2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 will be the new pace car at Indianapolis 500

Article by Christian A., on May 8, 2012

Don’t be surprised when you see a 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 serve as the pace car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 27. The Corvette ZR1, with an output of 638hp, will lead the starting field of the 96th Indianapolis 500 where it makes history as the most powerful production car ever to be a pace car at this race.

This is the 11th time that a Corvette is the Pace Car. It’s also the 23rd time for a Chevrolet to be a pace car at what’s regarded as "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." These are both considered as event records. What makes this event even more noteworthy is that the 2013 model year of the Corvette is the 60th anniversary of the model as well as its last year of production.

The amazing performance of the ZR1 comes from a supercharged, 6.2-liter LS9 engine that produces 638hp. When it comes to the use of carbon fiber, Chevrolet is the leader among all mass-production automakers. Chevrolet uses this lightweight material for structural components such as front fenders, hood, roof, front splitter, rocker panels and floor pans.

The ZR1 has a curb weight of 3,353 pounds and it features a power-to-weight ratio of only 5.2 pounds per horsepower.

In addition, the ZR1 comes with advanced technology like Magnetic Selective Ride Control, Launch Control system with Performance Track Management, a four-channel ABS system and Brembo carbon-ceramic disc brake rotors.

All these elements help in pushing the ZR1 to be the fastest Chevrolet ever built. It can accelerate from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and to reach a top speed of 205 mph. The ZR1 got through one lap at the Nurburgring' Nordschleife in just 7:19.63.

Chevrolet has had a long tradition of offering a dual cockpit for its models. Then there is the functionality, craftsmanship, and the use of quality materials which reinforces the guarantee of the performance delivering customers that premium experience. What’s more interesting though is the exterior where even a quick glance ensures that the Corvette ZR1 is easily recognizable.

In particular, the feature that is easy to identify is the hood that is made of carbon fiber. This same hood has a clear window, composed of polycarbonate, integrated to it. Because of this, it is fairly easy to see the top portion of its engine’s intercooler. The engine cover itself has, debossed on its front, the crossed flags logo of the brand with each side of the intercooler having the “LS9 SUPERCHARGED” lettering embossed on it.

Further, on the hood’s underside, one can observe the weave made of exposed carbon-fiber. This is the same material used for the front splitter, rocker molding, roof bow, and even the roof itself. In addition, in order to protect the components on the exterior, the brand utilized a glossy clear coat which is not only resistant against UV rays but can also prevent wear and yellowing.

There are other unique features in the Corvette ZR1 like the full-width spoiler in the rear which has the same color as that of the body and incorporates a stop lamp high-mounted on the center. Another distinct feature is the fenders in the front composed of carbon-fiber and made wider. It comes with the dual lower vents. Overall though, the features seen on the exterior were created in order to improve control for the driver and to have better stability at high speeds.

Press Release

2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 to Pace 96th Indianapolis 500

A 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 will lead the starting field of the 96th Indianapolis 500 to the green flag Sunday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With 638 horsepower, the Corvette ZR1 is the most powerful production car ever to pace the race.

This will be the 23rd time a Chevrolet has paced “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and the 11th time a Corvette is serving as the Pace Car. Both are event records. The 2013 model year will mark the 60th anniversary and the final year of production for the current generation Corvette.

“Corvette embodies pure performance, so the ZR1 is a perfect car to pace the most prestigious auto race in the world,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. “Chevrolet is a great partner of the Speedway, and we share in the excitement of the upcoming 60th anniversary of the iconic Corvette brand. It’s even more meaningful to see a Chevrolet pacing the field at Indy since Chevy has returned as an engine supplier for the IZOD IndyCar Series for the first time since 2005.”

“This is a truly momentous year for Chevrolet when it comes to performance, with our continued success on and off track, and especially with our return to the IndyCar Series, powering some of the fastest cars on the circuit,” said Jim Campbell, GM vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “I can’t think of a better way to mark the 60th Anniversary of Corvette than having it lead the starting field of the Indianapolis 500.”

A supercharged, 6.2-liter LS9 engine generating 638 horsepower helps to create the ZR1’s performance. Of all mass-production companies, Chevrolet is the leader in using carbon fiber. The lightweight material is used for structural components, including the front fenders, hood, roof, front splitter, rocker panels and floor pans. With a curb weight of 3,353 pounds, the ZR1 features a power-to-weight ratio of just 5.2 pounds per horsepower. The ZR1 also features advanced technology such as Magnetic Selective Ride Control, Launch Control system with Performance Track Management, a four-channel ABS system and Brembo carbon-ceramic disc brake rotors.

As a result, the ZR1 is the fastest Chevrolet ever produced, capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, and capable of reaching a top speed of 205 mph. The ZR1 lapped the famed Nurburgring’ Nordschleife (“north loop”) in 7:19.63.

The first Chevrolet selected as the Indianapolis 500 pace car was the 1948 Fleetmaster Six. The brand would go on to lead the racing pack more than any other manufacturer.

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