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Mike Stevens | Jun 18, 2008

If there is a current international triumvirate of daily drivable performance car kings, undoubtedly you would have to name the Porsche 911 from Europe, the Nissan GT-R from Asia, and finally the Chevrolet Corvette from America.

Of course, these are just base models. In each, you have the most hardcore, the most focused variants which lie at the edge of streetability. These are their track-day specials. Porsche fired the first salvo with the release of the 911 GT2. The GT-R V-Spec is slated to debut in Paris at the end of the year. But, until then, we can expect to see plenty of head-to-head battles as the Porsche and the Corvette butt heads.

General Motors has finally released specifications and pricing for the Corvette ZR-1, and it is jaw-dropping. The car uses a 6.2L V8, similar to the LS3 seeing duty in a raft of other cars, but with the addition of a supercharger the power has been hiked to 476kW and an earth-moving 819Nm of torque.

The performance is similarly impressive. 0-100km/hr time in the high 3-second bracket. A quarter mile in the low 11's. A top speed of 330km/hr. The traction advantage from the Porsche's weight distribution means it has a faster 0-100km/hr time, but the higher power figure means the ZR-1 is slightly quicker down the quarter. Over Europe's more favoured span for their modern performance cars, the standing kilometre, one can only expect the ZR-1 to stretch that lead.

Of course, you have to pay to play. The price for the ZR-1 in the US will be a touch over $105,000 with the gas-guzzler tax, plus the options. Considering a BMW M3 is around $70,000, we're talking serious money although certainly not in the Porsche's class. Still, its pricing sounds right in-line with what the V-Spec will probably cost.

For those V8 diehards that can't wait for a taste, GM has also kindly released a video of the ZR-1 being made, which you can watch below.

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