With a supercharged 638 horsepower and a Ferrari-threatening zero-to-60 time of less than four seconds, there are few performance bargains quite like the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – even with an MSRP hovering just over $100,000. It's the cream of the Corvette crop, a "halo" car in whose aura the rest of the range basks. But for the first time ever, Chevrolet is now offering incentives on it.
Sales incentives are usually used to clear out excess stock of high-volume cars – not low-volume, 205-mph sports cars. But with the model year ending and more than 500 2010 ZR1 examples languishing in showrooms – plus 11 2009 versions still unsold – Chevrolet has decided to offer zero percent financing or $3,000 cash back.
This amount may be impressive on a $30,000 Malibu, but probably isn't quite as appealing on a car that can run more than $130,000, depending on options. For the 2009 ZR1, Chevrolet is extending the cash back offer to $5,000. Better, but probably still not enough to make on-the-fence ZR1 buyers rush to their local dealer.
The real deal here may be the zero percent financing. According to AutoTrader's auto loan calculator, $100,000 financed for 60 months at a typical interest rate of 6.5% would result in a monthly payment of $1,956.61. Dropping the interest rate to zero percent provides a lower, though still considerable, monthly payment of $1,666.67. That means a savings of $289.94 per month, which over 60 months totals a whopping $17,396.40.
After a well-received 2009 debut, it's hard to believe love has faded for the ultimate Corvette, but it's likely that the most-interested buyers have already taken the plunge, leading to a steep decline in sales. This, coupled with the economic recession, means the ZR1 is having a tough time finding new takers.
With supply outstripping demand and incentives bringing down the price, that will affect resale values too. This six-figure 'Vette may soon become a five-figure steal.