WOT Four Years Ago: Corvette ZR1 Runs the ‘Ring, Shell Opens Another Hydrogen Fueling Station
June 27, 2008 – On this day four years ago, the then-new Corvette ZR1 beat the Nissan GT-R around the Nürburgring, an exotic-tuner boosted the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera to LP560-4 levels, a London tailor added their unique touch to the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, and Shell opened another hydrogen refueling station is California. Check out the stories WOT covered in the automotive world of four years ago below.
‘Ring War Continues: 2009 Corvette ZR1 Posts 7:26.4 — The 2009 Corvette ZR1 beat the 2009 Nissan GT-R’s Nürburgring lap time by at least 2.5 seconds, posting a 7:26:4 second lap time around the “Green Hell.” Chevrolet’s sports car was able to beat Godzilla thanks to its lighter weight and 638 hp, despite the Nissan having all-wheel drive. GM claims the ZR1 set the impressive lap time in stock production form wearing the original-equipment Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires, with factory emission control gear in place, and running pump gas. The ZR1 was also fitted with the necessary safety and communications equipment required to run the ‘Ring.
An Aston that’s into fashion: The N400 Kilgour Edition — If the Aston Martin V8 Vantage N400 wasn’t classy or flashy enough for you four years ago, the Kilgour Edition may have been your Aston of choice in 2008. Kilgour of Saville Row, a custom tailor, teamed up with the British automaker for a bespoke offering for the Kilgour fashion show in Paris that year. A Morning Frost Satin exterior color (a.k.a. white) over a Kilgour Midnight Blue interior with a polka-dot effect on the seats rounds out the custom touches. The N400 packs a 400-hp version of the 4.2-liter V-8 and the Sports Pack, which includes uprated springs and dampers, a stiffer rear anti-roll bar, and lightweight graphite-finished aluminum wheels. No word if Kilgour will repeat history with the all-new Aston Martin AM310 Vanquish when that model is released.
Edo Pushes the Lamborghini Superleggera to LP560-4 Limits — Edo Competition thought owners of the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera should be able to enjoy the same levels of power as owners of the new-for-2008 Gallardo LP560-4. To that end, Edo added larger intake boxes and a high-flow exhaust system including high-performance catalytic converters and electronically adjustable exhaust growl. A recalibrated ECU managed the increased airflow. Power increased 30 hp and 22 lb-ft of torque to an LP560-4 matching 552 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. Edo claimed the newfound power would lower the Superleggera’s 0-62 mph time to 3.7 seconds, only three-tenths of a second slower than the 2009 Gallardo LP560-4 we tested.
L.A. Gets Another Hydrogen Fueling Station Courtesy of Shell — Back in 2009, Shell added a combined hydrogen and gasoline fueling station in Santa Monica near the infamous I-405 freeway. The new hydrogen station became the 26th of its kind in The Golden State. At the time, California had the most fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) in the world, with 1.5 million combined miles traveled on hydrogen power. The state hoped the small steps would eventually lead to greater things like helping to reduce the pollution in the greater Los Angeles area. Today, automakers are still investing in fuel cell technology, with FCVs from Mercedes-Benz and GM still under development. The latter automaker opened a hydrogen fueling station near LAX airport a few weeks prior to the opening of Shell’s station. Both stations are still operating and serving Los Angelinos today.
By Jason Udy