Take a ride in the CorvetteReport.com Time Machine back to 1992 for
a review of the ’92 ZR-1 Corvette.
Even though the big news for the ‘92 Corvette was the LT1 350 engine with 300-horsepower (a 50-hp jump from the previous L98 engine), the 375-horsepower ZR-1 continued to get most of the attention. The ZL-1 and its LT5 engine had proven itself in March 1990 when the Morrison Motorsports ZR-1 shattered a 50-year 24 hour average speed record, recording an astonishing speed of 175.885-mph!
Photo from www.ZR1NetRegistry.com
The engine was so stout that engine builders, such as Corvette racing legend, Kim Baker, were building LT5 engines that were pulling horsepower figures in the low 600-plus range, WITHOUT the use of turbos, roots, or centrical superchargers! The LT5 was arguably one of the strongest engines to ever work under the hood of a Corvette.
Unlike the C6 ZR1, which is its own unique model, the C4 ZR-1 was an option package that cost a staggering $31,683 on top of the $33,635 base price of the ‘92 Corvette, for a grand total of $65,318 – PLUS other options! That equates to 48.5% of a ‘92 ZR-1 was just for the ZR-1 option! When the C6 ZR1 arrived in ‘09 as it’s own unique model with a list price of $103,300, the C4 ZR-1 vs C6 ZR1 percentage comparison works out to be 53.64% over the cost of the base ‘09 Corvette. While there’s a big spread between the $65,318 and $103,300, there is the 17-year time difference. But when you factor in the C6’s all-aluminum Z06 chassis and improved suspension, the newer car is much more advanced. As it should be! After all, the C6 ZR1 has reaped the dividends of the highly successful C5-R and C6.R Corvette Racing team’s “field engineering.”
Even though a base ‘11 Corvette can walk away from a C4 ZR-1, the older car is still a gem with it’s jewel-like double overhead-cams and all-aluminum engine. There are even a few guys that are drag racing C4 ZR-1 Corvettes and getting the car into the low 11s without too much strain on the LT5 engine. One can’t help but wonder how things might have turned out if the LT5 engine had be used as the base engine for the C5 Corvettes. Maybe an intercooled, roots-type supercharged version of the LT5? Or am I getting carried away?
Enjoy the above video and have fun “what if” bench racing. – Scott
PS – Check out the record that were set with the Morrison Motorsports 1990 ZR-1, HERE.
PSS – To visit our ZR-1 Corvette art prints collection, CLICK HERE.