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      07-16-2010, 11:32 AM   #1
attila
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Test drove the ZR1 today!!

I was about to go out to the track but did not feel OK, - coughing like crazy for a whole week - so I went for car shopping. Planning to get a more dedicated track car anyway so I went to Porsche to test drove the GT3, but they had none so I test drove the Cayman S. The Chevy deeler is relatively close so I went there too to ask about the Z06 carbon edition. Of course they had none but had two ZR-1 on the lot and I was asked if I want to take it for a drive.
Let me start with the ZR-1 since lots of people here are familiar with the Cayman S.

1. The battery was dead in one of the cars (first we tried) the second had enough juice to start. The first thing I did notice is a strong plasticy smell. I mean every new car has a distintive smell but this one was very strong and bad. The car is big - huge - very difficult to feel the front end at parking speed. The engine has a very civilized idle, not very loud but you still can hear it inside. Throttle was fine, not to jumpy. Besides it's dimensions it was not difficult to manouver at low speeds out from the lot.
The ride is harsh - worse than the normal setting in the M3 - but survivable. More jerks on the steering over bumpy road, more tramlining. (It had the magnetic ride select but I forgot to ask the setting so it maybe possible to fine a more comfortable ride than what I experienced. I was busy with the car!)
On the highway though!! the car is brutal. The acceleration is very strong even at low rpm. It is really scary. The nose just lift up a little bit and you are doing 85 in 3rd on a highway ramp instantly, almost rear ending a f150 truck. You don't have the nice cry of the M3 V8 at high rev, but the thrust is brutal. And you will have some noise too. The engine note is not bad, the supercharger is relatively in the background so you hear more like a big V8 soundtrack. I did not turn tracktion control off, so it intervaned a lot eventhough I did not give full throttle. Gears are long, but you will notice that only if you check your speed.
It felt still big on the highway but very secure and planted. Top speed I did was 92mph (head up display is nice) for a very short time. I could not test the brakes. They were very nice, good feel, good bite, no fade but again I did not put them to the test at all.
So I could not really get the feel of the car but I could easily feel it's huge potentials.
Would be fun to have this car but I did not fall in love with it.
When I got back into the M3 I missed the acceleration but overall I am not convinced.
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      07-16-2010, 12:23 PM   #2
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Great Write Up, the ZR1 is a beast!
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      07-16-2010, 12:40 PM   #3
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nice review, i felt similar when i test drove the Z06 but i image i would of been more scared lol. didn't get to push it like you bc the girl with me was scared for about half the drive. then she gave me the nod to hit the hammer on the way back lol. when we pulled in though my M was sitting there and she goes damn i am not suppose to say this but that car is so hot your not trading it in for this are you?? i was like no, i am just friends with the other guy who was here who is getting a Z06. she goes oh good but if you do i want it lol

anyway def felt pretty much what you did, alot of respect for what the car can do but just not for me. if i had the money to just buy one to take out once in awhile and scare myself shittless then this would be the car for sure
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      07-16-2010, 02:42 PM   #4
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I wonder how the new Porsche Turbo would feel! I have never driven one.
My only real issue was that the car (ZR-1) felt big. Maybe if you drive it for longer it would start to "shrink" on you.
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      07-16-2010, 03:26 PM   #5
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Nice review.

The ZR1 won't be the beast to me anymore once I get the Gintani stage 2+ next year
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      07-16-2010, 05:09 PM   #6
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i think the size is all relative. like if you come from something like a miata or cayman, the m3 will feel big. same as if you go from m3 to the z06 or zr1 which has the wider body, then you will feel big. but after you are used to it, then it is a none issue.

like my mdx, it felt huge at first but now i don't even notice anymore.
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      07-16-2010, 05:57 PM   #7
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this read just as i expected a bmwforum review of another brand would be.
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      07-16-2010, 08:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ismelllikepoop View Post
this read just as i expected a bmwforum review of another brand would be.
My father has a condo up the street from us, keeps his 07 vette in there. What the OP said about the ZR1 is pretty much spot on vette. It has a huge nose and it feels like it does. Suspension is stiff and it does dance a little on bumps. Hell my father almost wrecked his on one of the metal expansion joints on a bridge. As he went over it, the front end slid a little then got a bite right as the ass end hit the joint and slid. Just about threw him sideways into the concrete wall. Now this could happen in just about any car but the vette is a little jittery. Part of it is its light weight coupled with the sport suspension. Thats not to say its a poor sportscar. In fact, its a beautiful sports car with excellent handling and accelleration. But in a somewhat bumpy turn, its a bit scary. It likes to shutter and slide, and the steering will jitter as well.

When I got my M3 and took it through some turns, the first thing in my mind was that I had the same planted feeling I do in the vette, but it felt more stable in bumps. Again, wieght probably has something to do with it, but there is a suspension element to it as well. The ZR1/Z06 are even stiffer than the standard vette so that is likely even more pronounced.

