It was way ahead of its time.
The Chevrolet Corvette is an American icon and has traditionally represented the pinnacle of American sports car development. These days, the C8 Corvette adds some exotic Euro flavor with its mid-engine layout and supercar styling, and the reveal of the new Z06 has made it abundantly clear that Chevrolet plans to take on the big dogs. But the Corvette wasn't always this good; it has taken years and years of research and development to get us to the C8, and there have been many cars along the way that have paved the road forward, one of which is up for sale at Hemmings Auctions. The name says it all: this 1990 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Experimental Active Suspension Prototype was used to test out active suspension systems, and is one of only four known surviving vehicles.
Listed for $89,500 on the Hemmings website, this is one seriously cool piece of Corvette history that forms part of a $28 million project with Lotus back in the early '90s to develop an active suspension system. This car was part of GM's master plan to develop the most sophisticated sports car in the world, which would later be known as the ZR1. The project saw 25 cars being delivered to the engineering department in Bowling Greene, in collaboration with the Lotus team and their extensive experience in Formula 1 racing. GM and Lotus made use of a computer-controlled digital/hydraulic active suspension system powered by a Delco computer to level out the car during hard cornering. The system could adapt to road conditions and manage lateral forces automatically.
25 of these cars were extensively tested across the globe, and famously ran at 175 mph for 24 hours, only stopping for fuel and a driver swap. The technology was almost a decade ahead of its time, but due to the high cost of the technology, the asking price of a Corvette fitted with the system would have easily reached $150k. This example has its own experimental chassis number and a fully functioning active suspension setup complete with the 3000-psi hydraulic system and Delco computer. This is a seriously cool piece of Corvette history, and deserves to go to a loving home, with a lumpy driveway. All you need is $89,500 and the willingness to collect in Miami, Florida.