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Performance buying guide

With so much emphasis on safety, fuel economy and emissions these days, you might think this is a bad time for performance cars — but nothing could be further from the truth. Clean, efficient engines extract more power from each drop of fuel while modern safety gear is designed to ensure that cars go where they are pointed. Today's performance cars are quicker and sharper than ever, and few suffer from the mechanical frailty that plagued past generations of hot-rod rides. In this 2017 list you'll find both performance vehicles (including performance-oriented daily drivers and high-powered versions of mainstream cars) as well as luxury sports cars that coddle as well as thrill.

Category: Performance Cars | Luxury Performance Cars | Luxury Sports Cars

With so much emphasis on safety, fuel economy and emissions these days, you might think this is a bad time for performance cars — but nothing could be further from the truth. Clean, efficient engines extract more power from each drop of fuel while modern safety gear is designed to ensure that cars go where they are pointed. Today's performance cars are quicker and sharper than ever, and few suffer from the mechanical frailty that plagued past generations of hot-rod rides. In this 2017 list you'll find both performance vehicles (including performance-oriented daily drivers and high-powered versions of mainstream cars) as well as luxury sports cars that coddle as well as thrill.

Category: Performance Cars | Luxury Performance Cars | Luxury Sports Cars

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performance & sports car videos

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 First Drive

Edmunds Senior Writer Carlos Lago reviews the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. With 755 horsepower, 715 pound-feet of torque, and a 212 mph top speed, the ZR1 delivers supercar performance. But is its radically powerful V8 too much to handle? Watch as we drive this mega-powerful Corvette around the track at Road Atlanta to find out.

Transcript

With 755 horsepower the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette zr1 is the most powerful Corvette ever it's also the most technologically advanced behind me are the rolling s's at Road Atlanta and we're here to see if we can reach to the supercar levels of performance afforded by this thing's massive power big tires and the tall wing on the back after that we'll take to the streets to see if a car this powerful can behave itself in public this is a monster of a car I've had some brief track opportunities moving this morning to get used to the pace of this machine which is phenomenal we're gonna warm up as we get out to the road Atlanta and sort of build up to the pace that this car can operate at now initially when you hop in this car you have this shrine to the engine right above you you see the line of the hood it kind of dominates the center of the view you can see over it it doesn't affect visibility but it's immediately obvious and that kind of speaks to what makes this car special it's a monster of an engine listen to that [Music] that is tremendous tremendous acceleration and incredible power but what I finding so far my brief time here at the Atlanta is that everything else in the car is rut has risen to match hurt me while I lay into it on the back straight look you know 150 mile-an-hour indicated we're going to ease up a little bit on it because I need to focus on talking rather than driving but like I was saying the attributes of the rest of the car the steering the braking capability the grip every system of this car is riding to the same level of the power and I think that's what makes it really impressive initially this is undoubtedly a mega mega fast car but it's one that doesn't terrify you with its performance potential there's a level of electronic sophistication that is unparalleled at this price point but it's hard not to get you know totally slipped away by the power of this engine so that's why I keep coming back to it this car has an electronically controlled limited slip differential it has shocks filled with magnetically responsive fluid that can react faster to inputs and everything this car has a super sophisticated stability control system that teaches you how to drive it quick but also makes you go faster we haven't even gotten into exploring it yet because the limits of this car are so high that frankly it takes a while to grow into it but [Music] I think what's impressive about this car is despite how fast it is it is approachable you can buy this car to track dates with it and grow with it as a driver and as an owner I think that's a really special [Music] because you will never be more talented than this car is fast ever unless you are a racing driver casually grazing under 50 miles an hour on this straight okay I'm just going to enjoy driving this now [Music] [Applause] [Music] this particular Corvette zr1 comes with the cars track performance package a lot of those changes happen underneath the sheet metal but one of the big differences that is immediately obvious is this giant carbon fiber wing now the way this thing is mounted is actually into the structure of the vehicle and it makes you know loading the rear hatch a bit more difficult but we're assuming that's okay if you're looking for the track performance this thing delivers also giving you that performance are these Michelin Pilot Sport cup tires which are basically track oriented tires that you can drive on the street but as we wake our way to the front of the thing what really matters is what's under the hood that's right there's actually a hole in the hood of this thing and that's because this engine is so tall it's tall because it has a larger supercharger and a bunch of added cooling on it to help it you know keep at the right temperature the supercharger is way larger than the one on the zo six and it has a more cooling capacity and the downside is it's taller so it pops literally through the hood the cool thing is from the top you can actually see this shake when you're looking at it from you know a camera from the top of the vehicle this all makes for 755 horsepower making this the most powerful Corvette ever now what's important about that is this not just the power but likewise everything in the car has to be built to accommodate and be able to drive to the level of speed this thing can develop that's why you had the massive cooling so I had the aerodynamics and that's why I had the electronic sophistication inside [Applause] we had a lot of time to take this car on the track yesterday and I've had the night to think about things Matt today two crews on the road and see how this extreme performance machine deals with the sort of more civil minded stuff of street driving the track impressions remain this thing is unquestionably one of the most capable cars you can get from a dealer these days a lot of that's besides the point now because we're on the street we have speed limits they have the ever-present threat of law enforcement around every corner so the question is what does this car feel like in public when you slow this car down it feels like a more powerful Corvette you don't get much tram lining from these big wheels though we as the front end doesn't want to follow grooves in the pavement it is louder it is a little firmer but it's certainly livable on a day to day basis that's surprising for a vehicle of this capability normally these track oriented cars are so hardcore that you wouldn't want to drive them to the racetrack but let's face it you spend more time driving to the track than you do on the track and the fact that this thing works well in both disciplines is really impressive I can also dial everything back and cruise and not feel like I'm getting punished for driving a hardcore track machine that's a that's a really nice accomplishment that's something that you won't find in cars that are this fast and costs maybe double this much the engine in this car dominates the entire experience you can't miss the engine and the whole friend this car is sort of a shrine to it the way it pops out of the hood the way it's covered with coolers around the sides it is the experience of this car and that does make driving this thing special and also the fact that it doesn't look half bad either in fact I think it has some of the coolest looking wheels currently available on a new car this car as we mentioned this car has the track package the track package on this car gives you what they call competition bucket seats which are a little wide for my tastes but I'm you know not the widest person in the world this automatic transmission works well I mean there's so much torque again out of this engine that it can be very smooth and almost imperceptible its clunky on occasion I think I'd might opt for the manual although Chevy tells me about 80% of its customers will go for the automatic I don't think they're gonna be disappointed and that's gonna be the faster transmission drag strip on the street - and on the racetrack man it was a little bit more satisfying to my taste though we've talked about the exhaust I have it set in the track setting let's quiet it down a little bit so you can hear the difference now I've set that separately from everything else so let's put it stealth what happened to the engine sound that's pretty that's pretty amazing man stealth is really stealth and then go back to track Wow actually a really big difference that's that's pretty great the Corvette has always been a strong value proposition and nowhere is that more evident than this zr1 giving you a nearly unbeatable track performance per dollar now the nice thing is on the road this doesn't feel like a ragged edge track machine either you could genuinely drive it every day the compromises are few and that's what makes this car so special if you like what you see keep it tuned right here and be sure to visit Edmunds.com [Music]

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