2009 Corvette ZR1: Supercar Status
2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1Close
2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 in Cyber GrayClose
The anticipation in the late 1980s for a super performance Corvette, (eventually known as the ZR-1) was repeated in 2007 - with the big difference being the Internet to really fan the flames of interest. The hype included names, such as SS, Blue Devil, Sting Ray, Z07 and ZR-2. The SS was short for "Super Sport" and a tribute to past high performance Chevrolet models. Corvette lore however had SS as short for "Snake Slayer", implying superiority over the Dodge Viper, the Corvette's main competition. "Blue Devil" was a reference to the sports teams of Duke University, which was GM CEO Rick Wagoner's Alma Mater. Sting Ray was last used on early C3 vettes, Z07 implied a better Z06 and ZR-2 was a nod to the LT-5 engined 1990 thru 1995 ZR-1s.
GM settled on ZR1 as the moniker for the new super Corvette, dropping the hyphen as it did not comply with their "current rule for alphanumeric designations."
ZR1 Engine: 6.2 liters, Supercharged
2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 LS9 EngineClose
Propelling the Corvette well into Supercar territory, the engine explored a new concept for Corvette: forced induction. A roots style Eaton supercharger, developed specifically for the Corvette, is behind the horsepower explosion.
2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 LS9 Engine - David Kimble Cutaway IllustrationClose
The new engine is not based on the 427 cubic inch Z06, as one might expect, but is closer to the LS3. LS9 is the new designation for the ZR1 engine and the displacement - 6.2 liters (376 cubic inches) - is the same as is the bore (4.06 inches [103.25 mm]) and stroke (3.62 inches [92 mm]).
There are differences however. Shorter connecting rods result in a lower (9.9:1) compression ratio that is more suited to a forced induction engine. The heads, which are CNC machined, are made of a special aluminum alloy which better copes with the high heat load. Other changes include a special head gasket and swirl wing in the intake tract.
2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 LS9 Engine Oil Cooking JetClose