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Rental Corvette goes for a swim

October 21st, 2010 No comments

Some people who own Corvettes do the typical weight reduction mods… remove the spare tire, get lower weight wheels, the basics. However, some people want their Corvette to drop some pounds with exercises… I guess this guy wanted his car to go swimming?

Apparently, this was a rental Corvette that some guys took on a test drive, did some donuts, and ended up in the water. The drivers escaped on foot, which makes me believe they are either not very bright, or weren’t the ones who’s name was on the rental agreement.

Carfax anyone?

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Corvette ZR1 Right Hand Drive

March 23rd, 2010 No comments

THE fastest roadgoing Chevrolet Corvette ever built, the 320 km/h supercharged ZR1, will be a star attraction at the 22nd National Corvette Convention in Perth over Easter.

The ZR1 will be displayed in right-hand drive form by Australia’s leading Corvette importer Performax International, which expects to receive full Australian Design Rule approval for the car soon, clearing it for sale and registration in all States and Territories.

Performax International undertook around 300 hours’ design and engineering work to build the prototype RHD Corvette in time for the National Corvette Convention, achieving factory-quality levels of fit, finish and derivability.

The work was completed at Performax International’s factory on the Queensland Sunshine Coast early this week before the car was loaded on a truck and transported to Perth.

“America’s own sports car has a wonderful heritage and owner community in Australia and Performax International is delighted to be a part of the 22nd National Corvette Convention with the fabulous ZR1,” Performax International General Manager Glenn Soper said.

“It’s fitting that Corvette club members from around Australia will be the first to see this right-hand drive version in public.”

The Chevy Corvette ZR1 features a supercharged, 6.2 litre GM LS9 motor producing 476 kiloWatts of power and 815 Newtonmetres of torque.

With a low kerb weight of 1510 kg thanks to an aluminium chassis and carbonfibre body panels, the ZR1 claims a power-to-weight ratio better than most of Europe’s fastest supercars, including the Porsche GT2, Ferrari 599 GTB and Lamborghini Murcielago LP640-4. Its top speed is around 320 kmh and 0-100 kmh acceleration time less than four seconds.

The Performax International ZR1 will be on display at the convention headquarters at the Rendezvous Observation City hotel at Scarborough from Good Friday until Easter Monday.

It also will join Corvettes driving into the city for a public “Show ‘n’ Shine” display between 10 am and 3 pm on Easter Saturday.

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2010 Corvette C6-R

March 11th, 2010 No comments

Corvette Racing’s second-generation C6.R will be powered by a new 5.5L production-based V-8, to compete in the new unified GT class in the 2010 American Le Mans Series as well as the GT2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The updated C6.R and the Corvette ZR1 on which it’s based represent the strongest link yet between a production Corvette and the modern Corvette Racing team. Both cars are well-equipped to compete on and off the track with showroom competitors including Aston Martins, BMWs, Porsches and Ferraris.

Corvette has a long history of production-based endurance racing, making its first appearance at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1956, and its first appearance at Le Mans in 1960. Then Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov leveraged the racing program to improve the production Corvette, as evidenced by the development of heavy-duty and high-performance components and the introduction of the race-bred Z06 option on the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray.

The transfer of technology between racing and production cars resumed with the start of the modern Corvette Racing program in 1999. More than a decade later, it’s impossible to imagine one team without the other, according to Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer:

“Simply put, without Corvette Racing, there would not be a Corvette Z06, much less the ZR1. And, without the foundation of the Corvette C6, Z06 and ZR1, the Corvette Racing team would not be the dominant presence in production-based racing.”

1999 – 2004: The C5-R acts as a catalyst for Corvette performance

Corvette Racing campaigned the C5-R from 1999 through the end of the 2004 season. The first-generation car scored 35 victories in 55 races, won its class at the 12 Hours of Sebring three consecutive years, posted three 1-2 finishes in the GTS class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and earned four consecutive ALMS manufacturers championships for Chevrolet.
It also served as a catalyst for Corvette performance.

In 1999, the fifth-generation Corvette C5 produced 345 horsepower from its 5.7L V-8. Leveraging the powertrain technologies developed for the C5R, Corvette brought back the hallowed Z06 moniker in 2001, packing a 385 horsepower 5.7L V-8.

