When GM came up with the idea of building the world's fastest production car, they enlisted Group Lotus to give them a helping hand. With 375 horsepower on tap, it wasn't just fast, but robust as well. Back in 1990, it set seven records by driving at speeds of over 170 mph (273 kph) for extended periods: starting with 100 miles (161 km) up to 24 hours of non-stop hammering.
The ZR-1 could hit a top speed of 180 mph (289 kph) and featured a suspension system similar to the one used by the legendary Porsche 959. And then, there's the rare factor you need to consider. Chevrolet built just over 358,000 C4 Corvettes between 1984 to 1996.
But less than 2% of those are ZR-1s. That's right, they made less than 7,000 units in total. All things considered, you'd be surprised at the market value of these cars. Judging by BaT's auction history, prices vary between $18,250 for the cheapest one up to $101,000 for the most expensive model.
Now, the deal we were talking about means that you'll be able to pick between the standard ZR-1 and a tuned version of it, called the ZR-1 Canyon Spec. The same Estonian artist that created the C6s we tested recently was in charge of this project as well.
So it comes as no surprise that the sound file is once again borrowed from the C7 Stingray. Now, if someone could just fix this issue, that would be mega indeed! The in-game car is said to be a 1990 model, but its performance specs are those from the 1993 version onward. The LT5 V8 has a maximum output of 405 horsepower and 385 lb-ft (522 Nm) of torque, and the whole car weighs 3,313 lbs (1,503 kg).
According to its description, it should be capable of hitting 62 mph (100 kph) from a standstill in 4.4 seconds. And it should also go up to about 184 mph (297 kph). Now, we've driven it for just under 37 miles (60 km) on the Nordschleife so far, but only got it up to 167 mph (270 kph). There are 11 colors to choose from, and Turquoise Metallic felt like the coolest option out there.
Most of the time, you'll get hit with understeer, at least if you forget to slow down before certain corners. After two laps, the fastest one took us eight minutes and 33 seconds to complete. But with no mistakes, you should be able to bring it down to 8:10 by using a keyboard alone. While it felt slightly faster than the base-level C6 Corvette, it turns out to be slower overall, at least judging by our test.
The Canyon Spec ZR-1 looks a bit more tempting, with 565 horsepower and 486 lb-ft (660 Nm) of torque on tap. According to its official description, the LT5 has been bored and stroked to 385 ci (6.3 liters). The car is now sitting on a set of lighter magnesium alloy wheels with modern semi-slicks. And the overall weight is down by about 220 lbs (100 kg) compared to the stock ZR-1. The car is considerably more tail-happy than its lesser sibling, not that we're going to complain about that.
We set a fast lap of 8:07 the first time around, and it was less than perfect. For our test, we didn't use the semi-slicks, something we became aware of while writing this story. So of course we needed to go back and see how big of a difference the tires would make. While we didn't finish an entire lap, it seems that you'll be about one or two seconds faster by the time you reach the Fox Hole section of the Nürburgring.
So it's quite likely that with this setup the ZR-1 can dip below the 8-minute mark. Naturally, driving this car in Assetto Corsa isn't nearly as exciting as it would be to do it in real life. But unless you've got that option at hand, we'd suggest you give it a try before dismissing the idea. And if you can get your hands on a VR set, you might even sweat a little during the whole thing.