Ferrari Checking Out Corvette ZR1
While we at TTAC aren’t big fans of the “anonymous source” reporting method, there are times when it’s that or nothing. Especially when we’re not reporting on “real” news of theoretical upcoming events (i.e. NY Times claiming that all major hurdles for the Chrysler-GM merger had been cleared a few weeks ago). So in this case, I have to cite an anonymous source. But I have it on very credible authority that Ferrari brass in Maranello have procured a ZR1 – not necessarily a purchase, possibly a car on loan from a Ferrari customer. The car is being shipped from New York out to Italy so they can have a look at Chevy’s $100,000 wondercar. Considering that it – at the very least – runs neck and neck with most of Ferrari’s finest cars, it seems like a wise choice. That being said, I’m not entirely sure what Ferrari hopes to learn from scoping out the ZR1. But hey, maybe Ferrari just wants to have one for collector purposes.
If all things were equal in this world and the big boy automakers were all able to sell $200,000+ cars Ferraris would quickly be put into the proper perspective. Trust me, if GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, were to make sports cars that could and would sell for the equivalent of a current Ferrari we would see some cars that would actually boggle our minds. There is NO engineering magic at Ferrari or even Porsche for that matter. These companies just have a different focus and play to a different part of the market. Those other much bigger automakers could R&D Ferrari or any other niche maker into the ground in short order. Now ask the question again why Porsche is buying up as much of VW as possible?
Its amusing to see so many Ferrari bashers here. I mean what crovette has which makes it superior to Ferrari? Speed? Speed is not the only thing which buyers judge about the super cars. No matter how fast corvette is, people will still buy a superior red hot Italian designed Formula 1 bred race car like Ferrari than a US built junk like corvette. Maybe the Ferrari guys ordered one corvette so that they can laugh on it in their spare time?
I suspect we're going to see a paradigm shift in spending patterns even in the Ferrari-buying stratosphere of tax brackets. Ferrari would be foolish not to benchmark the ZR1, GT-R, and GT, and ensure that their cars offer similar performance, at the very least, to the proletarian offerings. Poor timing on Ferrari's part to further increase their pricing scheme though.
Ferrari wouldn't be looking to buy chunks of GM. Rather that would be Fiat (Ferrari's parent company) and even then, no. The only auto company in good enough shape to buy pieces of GM, like the Vette, when and if GM goes under would be a German company. This is probably just yet another unfounded rumor, but if it is true, Ferrari would probably take a ZR1 to gain new ideas and new technologies (magnetic suspension anyone? Yes, that came from GM). The company is also at a loss of words to explain why the ZR1 shames all of their models (even the Enzo, which doesn't have carpet or electronic windows) for less than a fraction of the price. You can tell by looking at a Ferrari fanboy (notice I used the term fanboy instead of fan. Fans are smart. Fanboys are not) when you mention the ZR1 and watch how angry they get (you can bet your ass Ferrari could add a heads up display to the dash board like the Corvette's and Ferrari fanboys would be dumb enough to believe Ferrari invented the idea). This is not an attack on European cars (for all those European car fans that get so easily offended when someone insults Ferrari). Rather, it's just pointing out that Ferrari has become a decadent badge whore, and even though this is probably just a rumor, it wouldn't surprise me if it's true. Keep in mind, the Corvette is the antithesis of Ferrari (it's actually a good car for one, it's relatively cheap and doesn't burst into flames after being driven for a couple hours on a Summer day).