Truly, going quick, particularly past the 150-mph check, expects you to act dependably. The movement is full of exponentially expanding hazard. Quickening through paces beforehand just experienced on the speediest street courses, at that point keeping the throttle stuck, is specific to the battle that is the Mile. Begun in 2003, the Texas Mile, now held in Victoria, is a standing-mile speeding up test for those looking for a long haul association with obscured view. Continuance racing, maybe. Joining NHRA-like gathering of speed and dry-lake-bed-like best end for road autos, the Mile is not at all like whatever else in motorsports, a place to truly uncork it.
We didn’t completely get a handle on this until the point when we were there. Until the point that we saw generally unremarkable individuals drive 220 mph in stock-bodied Corvettes. Until the point when we heard all the ZR1’s 755 torque eject from its four howitzer deplete tips in qualifying. No issue how calm you may be, there are rules at the Texas Mile. What’s more, before you’re permitted to give ‘er damnation the entire route in an auto this intense, you must demonstrate that you can deal with it by influencing an effective meeting all requirements to go in the vicinity of 140 and 165 mph. By one means or another, we oversaw.
Accessible in either a targa or a convertible body style and fitted with either a high or a low unsupported wing, the ZR1 comes in the shape and air profile of your picking. Plant foot to firewall in any form, and its 715-lb-ft hatchet to the spleen helps you in a split second to remember the advantages of restriction. The 6.2-liter LT5’s additional power and torque in respect to the Z06’s LT4 powerplant to a great extent come cordiality of a supercharger with 52 percent greater relocation. The ZR1’s Eaton TVS R2650 blower makes 14.0 psi versus the LT4’s 9.4 and courses it through intercoolers with about twofold the warmth exchange limit. Port-and direct-fuel-infusion frameworks join to meet the extra water system needs, and chamber deactivation goes bye-bye (alongside the Eco and Weather drive modes).
We ran the Mile with footing and soundness control on yet at the same time metered the throttle until the point that second rigging arrived. Our auto was fitted with the discretionary eight-speed programmed (a seven-speed manual is standard). Just later, in our own testing, did we find that 60 mph destroys past in 3.0 seconds and that the ZR1 vaporizes the quarter-mile in 10.8 seconds at 135 mph—the two numbers accomplished without electronic guides. We likewise discovered that a ZR1 with the $2995 ZTK Track Performance bundle, as our own might have been, accompanies some genuine downsides if your exclusive objective is boosting speed in a standing mile. Incorporated into the bundle are sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, a carbon front splitter with removable end tops, restrictive tuning for the standard magnetorheological dampers, stiffer springs, and, obviously, the high wing that most plainly distinguishes the auto as a ZR1. In this setup, the super-Chevy is a street course-improved machine growing a wealth of speed-executing, downforce-upgrading members. We trimmed the wing to its flattest position (the other choice being five degrees of pitch) and arranged to go full pedal the entire way.
The following pass, made on 101-octane race fuel per Chevy’s guidance for track use in the ZR1’s proprietor’s manual, was a 180-mph reminder. It was trailed by the 183-mph best-exertion run. And afterward we understood the one thing that everybody who drives the Mile in the long run acknowledges: Holding it down is a relentless trial of cojones, torque, and streamlined drag. In any case, it’s that last component that most altogether constrains the ZR1 here. In spite of the fact that Chevy couldn’t give one to this test, the low-wing ZR1 with less drag exists [see “Adjusting Drag and Downforce”]. It’s more qualified to Texas Mile frenzy and accompanies the incidental advantage of not repulsing all females.
There is, be that as it may, a purpose behind the huge wing auto: turning dependability, something we encountered in the days going before the Mile in the Texas Hill Country west of San Antonio. What’s more, the ZR1 does, truth be told, turn. Like its Stingray Z51, Grand Sport, and Z06 siblings, the Last Samurai of the seventh-age Corvette utilizes an electronically controlled back differential, making it a taloned savage in the slopes, a heartless stalker of peaks, the Overlord of Powerslides. It is additionally an annihilator of practical insight, catapulting our typical alert into the following province as it empowered further braking and ever higher cornering speeds. It is a GTLM auto for the road and exponentially more genuine than a standard Stingray. The lighter, more informative guiding of the base auto is gone, supplanted by a steerage as heavy as a structural plate. Up against its points of confinement on the skidpad, it does not have the Stingray’s fun loving nature, supplanting it with the ponderous vow of huge grasp. With its splitter’s side plates introduced and its back wing tipped to the full-downforce position, the ZR1 made 1.18 g’s of grasp, for all intents and purposes indistinguishable to the Z06. Its brake pedal demonstrates determined by any measure of speed, warmth, or force. Braking from 183 mph didn’t upset the ZR1’s standard carbon-clay rotors any more than did our round of instrumented prevents from 70 mph. At 134 feet, the ZR1’s best stop approached however couldn’t coordinate the 128 feet of the 113-pound-lighter Z06.
Our lone genuine protest concerns the programmed transmission, which does not have the control of most double grip gearboxes or manuals in warmed driving. Its reaction to move demands is recognizably postponed, a reality that is all the more irritating considering the viability of the manual and its dynamic rev-coordinating element.