Another look at AWD, does it really matter?
(Cast your vote at the bottom of this post.)
The other day I was sharing with you the November 2011 Road & track cover story about the 2-second club – three world-class sports cars capable of 0-to-60 in LESS than 3-seconds. Club members include the Nissan GT-R Premium, the Porsche 911 Turbo S, and the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport. All three cars had AWD and except for the nuts-o 1,183-HP Bugatti, the other two members have LESS horsepower that the ZR1. Plus, the ZR1 Corvette weighs 225-pounds LESS than the Porsche. So, the Corvette with a 106-horsepower advantage isn’t in the club, what’s up with that? “All-wheel-drive” boys and girls.
Well don’t despair Corvette fans, not all AWD supercars are in the 2-second club. The Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SV could only to the 0-to-60 scoot in 3.0-seconds, so no club membership card for the Lambo either. The June ‘09 Car & Driver Lambo test car was packing 661-HP, 487 LB/FT of torque, weighed 3,850-pounds, and has a top speed of 209 to 213-mph. All that for only $457,500 – enough to buy three ZR1s and a Z06! But we won’t beat them up over a few hundred grand.
Autocar Magazine created the below video comparison between the top gun Corvette and Lamborghini cars. The Lambo has the horsepower edge plus AWD and the ZR1 has the weight advantage. So who wins on a road course? (The video is on the next page –>>)
Ah, the Lambo was NOT walking away from the ZR1, but then again, the ZR1 wasn’t much of a challenge. It is also worth pointing out that the video did not mention the credentials of the drivers. It would be interesting to see these two cars with Ron Fellows and Jan Magnussen, or one of the other Corvette Racing drivers, doing the driving.
But the video is what it is, so you be the judge. Pay close attention to the 2:58 point in the video, that’s when our narrator gets the ZR1 slightly airborn! Should AWD be part of the C7 Corvette? AWD seems to be the next new wave in the world-class supercars wars, so unless we want to be apologizing for not having AWD and playing catch up, AT LEAST the C7 ZR1 (assuming there’ll be a C7 ZR1) should have AWD.
A few comments about the Lamborghini. It’s interesting how when a supercar comes from Europe and costs multiples of 100’s of thousands of dollars, some points go out the window. In the dollars-per-performance department, cars such as the Lambo are vastly more expensive and only a few ticks quicker and faster. I know, there’s the factor of exotic materials and hand craftsmanship. But hyper exotic cars often have awkward, user unfriendly interiors and poor visibility. (Aren’t you tired of hearing about the Corvette’s interior?) The featured Lambo gets 8 to 9-MPH according to the Car & Driver test. That’s worst than an old Hemi Cuda! Can you imagine the HOWLING there’s be if Chevrolet offered a Corvette that got that kind of fuel mileage? But when the car is a European exotic, especially one from Italy (I like italian cars, really!), the attitude is more like, “What’a matter’fa you?!”
And while I’m picking on European exotic cows, isn’t the mid-engine Countach-like styling getting a little OLD? And why aren’t automotive writers asking Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Jaguar, and Aston Martin, “Only old guys buy those cars. When are you going to design a car for younger buyers?” or better yet, “Why don’t you design a sports car for the American market?”
We never see or hear those kinds of questions, do we? And, we probably never will. Oh well. I’m still holding out for an AWD-equipped base model C7 that Tag Juechter and his crew of hyper talented engineers can build on from there. Enjoy the video! – Scott
PS – C6 2005 to 2011 Corvette art prints are available HERE.
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