2011 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 C6R

Chevrolet has displayed today at the Paris Auto Show the Corvette ZR1 C6.R that will compete at the 24 hours Le Mans in the GT2 Class and in the American Le Mans series.

The C6.R version is distinguished by a new front splitter, an open grille which forces air into the engine, headlamps in aero design, carbon fiber front fenders, front and rear brake ducts, a carbon fiber roof, carbon ceramic brakes mated to six piston calipers at the front and four piston caliper brakes at the rear.

Under the hood of the ZR1 lies an engine which is the most powerful built for a production model by Chevrolet to date. Because of the GT racing regulations, the final displacements and power outputs of the two engines vary slightly, nevertheless many of the processes and materials used for making the hand-built engines of the ZR1 stem directly from Chevrolet Racing; the dry sump lubrication system and titanium values are examples.

Press release after the jump.

Press release

Built upon the pioneering spirit of company founder Louis Chevrolet who designed and raced the first Chevrolets with great success in the early 1900’s, Chevrolet today has a bank of knowledge and expertise that is put to good use in the development of production models. At the Paris Motor Show, two of the latest examples in the form of the Chevrolet Cruze and Corvette ZR1 are proudly displayed, alongside their race-car stable mates, for visitors to appreciate how technology gleaned from the race track can also be technology for the road.

Although Chevrolet has been competing in production based endurance racing since the mid-fifties, with the start of the modern Corvette racing program in 1999 the sharing of technologies for road and race car became intrinsically linked. With the latest incarnation of the Corvette ZR1 and the C6.R race car, that shared DNA has been taken to a whole new level.

Rules currently in force in GT racing require the use of some key production based components so that put simply, today there would not be a Corvette ZR1 without the race program.

This year’s C6.R which competed at the 24 hours Le Mans in the GT2 Class and in the American Le Mans series is homologated on the Corvette ZR1; a preliminary glance at the latest ZR1 body gives away plenty of clues.

Starting at the front of the car, the front splitter which improves high speed down force and the open grille which forces air into the engine are the first give-aways. The aero design of the headlamps are a direct descendant from racing, while the front fenders are of carbon fiber to keep weight to a minimum, and suitably flared to accommodate wider tires when necessary.

Front and rear brake ducts in the bodywork keep the brakes cool - a very necessary design feature given the ZR1 road car is slowed by carbon ceramic brakes mated to six piston calipers at the front and four piston caliper brakes at the rear.

More carbon fiber is used in the construction of the roof to save weight, while at the rear, both the ZR1 and C6.R race car use an identical full width rear diffuser and rear spoiler.

Simply admiring the shared bodywork of the ZR1 and C6.R doesn’t indicate the technical commonalities beneath the skin, arguably where Corvette owners benefit most from the Chevrolet Racing input. For instance, the hydro formed aluminum frame rails on which the ZR1 is built are used for the C6.R race car, as is the frame used to house the windscreen, the drive train tunnel and the floor pan.

Climb aboard the new ZR1 and owners can even take pride in the knowledge they will be using the same steering system as in the C6.R, where the steering column, fully adjustable wheel and rack and pinion steering rack are shared.

Under the hood of the ZR1 lies an engine which is the most powerful built for a production model by Chevrolet to date. Because of the GT racing regulations, the final displacements and power outputs of the two engines vary slightly, nevertheless many of the processes and materials used for making the hand-built engines of the ZR1 stem directly from Chevrolet Racing; the dry sump lubrication system and titanium values are examples.

In essence there can be few current examples where the synergies between a full production road car and the race car equivalent are so great as that of the ZR1 and C6.R – a fact made all the more remarkable given the ZR1’s suitability as practical, everyday transport.


5 comments:

Does this mean they won’t compete in the GT1 class from now on? I mean they blow away the competition (what like, 2 other cars in that class?) in GT1. GT2 should be a better competition with the likes of Porsche and Ferrari.

Corvette vs. GT-R in the GT2 section, epic. But Aston will race alone in the GT1 class?

Corvettes look good all raced out.

Not really my memory it’s slow this days, the GT-R will run in the GT-1 class, the Vette should give Ferrari a run for it’s money as for the F450 it won’t come earlier then Frankfurt auto show, so it will race in 2010-2011, until then we have the winners from 2009 GT-R at GT1 and the Corvette at GT2
79

Ferrari is cleaning up in GT2, and the F450 is close to making its debut. I don’t think GT1 is affected in Europe. So Aston should be all business as usual.

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