Yesterday was a good day. I woke up early, got some coffee and headed out east to Long Island to go play with a pair of wicked fast Corvettes. How does a tweaked 2007 Z06 that makes 478 hp at the wheels sound, followed by a stock 2010 ZR1 that makes 638 hp (that is not a misprint). These suckers are fast, really fast. This is not going to be a full on review of both cars, but more of a comparison between GM’s two super cars. I’d like to preface this by saying that I have some miles in both of these cars. I have driven the Z06 on the racetrack many times and have about 1500 miles of seat time in the ZR1 so yesterday was more of a refresher course as to why I think these two cars are amazing. Both cars have interiors that are pretty much identical, that however is where the similarities end.
Driving the Z06 immediately reminds you that you’d better not be a beginner when you slide behind the wheel, as this car will kill you if you’re not careful. With that being said, if you do know how to drive, and I mean really drive, this thing will provide you with one hell of a rewarding experience for not a lot of coin. Acceleration is vicious. Put the big Vette’ in 1st gear, disengage the traction control and go. You’ll shoot out of the hole like shot through a gun. This car will heighten your senses to the 10th degree as you’ve got to be on the ball to drive this thing. Acceleration, steering and braking inputs are very quick, which is something to keep in mind before you start slinging this thing around. You have to be very conscious of what other drivers are doing around you. Remember that you’re driving a car that goes, stops and handles better than 98% of the cars on the planet. This means that your rate of closure upon acceleration is much higher, you’ll be stopping much faster and your transitions from left to right may actually take some people by surprise.
Next up was the ZR1. For those of you that have never driven this car, well, it sucks to be you because this car is AMAZING! Where the Z06 is a sledge hammer the ZR1 is a scalpel. Everything about the ZR1 is more refined. The suspension, power delivery, gearing, brakes, chassis – it’s a completely different car from the Z06. The most amazing thing about the ZR1 is the fact that this car is completely docile around town. Think about that for a minute. Here you have a car that makes 638HP, stops from 60 mph in 98 feet and goes 209 mph flat out, yet you can putt around town in this thing with no drama at all.
Get the ZR1 on the open road however and things change very quickly. This car is the rolling incarnation of Jekyll and Hyde. One minute your just tooling around town looking at homes and the next you’re melting pavement at over 200 mph. It’s truly astonishing. Where the Z06 is almost violent in it’s acceleration, the ZR1 is composed. Where the Z06 is twitchy the ZR1 is refined and where the Z06 is fast the ZR1 is explosive. Both Corvettes are amazing automobiles and have redefined the definition of what an American super car is. They both have big brash styling, they’re both blisteringly fast and they are, by super car standards, both one hell of a bargain.