The ZR1 is undoubtedly the most bad-ass ‘Vette since we were still fighting in Vietnam–that much is clear. But why on earth would anyone actually buy one? This may seem like a stupid question, but I have a rather non-canon take on it that many will surely disagree with. But, I’m going to say it anyway.
You see, if you take away the name and the collectible clout which the ZR1 has, it is just a supercharged Corvette with 636bhp; impressive but nowhere near the full potential of a boosted 6.2L V8.
Also, how much does this uber-Vette cost? Let us be conservative, and say $100k flat. A bargain considering it will compete with exotics that can cost up to 10 times that much, but a ripoff considering that you can buy a base C6 Corvette for around 55 large, and a used C6 or possibly a Z06 for even less. Now obviously these cars are not on the same level as the ZR1, but that can easily be fixed with some of the money you just saved. Throw a supercharger or turbo setup on any “lesser” Vette and you can easily trounce the ZR1 for much less money.
As for the image issue, well regardless of whether you’re in a ZR1 or modified C6 or Z06 everyone will still be saying the same thing….”Thats a nasty ‘Vette”. So why pay more for the slower car with the same image? Unless you are a serious collector, there is no real reason to buy a ZR1 even if you have the money to blow. It’s a great car, but you can do better for less money; so, like many other special editions I have seen, the ZR1 is a collector’s rip-off.
Here is more of what I mean: