Corvette at the 79th Geneva International Motor Show 2009
The legendary American sports car brand will be taking the Geneva stage with an impressive show of force. "Force" in this case refers to power – lots of horsepower – and also to a whole line of sports cars with exceptional handling, a high level of quality and safety, generous interior space and unequaled value. Corvette now offers four models in Europe: the Coupe, the Convertible, the supersports Z06, and the newest high-performance icon, the supercar ZR1. Model year 2009 adds two attractive special series Corvette Coupes, the "Competition" and the "Performance Edition".
Corvette Coupe and Convertible
The sixth-generation Corvette, the C6, was introduced for model year 2005, and it marked a real breakthrough for the American sports car brand in Europe. With its heritage dating back to 1953, the Corvette had already been among the most popular sports cars worldwide.
The C6 was developed for pure sports car duty, which obviously resonates with European customers. More than 6000 sales in Europe make this already the best selling Corvette ever. This success is motivation for the development team to continually optimize the current car.
A principal step was the introduction of the 6.2L V8 LS3 last year, replacing the 6.0L V8. This engine raised performance levels to 325 kW (437 hp) and 586 Nm, assuring an impressive top speed of 306 km/h. This power plant is offered in the Corvette Coupe and Convertible, and can be combined with either the six-speed manual transmission or the six-speed automatic.
Several improvements make their way into model year 2009. The speed-variable power steering was recalibrated for better straight-line tracking and high-speed cornering stability, along with more driver feedback through the steering wheel. Other changes include optimized programming for ABS and traction control, and new hardware parts for the active-handling system.
Corvette exemplifies a hardcore sports car that is also safe and comfortable for everyday duty. This dimension of the Corvette is obvious in the whole interior and in numerous equipment choices, one example being the "luxury" package, optional for the Coupe and standard for Convertible, C6 Performance Edition, Z06 and ZR1. It offers the proven head-up display that projects important data on the windshield in plain view of the driver, as well as heated seats with memory positions, power telescoping steering column, auto-dimming rearview mirrors, and a Bose® seven-speaker audio system.
For this year, there is a new Cyber Gray exterior color and new optional Competition Gray alloy wheels in C6's. A transparent removable roof panel is now available for the Corvette Coupe.
Special edition Corvette Coupes for 2009
For 2009, Corvette continues the tradition of offering special edition cars with unique equipment at especially favorable prices.
The Corvette "Competition" special model of last year will be offered again for model year 2009. The Coupe, with six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic, includes all improvements of the new Corvette C6, a high level of equipment and special Competition Gray alloy wheels, all for a very attractive price.
The new special series of the Corvette "Performance Edition" is based on the Corvette Coupe with six-speed automatic with packaged content at about 30 percent less than if ordered separately. Included are the DVD-navigation system, a unique Cyber Gray Metallic exterior color, a custom interior with black raised-grain leather, dual-mode exhaust system (similar to the Z06), Competition Gray alloy wheels, and one day participation at the Corvette performance training.
Corvette Z06 – straight from the racetrack
The Z06 expands on the attributes that contributed to the breakthrough of the sixth generation Corvette in Europe. The additional performance modifications are mostly derived from endurance racing, which was dominated for years by the Corvette C6.R GT-1.
The heart of the Z06 is a 7.0L V8 LS7 engine with an output of 377 kW (512 hp) at 6300 rpm and maximum torque of 637 Nm at 4800 rpm. In a car weighing only 1418 kg, the result is a 0-100 km/h acceleration of 3.9 seconds in first gear and top speed of 320 km/h. For 2009, engineers increased the dry sump oil tank from 9.1 liters to 11.9 liters.
Along with the power plant (7.0L V8 LS7 instead of the 6.2L V8 LS3), the chassis and body structure are unique to the Z06. The Corvette development team chose an alloy structure and a race-derived suspension to guarantee the highest level of performance as well as a safe and exhilarating driving experience.
This year's Z06 also benefits from a recalibrated, speed-variable power steering. It results in more straightaway stability, truer tracking at high speeds, and precise feedback in turns. Also optimized were the active-handling components and the programming for ABS and traction control.
The new model year is recognizable by its two new colors (Blade Silver and Cyber Gray) and new 10-spoke alloy wheels. These can be ordered in a silver finish, polished, or Competition Gray.
The Z06 interior comes with new color combinations, and the sills are decorated with the Z06 logo. The hatch is now power operated, like the Corvette Coupe.
ZR1 stands for supercar
There will be whole books written about the ultimate Corvette, but the bottom line is simple: 647 horsepower and 819 (!) Nm propel the ZR1 from 0 – 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds and push it on to a top speed of 330 km/h. But of course, there is much more to the supercar.
The American world-beater blends racing technology and the latest in electronics with new solutions in construction, assembly, and use of carbon-fiber and ceramics. The ZR1 reaches new heights with spectacular design, superlative handling, and astonishing everyday drivability.
The enormous power of the 6.2L V8 LS9 engine is partly attributable to the latest generation supercharger with a four-lobe rotor design and integrated charge-cooling system. The power plant transfers its output by ways of a dry-sump dual-disc clutch to the rear wheels. In between is the six-speed manual transmission, bolted to the differential in perfect racing tradition.
The aluminum-intense chassis and the alloy components of the independent suspensions, based on race-proven technology, are similar to the Z06. Magnetic Selective Ride Control is standard and tuned specifically for the ZR1. The system can instantly adapt damping rates for each wheel, providing the perfect, no-compromise road connection for every handling and road surface situation within milliseconds. Magnetic Selective Ride Control allowed the development team to dial in an amazing level of comfort in city and highway driving, while maintaining control under racing conditions with cornering grip of more than 1g.
The braking system matches the immense engine power. The carbon-ceramic brake rotors, made of carbon-fiber-reinforced ceramic silicon carbide, provide maximum heat dissipation and fade resistance while saving weight. ZR1 brake rotors (six-piston front and four-piston rear) are painted blue, and together with the 20-spoke alloy wheels, contribute to the unique technical appearance of the car. 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels are shod with high-performance Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires (P285/30ZR19 front and P335/25ZR20 rear).
The exterior styling of the ZR1 is a treat for supercar enthusiasts. A see-through polycarbonate window in the carbon-fiber hood is a distinctive feature of this model, the fastest street-going Corvette to date.
This peek at the engine reveals the technological aspirations of the ZR1, also in evidence in the carbon-fiber front fenders with dual vents and the full-width rear spoiler.
The high-quality interior recalls the heritage of the Corvette dual-cockpit design with elements from the C6 and Z06. Standard are all safety and convenience features, including head-up display and steering-wheel mounted shift paddles for the transmission. Unique to the ZR1 are ZR1 logos on the door sill plates and headrest embroidery, boost gauge for the supercharger, and lightweight seats.