Is the C6 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 the last pure Corvette?
The C8 Corvette debuted almost six months ago and has been well received. It has taken a new direction in terms of performance, styling, and quality. It features a mid-engine layout which is something no other production Corvette has had before. While the styling is similar to that of the C7, there are still new body-lines that are foreign to the design and shape of Chevy’s new performance vehicle. Quality seems to be high with an abundance of leather and suede, along with more metals instead of plastic that are featured in the interior.
While this is all great, some of the purists want the “old” Corvette back. Many have pointed to the taillights as being too similar to the current Camaro. Those who like the taillights will agree, but they will also say that they are attractive. The headlights are too similar to that of Ferrari’s, which makes it less of a distinct Corvette. The engine is now in the back of the driver which has some worried about the price (even though it starts at under $60,000). There is also no manual transmission any more.
All of the above reasons are why some still think that the C6 ZR1 is the last “good Corvette.” It featured a front-engine design with a supercharged LS9 making 638 HP hooked up to a manual transmission. The C6 ZR1 also had the circular taillights and a unique design. Something that rarely gets talked about in terms of the design is just how aerodynamic and low to the ground the C6 is. It is also fairly light because of the abundance of carbon fiber. It weighed about 3,300 pounds while the C7 ZR1 weighed almost 3,600 pounds.
Because of the transmission, reliable engine (the C6 Z06 had overheating issues), and overall purist feel, many believe that the C6 ZR1 was the last great Corvette. With the way the industry has shifted, do not expect another vehicle like this to hit the market. The closest vehicle is currently the Ford GT, but the price is in a far different ballpark.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Donovan Webb can be reached at 1.516-531-4021. He is currently attending American International College.