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1970 Corvette ZR1 Review

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1970 Corvette ZR1 Review

Post by Dominic Mako on Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:12 am

In 1965 the Mako Shark II concept car, designed by Bill Mitchell and Larry Shinoda (father of the Boss Mustang) made its debut. This car would form the template for what was to become the C3 Corvette:



The actual C3 Corvette didn't go into production until 1967, with a complete redesign of both the interior and exterior. The same chassis and engine line-up was carried over though. It wasn't until 1970 that the 5.7L (350 cu.in) LT-1 engine option was offered, which brought a thumping 370 HP to the table. By 1971 all GM engines got reduced compression, which also reduced horsepower, thus making the 1970 model a very desirable one. The higher compression ratio of the 1970 engine would make it a ticking time-bomb on current low-octane fuel, but this one-year wonder hits the sweet spot for performance enthusists. A massive 7.4L (454 cu.in.) LS5 engine was also available, capable of a 390HP.

What we're really hungry for is the fabled ZR1. The ZR1 name actually comes from the GM RPO (Regular Production Option) package number. How rare is the 1970 ZR1? Only 25 were ever ordered that year. This package included the previously mentioned LT-1 motor, the M22 4-speed heavy duty transmission, J56 heavy duty power brakes, special aluminum radiator, special springs, shocks, and stabilizer bars.



Many luxury items were not even an option when ordering the ZR1, so you could forget about having a radio, air conditioning, or even power steering! Have you ever tried to muscle around a 3,300 pound car with no power steering? This is a performance oriented car though, so you'll just have to do away with those frills and enjoy the sound of an American small block V8. Folks, this was a street legal race car from the factory!



A lot of the hype surrounding Corvette racing might seem fairly recent, but in fact the 1970 Corvette saw success as well. Bob Lutz, who was the current Promotions Manager for GM of Europe and would someday hold vice president at both Ford and General Motors, saw potential in the low revving engine in an endurance race like Le Mans.

After two years of near misses, 1970 would be the year. Henri Greder and his fellow French teammate Jean-Pierre Rouget would pilot the yellow #2 Corvette to a GT class victory, finishing a full lap ahead of their Porsche counterparts.



A rare gem, a capable street legal car fitted with race spec parts, and a proven race track winner, it's no wonder Turn 10 selected this Corvette to be included in the roster. You may notice a significant gap before another Corvette is included in the game, and that's because this really was a high water mark for the model. By the end of the run for the C3, some models would not even produce 200 HP. That downward spiral would continue with the C4.

Lets take a closer look at the car included in Forza 4:

Price: 85,000cr
Class: C 358
HP: 370
Torque (ftlbs): 380
Weight (lbs): 3373
Distribution: 49%
Displacement: 5.7L
Drive: RWD
Speed: 3.8
Handling: 4.0
Acceleration:6.9
Launch: 6.3
Braking: 3.9
Gears: 4



Well, we don't get the 7.4L engine, but that's okay, because we're going to have some other benefits to play with in the ZR1 package. When compared to other muscle cars in FM4, that speed rating is a little on the low side, but you're going to see that easily fixed with a race transmission upgrade. Fortunately, we have something kind of special here. This is a front engined, rear-wheel driver car with a weight distribution to the back. The acceleration and launch numbers are good, but with the distribution they're made even more effective. Unlike most of the muscle cars, this car's weight is fairly manageable. We're likely just some tire upgrades away from making this a pretty formidable machine. I would recommend going for your tire width, some tire compound, and definitely the transmission, which unlocks the full potential of the speed available from this superb engine. I would not recommend going beyond B class with your upgrades. Below is the strategy I took.