In addition, the C5-R helped shape the sixth-generation Corvette, introduced for the 2005 model year. Corvette Racing’s influence could be seen in the C6 Corvette design, which featured flush headlights for better aerodynamics; a single, large grille opening for the engine air intake, radiator, and brake cooling; a lower coefficient of drag; and low 3,179 pound curb weight. Lessons from racing were also integrated in the 6.0L LS2 V-8, the most powerful standard Corvette engine to date, with 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. As a result, the C6 Corvette delivered unprecedented performance, including a 186-mph top speed, acceleration from 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds, and quarter-mile runs in 12.6 seconds at 114 mph.

2005 – 2009: The co-development of the C6.R and Z06

The C6 Corvette served as a foundation for the joint development of two new, high-performance Corvettes: the 2006 Corvette Z06 and the Corvette Racing C6.R, introduced in 2005.

Both cars were powered by 7.0L small-block V-8 engines, with dry-sump lubrication systems, CNC-ported aluminum cylinder heads, titanium valves, forged steel crankshafts, and plate-honed cylinder bores.

For the Z06, the collaboration translated into 505hp, 470 lb.-ft. of torque, and searing performance: 198-mph top speed, acceleration from 0 – 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and quarter-mile runs in 11.7 seconds at 125 mph. Racing’s influence was also evident in the Corvette Z06 use of lightweight carbon fiber front fenders and wheelhouses, and aerodynamics package – including a front splitter, air extractors behind the front wheels, radiused trailing edges on the wheel openings, brake cooling scoops, widened rear fenders, rear diffuser, and spoiler.

For the C6.R, homologation on the Z06 translated into 42 wins, four consecutive ALMS drivers and manufacturers championships, and three victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

2010: Introducing the second-generation C6.R, based on the ZR1

In the 2010 American Le Mans Series, Corvette Racing will compete in the series’ production-based GT category (formerly GT2) and in the GT2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a second-generation C6.R that is homologated on the Corvette ZR1.

The GT rules require the use of many production-based components, making the ZR1 and C6.R the closest street and racing Corvettes since the 1960s.

Introduced for the 2009 model year, the ZR1 is the fastest, most powerful car ever produced by Chevrolet. To deliver 638 hp, the LS9 V-8 engines are hand-built using many of the processes developed by the race team. To deliver a 205-mph top speed, the ZR1 aerodynamics package also utilizes race technology – including wide carbon fiber front fenders with dual vents, a full-width rear spoiler, and a front splitter.

The updated C6.R utilizes the ZR1 body design, aerodynamic package, aluminum frame and chassis structure, steering system, windshield, and other components.

Aluminum frame: The new Corvette C6.R is built on the same aluminum frame rails that underpin production Corvette Z06 and ZR1 models. Other production chassis structures in the race car include the windshield frame, the hoop around the rear of the passenger compartment, the door hinge pillars, the drivetrain tunnel, the firewall, and the floor pan.

Steering system: The new Corvette C6.R utilizes the production steering column out of the ZR1, with a fully adjustable steering wheel, and production rack-and-pinion steering rack.

Body profile: The Corvette C6.R race car is now virtually identical to the Corvette ZR1 street car in appearance, as GT rules require production-type fenders with simple flares to accommodate wider tires.

Aerodynamics: The new C6.R utilizes the full-width, production rear spoiler from the ZR1, and a production-based ZR1 front splitter that extends 25mm, in contrast to the 80mm splitter allowed under the GT1 rules. Although the aerodynamics package does not produce the same levels of downforce as the GT1 car, the C6.R is more predictable over a wide range of speeds.

Where the C6.R and ZR1 differ significantly are in situations where GT rules actually prohibited the use of the more sophisticated ZR1 components. For example, the ZR1 is equipped with carbon-composite brake rotors, while GT regulations require ferrous (steel) brake discs. And, where the ZR1 utilizes a 6.2L, supercharged V-8, the C6.R will use a naturally aspirated small-block, production-based 5.5L V-8.

