1995 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1
The C4 Corvette languished in performance levels unbecoming its namesake before the introduction of the ZR-1. With the standard C4s L98 V8, Corvette owners were getting around 275 horsepower and GM executives were getting frightened of what Japan had in store for the American sports car market. To fend off the possibility of Honda or Toyota building something that would lure away Corvette buyers, GM enlisted the folks at Lotus (which they had recently acquired) to develop a new engine. The idea to build the world’s fastest production car drove the development of the LT5, an aluminum-block V8 with four camshafts and 32 valves. The result was 405 ponies under the hood. Coupled with the new slick as can be six-speed transmission, and adjustable ride height, the ZR-1 was born. The ZR-1 could post 0-60 times around four seconds and boasted carrying better than 175 miles per hour for 5,000 miles—just one of several endurance speed records the ZR-1 owned. These numbers kept the Corvette on top and generated a resurgence of interest in the base Corvette as well. ZR-1 owners are very enthusiastic about their cars, not only due to the premium they paid for the ZR-1 (you could by two standard Corvettes for the price of one ZR-1) but they dub it as one of the best sports cars in the world.
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