The Brit with a job any car nut would happily hotwire and take for a joy ride, Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, has named the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 his Performance Car of the Year. This will likely surprise anyone who hasn’t seen his review of the 638-hp brute, since he’s never been shy about his dislike for American muscle-oriented cars.
But the ZR1 totally changed Clarkson’s mind and turned him into a strong believer. He gushes quite a bit about the car’s amazing power, handling, and ride comfort, not to mention its relatively reasonable price, at least compared to the Lamborghinis and Ferraris it competes with on the track. I’ll bet those Italian companies aren’t very happy about having to compete for customers with an American car these days (though even raving fan Clarkson admits the Corvette’s interior can’t compete with that of any of the usual exotics).
Clarkson’s certainly got lots of experience driving great cars, and he’s apparently figured out how to overcome his bias against American muscle, but he’s still a U.K. car journalist who gets to drive – and fuel up and repair – on a company tab and does a large share of his driving on a track at illegal speeds. What’s *your* favorite car of the 2009 model year, and why? Would you call it a “performance” car, or just a car?