The Pussycat That Roars

A 380-horse, $50,000 Corvette dazzles the motor critics

Although Detroit's automakers have designed and built every type of car imaginable in the past 90 years, they have never produced a world-class sports car that could match a Porsche or a Ferrari.

That may be changing. General Motors will roll out its $50,000 Corvette ZR1 in September, and the automotive trade press is already gushing about the car with the sort of enthusiasm it usually reserves for $150,000 European exotics. "We have finally driven the ZR1 Corvette," raves Automobile magazine. "And without equivocation we can pronounce it the fastest and finest high- performance automobile America has ever produced."

It is...

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