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Thread: ZR1 Corvette "certified" at 638 hp!

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    ZR1 Corvette "certified" at 638 hp!

    When it was introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year, the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1?s power was estimated at 100 horsepower for each of its 6.2 liters of displacement. GM Powertrain has completed SAE certification of the ZR1?s supercharged LS9 V-8 and the results exceed the estimate: 638 horsepower (476 kW) and 604 lb.-ft. of torque (819 Nm).

    The LS9?s output is nearly 103 horses per liter, or just about 1.7 horses for each of the engine?s 376 cubic inches. It is unquestionably the most powerful automotive production engine ever manufactured by General Motors and enables the Corvette ZR1 to achieve a top speed of more than 200 mph (322 km/h).

    "One of the most amazing things about the Corvette ZR1 is the level of refinement that our designers and engineers have attained. Even with all that power, this car has road manners that will allow our customers to enjoy it on the streets as a daily driver, and on the track," said Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper.

    The Corvette ZR1 goes on sale this summer. Its 638-hp supercharged engine is complemented in the chassis by heavy-duty components not offered in any other model, including a six-speed manual transmission with race-hardened gears and dual-disc clutch technology that delivers exceptional clamping power and lower inertia, as well as strengthened axle components.

    Fuel economy testing has not been completed, but engineers are confident the ZR1 will be the most fuel-efficient 600-plus-horsepower car on the market.

    The LS9 engine is hand-built by specially trained technicians at GM?s Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich. It is a unique, small-volume engine production facility that also builds the Chevrolet Corvette Z06?s LS7 engine and other high-performance GM production engines.

    ?Developing the LS9 involved more than simply striving for a great horsepower number. Endurance and reliability testing have shown the engine to be robust and low-maintenance, just like other engines in the small-block family,? said Sam Winegarden, executive director, engine engineering for GM Powertrain. ?That it is distinguished as the most powerful engine ever from General Motors is a source of immense pride among everyone involved with the LS9.?

    Supercharged aspiration

    The key enabler of the LS9?s performance is the industry?s first production application of a new, positive-displacement Roots-type supercharger that has a unique four-lobe rotor design. Its design promotes quieter and more efficient performance, while the large, 2.3-liter displacement ensures adequate air volume at high rpm. Maximum boost pressure is 10.5 psi (0.72 bar). It is teamed with an integrated charge cooling system that reduces inlet air temperature for maximum performance.

    ?The combination of large displacement and the new, four-lobed rotor design broadens the effective range of the supercharger, allowing the engine to make more power at lower rpm and sustain it throughout the power band,? said Winegarden. ?The low-end torque is tremendous and the high-rpm charge from the supercharger is simply amazing.?

    A raised hood provides adequate clearance for the LS9, while a polycarbonate window in the hood provides a view of the engine beneath it.

    LS9 details

    The LS9 features many unique design and manufacturing details that support its high-performance nature. They include:

    Aluminum cylinder block with iron cylinder liners that are finish-bored and honed with a deck plate installed
    Forged steel crankshaft with a nine-bolt flange
    Titanium connecting rods and forged aluminum pistons
    Stronger, rotocast cylinder heads with 2.16-inch (55 mm) titanium intake valves and 1.59-inch (40.4 mm) hollow-stem, sodium-filled exhaust valves
    Camshaft with 0.555-inch (14.1 mm) lift for excellent idle and low-speed driving qualities
    A dry-sump oiling system with 10.5-quart (9.9 liters) capacity
    Integrated oil cooler and piston-cooling oil squirters
    Intercooler cover visible through the hood window that features ZR1-unique blue accents and ?LS9 SUPERCHARGED? embossed on the left and right sides

  2. #2
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    Re: ZR1 Corvette "certified" at 638 hp!

    Mini Cooper S owners are sure to welcome the Corvette to the over-100hp per liter club.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: ZR1 Corvette "certified" at 638 hp!

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Mini Cooper S owners are sure to welcome the Corvette to the over-100hp per liter club.

    Chip H.
    I really dig that Mini; it's actually one of the very few new cars I have considered buying... and for me, that says a lot!

    Much rather have the Mini than the ZR1 ... that car would either frustrate the hell out of me (worst case of "automotive blue balls" imaginable) or get me put in jail (if I dared to "relieve" myself...).

    That Mini's a hoot....! ;D

  4. #4

    Re: ZR1 Corvette "certified" at 638 hp!