Bottom line though, the ZR1 is a wicked car. I'd take it over a GT-R in a heartbeat, but probably not over a 911 Turbo. I'm a little Porsche biased.
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      07-17-2010, 02:31 AM   #9
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Zr-1 on the German Autobahn........ WET DREAM my friends.
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      07-17-2010, 11:03 AM   #10
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mmmmm ZR-1. the local dealership has 3 on the show room floor. Very tempting.
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      07-21-2010, 01:26 PM   #11
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ZR1 is more of a GT car than a sports car. No need for that extra HP or if you still want it you can always throw some cams, long tubes, and a tune on your Z06. I do agree that the really wide tires and the limited slip can provide some interesting driving sensations. I don't feel that the Z06 is any bigger than my M3 was when driving it.
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      07-30-2010, 03:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graider View Post
i think the size is all relative. like if you come from something like a miata or cayman, the m3 will feel big. same as if you go from m3 to the z06 or zr1 which has the wider body, then you will feel big. but after you are used to it, then it is a none issue.

like my mdx, it felt huge at first but now i don't even notice anymore.
Believe me, size is not relative when you drive a Vette, it really feels HUGE. Other than straight-line stellar performance, I hated driving my friend's Z06. He never got used to its size, and now he drives a C63
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      07-30-2010, 04:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leozap View Post
Nice review.

The ZR1 won't be the beast to me anymore once I get the Gintani stage 2+ next year
+1
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      07-30-2010, 09:27 PM   #14
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I had a recent run in with a zr1 this past week. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I wasn't in the m3, but rather on my ducati s4rs. Did a couple of spirited sprints from light to light and I was blown away... literally. The vette pulls crazy hard off the line (and this guy was going nuts, shifting at redline making the exhaust tips shake at every shift like they were made of paper.. yes i saw the rear of his car). Now, my duc isn't a race bike but it does have the 4v liquid cooled 998 engine so it isn't a slouch either.. was really impressed with the vette.. straight line of course...

p.s. not that i'm making excuses or anything but..... it was hot in the city that day so i decided to go squid with just a t-shirt and running shoes so I didn't really push the bike. hee hee....
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      07-31-2010, 08:03 AM   #15
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The comments made in this thread are all valid. The vette does feel big when sitting inside, but you adapt to it very quickly. Its actually quite easy to maneuver. It will at times skip over bumps, i don't think there is any way around that.
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      07-31-2010, 01:31 PM   #16
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Y are you guys keep saying "straight line" ? Then Vetts is a dedicated sport car that won many many races. Its a roller coaster thrill ride beast whenever u want it to be.
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      08-01-2010, 10:24 AM   #17
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I had a Z06 (2007) and I can tell you that the ZR1 is not for the faint of heart. Monster acceleration and a light car means you have to be a skilled driver for that vehicle to be driven properly. I also had a GT3 and again you must know how to drive the car when it gets out of sorts which it will. A lot of heel to toe in both of those cars.
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      08-01-2010, 10:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tumbler View Post
A lot of heel to toe in both of those cars.
What? Don't you heel/toe any car with a manual transmission? Why would a GT3 or Vette require heel/toe more or less than any other sporty car driven hard?
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      08-01-2010, 06:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
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What? Don't you heel/toe any car with a manual transmission? Why would a GT3 or Vette require heel/toe more or less than any other sporty car driven hard?
+1,
Didn't understand the original comment.
It's the same as rev-matched downshifting in autos/automated manuals to prevent loss of momentum and engine braking.
Don't understand why it would be any more or less driving any manual aggressively...
If anything, I would imagine that less experienced drivers would be less inclined to heel-toe with cars that are difficult to control due to enormous power to weight ratio for fear of loss of control in the turn...

A little off-topic...
I was reading an article addressing unintended vehicle acceleration in Consumer Reports, and it stated that many manufacturers place a fail-safe in the car so that when the brake is depressed, the throttle is automatically cut-off.
It included BMW as one of the manufacturers that have this feature.
I then thought if that was the case, it would be impossible to perform heel-toe downshifts. Unless this feature is only in automatics and not in manuals?
I wondered if anyone has an answer...
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      08-01-2010, 08:15 PM   #20
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I could understand this being an issue with cars that have heavy flywheels such as, Z06 or ZR-1.

Most big displacement muscle cars are tall geared, slow revving with low redlines (6500 rpm or so) and have heavy flywheels to handle the gobs of torque they make down low.

With widely spaced gear stack, without generous rev matches the shift shock would be a lot bigger downshifting and engaging the clutch since the heavy weight flywheel will resist sudden transmission speed changes due to heavy weight, rotational inertia and the wide gear spacing will require a much greater rpm change going down a gear or two.

GT3 is a high revving model with light internals since it is a low torque, fast revving car with all of its power up top. Especially, the GT3 RS even comes with a lighter flywheel. Even without proper rev matches, the flywheel will be a lot more "willing" to sudden speed changes of the transmission and will spin up much more willingly to match with the transmission speed without proper rev matches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skierman64 View Post
What? Don't you heel/toe any car with a manual transmission? Why would a GT3 or Vette require heel/toe more or less than any other sporty car driven hard?
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      08-02-2010, 12:46 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leozap View Post
Nice review.

The ZR1 won't be the beast to me anymore once I get the Gintani stage 2+ next year
that would be a sick race

and the zr1 is a real beast!
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      08-02-2010, 04:29 AM   #22
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Quote:
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because a lot of the fanbois here think only m3's and Porsches can handle
No one said Corvettes can't handle. They are very effective at the track and pull some sick g's, no doubt about that. However, they're tricky to drive at the limit, especially the Z06.
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