Upgrades:
Spoiler:

Sport Tire Compound
Full rear and front tire width
Race Transmission
Race Driveline
Race Differential
Race Brakes
Race Springs and Dampers
Race front and Rear anti-rollbars
Race Chassis
Street weight reduction
Race Exhaust
Street Flywheel

Class: B 500
HP: 381
Torque (ftlbs): 391
Weight (lbs): 3,340
Distribution: 49%
Displacement: 5.7L
Speed: 6.3
Handling: 5.4
Acceleration: 7.0
Launch: 6.7
Braking: 5.7
Gears: 6

Benchmark numbers before and after:

0-60: 5.700 / 5.106
0-100: 16.100 / 14.729
Top Speed: 137.4 / 171.4
60-0: 142.3 ft / 110.2 ft
100-0: 394.4 / 303.4 ft
Lat. 60: 0.78 / 0.98
Lat. 120: 0.71 / 0.90

Without making any tuning changes, I ran three laps at Catalunya. My best lap time was 2:05.695, which would have been my best ever in B Class, but I barely clipped the last chicane and dirtied the lap. I think with some upgrades and tuning, this car can turn into a very formidable car for power tracks, but isn't so poor handling that you have to feel at a disadvantage on the turns. Some practice will give you a chance to have confidence in managing the car in turns, and then powering down the straights. I've added my car to the garage. Feel free to give it a run and post the time you were able to get at Catalunya in three laps, or post your build and let us know what you think of the car.



Thanks for reading and good luck!


Last edited by Dominic Mako on Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:30 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 1970 Corvette ZR1 Review

Post by RetPetty on Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:19 am

Very interesting choice there dom and ill definately give it a run at catalunya. Nice to get some history on the car too Smile

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Re: 1970 Corvette ZR1 Review

Post by Jimsalad on Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:30 am

Have you hit your head - never thought I'd see you reviewing a corvette!

Hopefully this will give me a chance to use a corvette online competitively - I've never properly tried to find the plateau for performance
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Re: 1970 Corvette ZR1 Review

Post by SnippetyOggy86 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:03 am

I have this car in B class and have raced it online. It performs pretty well but unfortunately the tune was bought off th SF and it didn't really suit me and so the car got but back my garage and it's been there ever since. looking at the way you've done it i may just give it a build/tune myself. Good read and nice to know a bit about the history of the car and its brief racing career, well done.

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Re: 1970 Corvette ZR1 Review

Post by Clark GriswoId on Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:10 pm

Nice review. I'll give it a whirl.

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Re: 1970 Corvette ZR1 Review

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:10 pm

I made three races in it... not a leaderboard car but really fun to drive and very nice paint! I love it! Smile

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Re: 1970 Corvette ZR1 Review

Post by slasher99999 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:01 pm

Dom likeng a Corvette? 2012 might happen afterall!

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Re: 1970 Corvette ZR1 Review

Post by Dominic Mako on Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:21 am

For my first review I wanted to step outside the box for something unexpected. There are a lot of cars where you might think "Why is this in the game?" but when you dig into the history and find out what makes the car unique or special, it gives you a new appreciation and maybe will encourage you to try them out more often.

I do think if this Corvette is given a proper tune and put onto the right track, it would be more than somewhat competitive. I'm hoping to get the chance to prove that somewhere along the way.

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Re: 1970 Corvette ZR1 Review

Post by CallMehDarkside on Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:47 am

good review, really enjoyed reading it, also really enjoyed driving the car, was very good on the more power tracks for me, beat my M1 on a few power tracks and held its own in the handling aspect. Great Job Dom

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Re: 1970 Corvette ZR1 Review

Post by Dominic Mako on Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:21 am

I'm going to remove this car from the club garage in about 1 week.

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Re: 1970 Corvette ZR1 Review

Post by Jimsalad on Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:34 pm

Used it in a few online races yesterday, felt really stable and smooth for a muscle car and was smoking all the competition in it.

I was expecting it to be a handfull but it's a blast
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Re: 1970 Corvette ZR1 Review

Post by Jimsalad on Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:35 pm

minim61 wrote:Used it in a few online races yesterday, felt really stable and smooth for a muscle car and was smoking all the competition in it.

I was expecting it to be a handful but it's a blast
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