Corvette ZR1 vs Z06 [Which is Best?]

The days when the Chevrolet Corvette was at the height of its popularity often corresponded with the introduction of a bevvy of different engine and package combinations. When one looks back to the 1960s and early 1970s, a wide variety of combinations that are almost mythological can be found; the ZR-1 and the Z06 are the most renowned of them.

The 375-horsepower ZR-1 model made its debut in 1990, but it had a price tag that was over twice as much as that of the 245-horsepower standard coupe. In the C5 generation, which ran from 1997 to 2004, there was no ZR-1 variant; nevertheless, the Z06 performance model, which eventually reached 405 horsepower, sold for less than a 20 percent increase above the standard Corvette.

With the sixth-generation car, the c6 z01, what’s old is new again. Now its debut in 2005, the C6 platform has since given rise to the Z06 and ZR1 versions. The pessimistic might imply that the $105,000 ZR1 simply represents a serious profit center for General Motors, but another perspective is that this 638-hp supercar demonstrates faith in the Corvette logo and in Chevrolet’s potential to design and develop a car that is deserving of a price tag as high as that one.

ZR1 vs Z06 Comparison Chart

Engine capacity6.2 litre V87.0 litre V8
Horsepower638 bhp @ 6,500 RPMHorsepower: 505 bhp @ 6,300 RPM
Torque604 lb-ft @ 3,800 RPMTorque: 470 lb-ft @ 4,800 RPM

Which is better?

Based on the data zr1 & z06 specs table above, it is clear that the ZR1 has a quicker top speed. This was a no-brainer, and we all realised right from the off that it would move things forward more quickly. The interesting thing is, despite having much more horsepower, it is not that much quicker.

Even with its large back tyres, the Corvette has a very poor grip, which is most likely the cause of this problem. Carbon ceramic brakes with 6-piston front callipers and 4-piston rear callipers are standard equipment on the ZR1. Additionally, the ZR1 is equipped with a magnetic ride control system that is incredibly sophisticated, and this technology has been carried over to the C7 Z06.

The Z06 begins for $76 thousand. The very high level of performance that you receive with this purchase makes this an incredible bargain. The ZR1 has a starting price of $113 thousand. When compared to comparable automobiles that provide the same level of performance, this is still a good deal; nevertheless, the Z06 offers a better deal overall.
Is it justified to spend an additional $37k on the ZR1?

A camshaft and a supercharger are both items that may be purchased for $37k. It shouldn’t be too difficult to go up to 800 horsepower with those modifications and a few more like them. You may get a huge brake kit, wheels, and suspension with the money that is left over after purchasing those modifications. Above we discussed the corvette zr1 & z06 prices.

Engine Capacity Comparison

Engine7.0L V8Turbocharged 2.5 liter 4-cylinder or
Twin Turbocharged 3.3 liter V6
Highway fuel efficiency15 MPG17 MPG
start/ stop systemMonitorMonitor

The two vehicles’ engines represent the most notable distinction between them. The LT5 engine, however, takes the formula one step further. Because the engineers at Corvette gave the LT5 a bigger Eaton supercharger than the LT4, the ZR1 can consume 52% more air during each combustion cycle than the Z06 can. More differences come when comparing zr1 & z06 c7, c6 or c5s.


Car z06 zr1
Length 184.57 in. 177 in.
width 79 in. 79 in.
Wheelbase 107 in. 107 in.

Fuel consumption and performance comparison

Both of these Corvettes have blisteringly quick acceleration. The standard model can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.1 seconds and can reach 100 miles per hour in 9.0 seconds. The Z06 can do the same duties in only 3.6 and 8.3 seconds, respectively, while the ZR1 can reach 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and 100 mph in an impressive 7.6 seconds.

The ZR1 gets a pitiful 12 miles per gallon on average when driving in the city. On the interstate, the possible EPA rating of 20 mpg is a far more reasonable statistic. The Z06 gets a very impressive 21 miles per gallon in this area.

Maintenance comparison

The maintenance costs of both these cars are close to each other as these cars are of the same company and are sister cars. You can expect to pay around $600 per year for maintaining these cars if you drive nicely. In addition, the likelihood of a major repair being needed on a Corvette during that period is 20.36 per cent.

Check Out Corvette C6 vs C5

Reliability comparison

If you’re looking for a Corvette, the Z06 is your best bet for a few problems and maximum dependability. In terms of automobiles, it’s on the simpler side. And it has a balanced mass distribution, with about equal weight in the vehicle’s front and back halves. All ZR1 Corvettes have a reputation for being very flexible.


When compared to the level of performance you receive, the ZR1 and the Z06 are amazing values. You can easily out-build any ZR1 with the savings from purchasing a Z06. That’s why the Z06 is our clear winner in this matchup.

Is a Z06 faster than a ZR1?

The ZR1 still has the fastest top speed of any production Corvette, at an official 212 miles per hour.

What’s the most powerful Corvette?

The 2023 Z06 is equipped with the most potent naturally aspirated V8 ever installed in a production vehicle: a 5.5-litre, flat-plane crank V8 that generates an incredible 670 horsepower.

Magnus Sellen
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