    I would love to have this corvette
    unfortunately, were I going to spend this kind of money on a car, I would get an Aston Martin - and considering how much I love corvettes... that is saying something
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: ZR1 Corvette "certified" at 638 hp!

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    I would love to have this corvette
    unfortunately, were I going to spend this kind of money on a car, I would get an Aston Martin - and considering how much I love corvettes... that is saying something
    I dig on those Astons, too.

    Powerful - but in a more refined way than the Corvette. I am not a fan of all the ticky-tacky stuff Chevy adds to the Z06; the base car looks better (even if it's not as quick).

    Even better - a Pantera or Ferrari Daytona coupe!

  6. #6

    Re: ZR1 Corvette "certified" at 638 hp!

    I disagree - I think the Z06 is infinitely better looking
    but then, we both already know we disagree on agressive styling
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: ZR1 Corvette "certified" at 638 hp!

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    I disagree - I think the Z06 is infinitely better looking
    but then, we both already know we disagree on agressive styling
    Can't argue subjectives!

    One area where the current Corvette does need work, objectively, is the interior. It is much better now thanit was - but still inferior in layout, look and materials to what you'd find in, say, an M3 or RS4 (or to be honest, even a top of the line Miata). It's a small niggle... but still...

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    Re: ZR1 Corvette "certified" at 638 hp!

    If buying a new Corvette and having a wad a cash, I would go with the Z06 over the ZR1. I agree with Damen the Z06 is better looking, and I really don't like the cheap plexi-glass over the engine on the ZR1's hood.

    I like the C6 Corvette interior however it does have some room for improvement.

    638 horsepower for the ZR1 is impressive however it falls about 12 horsepower short of Chevrolet's original estimates of 650 horsepower. When push comes to shove I would stil go with the Z06 - around 500 horsepower is plenty and the motor can be modded pretty easily. In general superchargers get annoying after a while, the whinning/belt noise at full throttle leaves something to be desired.

  9. #9

    Re: ZR1 Corvette "certified" at 638 hp!

    actually Pete I think you misunderstood - I think the Z06 is better looking than the base C6... but I think the ZR-1 is the best looking of the bunch
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: ZR1 Corvette "certified" at 638 hp!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    If buying a new Corvette and having a wad a cash, I would go with the Z06 over the ZR1. I agree with Damen the Z06 is better looking, and I really don't like the cheap plexi-glass over the engine on the ZR1's hood.

    I like the C6 Corvette interior however it does have some room for improvement.

    638 horsepower for the ZR1 is impressive however it falls about 12 horsepower short of Chevrolet's original estimates of 650 horsepower. When push comes to shove I would stil go with the Z06 - around 500 horsepower is plenty and the motor can be modded pretty easily. In general superchargers get annoying after a while, the whinning/belt noise at full throttle leaves something to be desired.
    My guess is that GM went with the supercharger for driveability (and durability) reasons, as well as fuel economy considerations. When off boost, the engine can be pretty docile - yet still produce huge power when under boost. So power - and fuel consumption - can be modulated more effectively than an "always on" aggressive cam profile.

    The other thing is I am guessing they are reaching the outer limits of the current V-8s "streetable" (and warranty coverable) power output... 638 hp is, after all, not too far off the pace of a current Nextel Cup stock car!

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    Re: ZR1 Corvette "certified" at 638 hp!

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    actually Pete I think you misunderstood - I think the Z06 is better looking than the base C6... but I think the ZR-1 is the best looking of the bunch
    Damen,

    Sorry for the misunderstanding. I personally like the Z06 better, I think it's spoilers and air foils are very well done. The ZR1 is nice looking but it's not appealing to me as the Z06. Maybe if I see them after a while, the plexi-glass hood window and the extra the wilder looks will grow on me.


    Eric,

    Excellent point, the LS block is essentually a small block V8, it's amazing the Z06's LS7 displaces 7.0 liters, and can put out slightly more than 500 horsepower. With the new ZR1s engine putting out 638 horsepower with a supercharger that is truely amazing. Especially in the frame-work of 10 years ago when the first LS block (the LS1) was released on the Corvette and it made 345 horsepower. Back then that seemed like a lot.

    Did you ever see Jay Leno's 1966 Toronado that looked stock from the outside but had a twin turbo 425 cubic inch (it was a custom LS block that GM made for him), with 1070 horsepower. Really shows the potential of the LS block.

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