The Corvette C6.R race cars’ 5.5-liter Chevrolet small-block V8s are developed, built and maintained by GM. The Corvette C6.Rs’ LS5.5R is a naturally aspirated race engine, based on the Corvette Z06′s 7.0-liter LS7 engine (which in turn was developed with the 7.0L race engine used in the C6.R GT1 cars), built on production cast-aluminum cylinder blocks.

Pending GT2 class regulations specify a maximum displacement of 5.5 liters, the reduction in displacement to meet this requirement was achieved by shortening the crankshaft stroke and reducing the cylinder bore diameter. In accordance with the regulations, the race engines have two 28.8mm diameter intake air restrictors. The LS5.5R engines are equipped with dry-sump oiling systems, CNC-ported aluminum cylinder heads with titanium intake and exhaust valves, and sequential electronic port fuel injection. The race engines use E85R ethanol racing fuel in the ALMS and E10 fuel in Le Mans.

Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday

Clearly, Corvette Racing’s success in production-based endurance racing has played a significant role in improving the performance of the production Corvette. In addition, as the racing and production cars have become more closely linked, Corvette Racing has also shown a positive impact in Corvette sales.

“Corvette sales tracked directly to customer leads at ALMS races have doubled from 2005 to 2009,” says John Fitzpatrick, Chevrolet Performance Cars marketing manager. “This proves what we have heard anecdotally from other Corvette owners: Watching production-based Corvettes win against legendary marques like BMW, Porsche and Ferrari, on legendary tracks like Sebring and Le Mans, makes Corvette all the more desirable.”

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2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon

March 10th, 2010 No comments

When the 2006 Corvette Z06 was introduced, it represented the closest connection to the Corvette race cars ever. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 closed the gap between racing and production even further. This year, Corvette continues its tradition of track-to-street technology transfer with the 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition.

“Designed to further incorporate technology developed through racing, the Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition is a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Corvette’s first race in the 24 Hours of LeMans,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet General Manager. “With a limited production of 500 units, this car is a must-have for the true Corvette collector and driving enthusiast.”

The Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition is another example of the expanded Corvette line-up. Five years ago, customers had the choice of a Corvette coupe or convertible. With the addition of the Z06, Grand Sport coupe and convertible and ZR1, Corvette enthusiasts now have more choices than ever.

“For track use, the Corvette Z06 Carbon is the best balanced Corvette yet. It combines the lightweight and naturally-aspirated Z06 engine with the road-holding and braking of the ZR1,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette Chief Engineer. “For technical tracks like Laguna Seca, the Corvette Z06 Carbon could shave up to three seconds off the Z06 lap time.”

This limited edition Z06 will boast Brembo carbon ceramic brakes with specific dark gray metallic calipers. These powerful brakes were first introduced on the ZR1. Black 20-spoke 19-inch front/20-inch rear wheels complement the car’s Michelin PS2 tires. Other mechanical features include Magnetic Selective Ride Control for the first time on the Z06 and enhanced cooling. The car also features a special carbon pattern engine cover.

The Corvette Z06 Carbon will be available in two colors: Inferno Orange and the all-new Supersonic Blue. Black headlamps and mirrors, a ZR1-style body color spoiler, body color door handles, carbon fiber raised hood, and black carbon fiber rockers and splitter enhance the Z06’s dynamic design and reduce mass and aerodynamic lift. For track events, customers can also install the Euro-styled racing numbers that come with each car.

The Corvette Z06 Carbon’s ebony leather and suede interior is complemented by blue or orange seat stitching to match the exterior color chosen. Other features include a unique steering wheel emblem, sill plate and logoed headrest. The suede used on the steering wheel, shifter, seat inserts, armrests and doors add to the luxury of this limited edition Z06.

An optional Z07 performance package that includes the mechanical upgrades introduced on the Corvette Z06 Carbon can be added to a regular 2011 Z06. This package also includes Competition Gray 20-spoke wheels and all the chassis and cooling upgrades.

The CFZ Corvette Z06 Carbon fiber package includes black carbon fiber rockers, splitter and roof panel with the full-width body color spoiler. It can also be purchased with or without the Z07 package on regular Z06 models.

The 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition, as well as the new Z07 and CFZ Z06 option packages will be available in late summer.

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