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Corvette ZR1 certifies its 638 horsepower
And 2009 CTS-V blisters the Nurburgring

MT, PR, Dubai, UAE - 14 May 2008.

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Corvette ZR1: 103.53 hp per 1000cc of the engine’s 6162 cc.

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year, the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1’s power was only estimated at a specific output of some 100 horsepower for each of its 6.2 litres of displacement.

Now it's official: GM Powertrain has completed SAE certification of the ZR1’s supercharged LS9 V-8 and the results exceed the estimate: 638 horsepower, or 103.53 horsepower per 1000 cc of the engine’s 6162 cc (376 cubic inches).

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - top view of the LS9 V8 engine.

Cover with “LS9 Supercharged” embossed on both sides.

The maximum torque of 819 newton-metre gives a specific output of 132.91 Nm per 1000 cc.

The LS9’s output is the most powerful automotive production engine ever manufactured by General Motors and enables the Corvette ZR1 to achieve a top speed of more than 322 km/h.

"Even with all that power, (the Corvette ZR1) has road manners that will allow our customers to enjoy it on the streets as a daily driver, and on the track," said Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper.

The Corvette ZR1, which goes on sale this summer, is complemented in the chassis by heavy-duty components, including a six-speed manual transmission with race-hardened gears and dual-disc clutch technology that delivers exceptional clamping power and lower inertia, as well as strengthened axle components.

Fuel economy testing has not been completed, but engineers are confident the ZR1 will be the most fuel-efficient 600-plus-horsepower car on the market.

LS9 high-performance features

  • Aluminium cylinder block with iron cylinder liners, finish-bored and honed with a deck plate installed.

  • Forged steel crankshaft with a nine-bolt flange.

  • Titanium conrods and forged aluminium pistons.

  • Stronger, rotocast cylinder heads with 55 mm titanium intake valves and 40.4 mm hollow-stem, sodium-filled exhaust valves.

  • Camshaft with 14.1 mm lift for excellent idle and low-speed driving qualities.

  • A dry-sump oiling system with 9.9 litres capacity.

  • Integrated oil cooler and piston-cooling oil squirters.

  • Intercooler cover visible through the hood window with unique blue accents and “LS9 SUPERCHARGED” embossed on the left and right sides.

GM says the LS9 engine is hand-built by specially trained technicians at GM’s Performance Build Centre in Wixom, Michigan. It is a unique, small-volume engine production facility that also builds the Chevrolet Corvette Z06’s LS7 engine and other high-performance GM production engines.

“Developing the LS9 involved more than simply striving for a great horsepower number. Endurance and reliability testing have shown the engine to be robust and low-maintenance, just like other engines in the small-block family,” said Sam Winegarden, executive director, engine engineering for GM Powertrain.

The key enabler of the LS9’s performance is the industry’s first production application of a new, positive-displacement Roots-type supercharger that has a unique four-lobe rotor design. Its design promotes quieter and more efficient performance, while the large, 2.3-litre displacement ensures adequate air volume at high rpm. Maximum boost pressure is 10.5 psi (0.72 bar). It is teamed with an integrated charge cooling system that reduces inlet air temperature for maximum performance.

“The combination of large displacement and the new, four-rotor design broadens the effective range of the supercharger, allowing the engine to make more power at lower rpm and sustain it throughout the power band,” said Winegarden.

A raised hood provides adequate clearance for the LS9, while a polycarbonate window in the hood provides a view of the engine beneath it.

Cadillac CTS-V - Still with the LS V8 engine and performance, but moving up, more in luxury than in power terms, the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V promises other achievments. In testing at Germany’s Nurburgring, it completed a lap of the legendary Nordschleife in 7:59.32 minutes. It appears to be the fastest ever publicly documented timing for a production sedan.

2009 Cadillac CTS-V on the Nurburgring.

2009 Cadillac CTS-V on the Nurburgring.

Cadillac is nearing the completion of testing of the limited-edition high-performance CTS-V. John Heinricy, GM Performance Division executive and an acclaimed racing driver, piloted the CTS-V through its sub-8 minute lap. The car itself was equipped exactly as planned for consumer production.

Estimated at 550-hp, the CTS-V is at the moment going through the final stages of intensive testing and development. One of the realistic objectives of the Cadillac team is to make the CTS-V the world’s fastest production sedan, as a part of the overall goal to make the V-Series Cadillac’s ultimate expression of performance and technology. More updates will be released as testing is finalized, including the car’s certified SAE power ratings and acceleration specifications.

The eight-minute mark has long been recognized as a major Nurburgring milestone, reserved for race cars and the fastest exotic sports cars. While there’s no single official repository for Nurburgring data from private test sessions, numerous reputable websites and publications report lap times from race teams, automakers and independent sources.

The new 2009 CTS-V includes a new version of Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension and the 6.2-liter Supercharged V8 engine (LSA version), with a relatively smaller supercharger capacity than the 2.3-liter of the LS9 version of the Corvette ZR1.

For the first time, CTS-V will include the choice of 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions, with the new automatic sporting steering wheel-mounted shift buttons.

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