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Coming Soon: The Mind Blasting Corvette ZR-1

The Corvette ZR-1 raises, at best, a polite eyebrow of interest on this side of the Atlantic. The Americans, on the other hand, have gone potty for it.

And you know what? This time, they're right.

In a nutshell, here's the deal. The ZR-1 has a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 doing 638bhp, and it weighs just 1518kg. It does 0-60 in 3.4, 0-125 in 10.3 seconds.

It tops out at 205. It has carbon brakes as standard. And it's not just a point and squirt machine. It has the current Nurburgring production-car lap record. Yup, faster than a GT-R or any Porsche. See why the Americans are excited?

We on the other hand have allowed ourselves to be hoodwinked by the fact that this is a supercar disguised as a regular £46-grand Corvette - a car with a steel frame and fibreglass panels.

This one costs £100,000 (about $120,000 in the U.S.) but for that you get an entirely different and very trick car: aluminium and magnesium frame, carbonfibre panels, magnetorheological adaptive suspension, the blower, titanium conrods, head-up display et cetera et cetera.

The performance is just sensational. The one gizmo it does without is a semi-auto box, and you have to cope with a mildly clunky manual shift. But you don't have to use it often because this engine is a hallucinogenic wall of torque.

The handling and grip do nothing to let the side down. In as much as a car so fiery can be amenable to a mutt like me, this one is. And anyway, you've got the well-tuned safety net of StabiliTrak (aren't the Americans great at hype? That's their name for what the boring Germans call ESP.)

I am very excited for the ZR-1, I can't wait to test one.

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