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2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

 - Dec 21, 2007   Updated: Apr 8 2011
References: online.wsj & caranddriver
Chevrolet's 2009 ZR1 Corvette will set you back about $100,000 for an estimated 620hp at 6500 rpm and 600 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm from its supercharged LS9 6.2-liter V-8. If those numbers don't mean much to you, let's say it will top 200 mph out of the show room.

"Spearheading the myriad mutations needed to turn a run-of-the-mill Corvette into a ZR1 is, of course, that blown hunk of aluminum residing between the front wheels. Contrary to what you might think, the LS9 isn't based on the Z06's 7.0-liter LS7, but rather the base Vette's 6.2-liter LS3 (the LS3 has 76 percent carryover parts), with which it shares a 4.06-inch bore and 3.62-inch stroke. The LS7's cylinder walls were deemed too thin to reliably handle the extra grunt of the supercharger. The LS9 has been validated to 150,000 hours, and saw no piston, rod, or crank failures in 6800 cumulative dyno hours. The hand-assembled engines come from GM's Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan, and each one is hot-tested before it goes out the door.

The all-new blower is provided by Eaton, and is the sixth in its series of Roots-type superchargers. The Gen VI “Twin Vortices Series” rides between the cylinder banks, making max boost of 10.5 psi, and Chevy claims an increase in both efficiency and noise reduction over past superchargers. An air-to-liquid intercooler sits on top of the supercharger. By lowering the engine inside the car, engineers were able to avoid the tell-tale hood bulge required for most superchargers. As a result, hood height only increases an inch, although there is little space between the outside of the hood and the engine."

Implications - Some brands, like Chevrolet Corvette, are so well-established in their brand identity that they are now free to release even the most extravagant products.