Since the beginning of automotive history, there have been rivalries between companies. Recently, these rivalries have turned to Nurburgring as the proving grounds to show which cars have what it takes to be bona fide supercars. All the Nurburgring action hasn’t just been between noted supercar manufacturers like Ferrari and Lamborghini, however.
Everyday companies like Chevrolet and Dodge have also stepped up to the challenge of the German track, most notably in the pursuit of supercar status for the ’10 Corvette ZR1 and ’10 Viper (America Club Racer) ACR.
Unfortunately, while both cars performed remarkably well in Germany, results at Nurburgring aren’t everything when it comes to determining which car is in fact the better vehicle. Thanks to Auto Rivals, we take a look at all the factors both cars have going for and against them in the hope of determining a true answer to the age-old question of which car is better.
Not Just The Same Old Thing
For the Corvette ZR1, Chevrolet decided to go with less than obvious design modifications from the other C6 models. Looking much like the Z06, the ZR1 is built on the same aluminum chassis as its sister model but sports more carbon fiber body panels than the Z06.
Other minor design changes include a revised air dam, different hood, which features a window to view the engine with the hood closed, and wider fenders.
At the rear of the car, you’ll find wider wells, large rear-brake ducting, a quartet of exhaust tips and a small spoiler for added aerodynamics. Oh yeah, and much of the whole car is made from carbon fiber.
The Viper ACR has a wider stance and a huge rear wing, which provides the ACR 10 times as much down force at 150mph than other Vipers, as well as a revised front air dam. Making the car stand out even more is its revised hood, featuring six louvers to help with aerodynamics and engine cooling.
Aesthetics of each car are in the eye of the beholder, however, so let’s get down to the real test of a car’s worth, its numbers.
By The Numbers
At 3,340 pounds, the Corvette ZR1 has 638hp and 604 pound-feet of torque provided by a supercharged 6.2L V8 engine. That is quite a bit more than the 3,420-pound Viper ACR, with 600hp and only 560 pound-feet of torque produced by an 8.4L V10 engine. But don’t discredit the ACR just yet.
Although it weighs more and has less power and torque, it still manages to tie the ZR1 for its 0 to 60mph time, and beats it in the quarter mile. With both cars running from 0 to 60 in 3.3 seconds, it is interesting to note that the ACR runs the quarter mile in 11.0 seconds at 132mph while the ZR1 runs it in 11.1 seconds at 130mph.
The ZR1 holds a top speed of 205mph while the ACR’s top speed is slightly lower at 202mph. Fuel economy between the two cars is pretty much a wash with the ZR1 getting 14 miles to the gallon in the city and 20 miles to the gallon on the highway while the ACR gets 13 miles to the gallon in the city and 22 miles to the gallon on the highway.
Since we can’t see a real winner yet, maybe Nurburging times are everything. The ZR1 completed its run at the German track in 7 minutes and 22.4 seconds while the ACR completed it in 7 minutes and 22.1 seconds.
A Tie? Really?
Determining which car is better seems to be harder than we thought. The ACR does have one advantage, however. Priced at $99, 891, the ACR is the ultimate supercar under $100k. However, with a price tag of $106,520, we doubt someone looking for their ultimate car would really worry about the $6,000 more for the ZR1.
What most reviews have boiled the rivalry down to is overall driveability. The Viper ACR (and it’s over-the-top 640hp ACR-X evil doppelganger) are nearly on point with the ZR1 on all levels except one: the ZR1 can double as a mild mannered civilian vehicle. Much like Superman’s alter-ego, Clark Kent, the ZR1 enjoys far less road noise with nicer interior components to boot.
The Viper – much like the always-on Incredible Hulk – is a brute all the time. Thanks to the ZR1’s magnetic-adjusted suspension and aforementioned creature comforts, the ZR1 is worthy of its stiffer price tag only because it can hide its bright red cape and boots beneath a suit and tie until it comes time to fly. The Viper, on the other hand, is always a snarling, seething monster that will scare children and pedestrians alike.