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Saturday, April 26, 2008

ZR1 goes 207 mph

2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Goes 205 mph-Plus!

Date posted: 04-25-2008

PAPENBURG, Germany — Close on the heels of announcing its official 638-horsepower rating, GM released a video of the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 making a certified 205-mph top-speed run in Papenburg, Germany.

Luke Sewell, a powertrain engineer on the Corvette platform team, told Inside Line that Patrick Herrmann, a European engineer, was behind the wheel during the top-speed run. Sewell says Herrmann isn't part of the Corvette team, but that he's certified to drive the ATP Papenburg course.

Sewell said he himself spent time in the 2009 ZR1's right seat during the testing, and that the vehicle used was an "integration" vehicle, a mule, that was different from a production car only in that it was equipped with a roll cage and instrumentation for monitoring speed, cooling temps and such.

The Corvette team performed at least nine runs, testing various small changes in terms of coolant "content." The 205 number is an average of runs in both directions (to cancel out the effect of wind). As if 205 mph isn't enough to set your hair on fire, Sewell says the ZR1 topped out at 208 mph with a tailwind. After close scrutiny of the video, we're confident the readout hits at least 207 mph around the 1:30 mark. Unfortunately, the certification process uses the average of multiple runs, so 208 is not the final quotable figure.