance bargain of the century (relatively speaking), GM drops this bomb. What a great time to be a horsepower junkie.

If you crave any more info, all of the auto press is on top of this. Just do a search for 2009 ZR1 and you'll be busy all day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2009 Nissan GTR test numbers.

Finally, we are getting some hard performance numbers on the upcoming Nissan GTR. Many people seemed to doubt Nissans stated performance numbers and suspected that Nissan's test cars were modified in some way. Well, Edmunds Inside Line managed to get their hands on a privately owned new production model in Japan and then proceeded to beat on it for a while to see what it could do. The results are more than impressive.

The GTR they tested is pretty much identical to what the U.S. spec model will be and is owned by a Japanese journalist. Even though it had only 1,500km on the clock, they showed it no mercy. With the apparently secret launch control turned on, the GTR rockets to 60 in 3.3 seconds and covers the 1/4 mile in 11.6 at 120.9 mph. They claim it's the fastest car they've ever tested. Faster than the 911 Turbo, 600HP Viper and the Z06 Corvette.

Braking tests showed that the car can also stop from 60 in 104ft which is only 1ft longer than a 911 Turbo with the $8,800 ceramic brake option. This car is looking more and more like the performance bargain of the century right now. That title was held by the Corvette Z06 but the GTR is faster and about the same price. Unfortunately, I don't think Nissan will build enough of them to keep up and it will be almost impossible to find one for sticker price.

Check out the full Edmunds Inside Line article here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

2009 Camaro Photos

Over the last couple of days there have been various posts on the net containing spy shots of 2009 Camaro mules testing in full camo. Today I found out that the site Camaro5 has posted what appears to be, a photo of a mostly uncovered 2009 Camaro that looks like it could be pretty close to the production version. The car's front an rear are still covered but the wheels and entire side of the car are not masked in any way.

The car seems to look very close to the original concept. Some minor changes are noted like the addition of normal side view mirrors, more reasonably sized wheels, and some toned down styling queues like the gills before the rear wheels. Other than that, it looks pretty cool. Can't wait.