The Chevrolet Corvette is an American icon. While still expensive new, a used Corvette offers unbeatable performance for an equally unbeatable value. The two-door sports car has been the testbed for many new GM features and technologies. As the car enters its seventh generation in 2014, it continues that trend of offering new technologies within the reach of the masses. The Corvette is #2 on our list of best used sports cars under $40,000, being bested only by the BMW M3.
Used Corvette Horsepower
The used Corvette market is rife with high-horsepowered cars ready for the taking. The sixth-generation Corvette was available from 2005 to 2013. Beginning with the 2008 model, the Corvette received a new engine, the LS3. Displacement was increased to 6.2-liters, up from 6.0. Power received an increase as well to 430 horsepower and 424 lb-ft of torque. Corvettes equipped with the optional actuated exhaust valve produced 436 horsepower and 438 lb-ft of torque. While 430 horsepower is enough for anyone to loose their license, the Corvette Z06 took power a step further. The 7.0-liter V8 LS7 engine, which was the largest-displacement small-block engine ever built, produces 505 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. To take things even further, Chevrolet introduced the Corvette ZR1 in 2009. The ZR1 engine, seen below, is a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 LS9 engine that produces 638 horsepower, 604 lb-ft of torque. Top speed is 205 mph. The same engine is also available in the Chevrolet Camaro.
While the Corvette has always offered great performance, the interior of the car has always been a problem. Lately, Chevrolet has relied on lots of cheap plastic for the instrument panel and dashboard. Even the sixth-generation C6 Corvette has an interior reminiscent of the mid-1990s. When compared to the Porsche 911 or Nissan GT-R, the Corvette is missing some of that luxury those cars offer. The C6 was more functional than stylish and long overdue for an update that came in 2014. The largest demerit against the Corvette’s interior is the seats. For a car with this level of performance, the unsupportive and floppy seats are not designed to hold you in place as much as you would expect. You have to brace yourself against the interior of the car to simply remain centered in the seat. However, if you aren’t taking the car to the track everyday, the interior, including the seats can be overlooked. The Corvette’s performance is enough to warrant buying one.
Difference Between ZR1 and Z06
The Z06 and ZR1 are the top-tier Corvettes available. While both offer uncompromised performance, there are stark differences between the two. The Z06 has a naturally aspirated 7.0-liter V8 engine with 505 horsepower while the ZR1 packs a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine with 638 horsepower under the hood. While carbon fiber is used on the Z06’s floor and fenders, the ZR1 adds the material to the hood and roof. The ZR1 also offers magnetic ride control for sporty and comfortable handling. Both are only come available with a manual transmission keeping the automotive enthusiasts appeased. The ZR1 has a lot of power to put to the ground, so it comes with launch control. This helps the driver get the most out of the available power, because even the most skilled driver would have difficulty achieving consistent launches.
Written by Anthony Alaniz