As a teenager, have you ever lost to a senior citizen? That’s probably how
Dodge SRT feels right now, as its 640 horsepower Viper was just bested by the aging, and soon-to-be-discontinued Corvette ZR1 around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the latest Motor Trend head-to-head comparison test.
When SRT pulled the sheet off the new Viper earlier this year, both fanboys and the media at large immediately began comparing it to the Corvette ZR1 spec sheet. As the Viper’s natural rival, the range-topping Corvette seemed to be the base Viper’s mirror image on paper. But on the track, it was quickly discovered that the ZR1 was the better beast.
With the top recorded speed of 140.4 mph to the Viper’s 138.4 mph, the Corvette ZR1 performed an average of 2.1 seconds quicker per lap over the V10-powered SRT. But here’s something even more significant: driver Randy Pobst set a new Laguna Seca lap record in the ZR1 with a time of 1:33.70, while the Viper’s best time was 1:35.77, proving once again that there is absolutely nothing that provides more performance for your dollar than a Corvette.
What really gave the aging ZR1 the advantage here were the better carbon ceramic brakes, the superior magnetic ride control suspension, and sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires. Of course, with the impending ACR version of the new Viper, we could have a new champion… to which the C7 Corvette will deliver an answer, as will the new Z06 and ZR1 models, renewing the rivalry.