Delivery …..

ZR1_4d9475ae14eebhero_4d9b5f082b5c5-lightboxUnfortunately, that is exactly what was awaiting when the call came that my ZR1 had finally arrived in December 2010.

I have taken the car out whenever I could on sunny weekends, but the Michelins on it just have absolutely no grip in cold weather. Coming out of my garage (which never gets any sun), as you can see on the picture, there is zero grip and the car washes wide. So great caution needed.

Apart from that, once on sunny enough roads, the grip is phenomenal. I was on a beautiful very curvy country road with nice open views, which gave me a lot of confidence to push into corners, when all of a sudden the first corner of a fast tight sweeping ‘S’ started to tighten more than expected; touching the huge ceramic brakes while turning in, the whole balance of the beast was quite impressive. The grip at the front started building as the tyres really dug in, so I lifted off the brakes to put a bit of power back on and really got all four tyres to dig in and powered into the second bend of the “S” while filling the countryside with a gloriously angry V8 mix of rumble and screaming. The engine’s music is just so addictive, and the power never ending (although it took a while to get used to the urgency at which it gobbles up the gear ratios, to get the timing to upshift bang on).

I’ve got a big trip lined up, which I will let you know about, but until then a quick comparison of the Z06 vs ZR1:

Z06 is much easier to drive, feeling more fluid, and not as nervous as the ZR1. Grip does feel quite a bit less (must be both the tyres and the suspension setup). The downside of this extra grip and the more aggressive ZR1 setup is the tramlining, where the car feels like you’re hanging on to a sniffer dog on crack. However, the ZR1 does feel a lot more aggressive, a lot more planted, a lot more confidence inspiring as the steering does not feel as vague as the Z06. Oh, and those massive carbon brakes …. they definitely need some heat to work! On the highway, driving xxx km/h, in 5 degree air, the brakes definitely were not ready, but once they did warm up, the stopping power is phenomenal.

Next up is a two week trip through northern Italy, then to the Monaco GP, then to South France (Grasse), then Route Napoleon (already done with my black Z06 last year, with some surprising results, which I’ll write about as well), and back home.

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Laurent DE MEYER