2019 Corvette ZR1 will have 755 horsepower


By Casey Williams –

No Corvette model is more revered than ZR1, which has meant the highest-performance version of America’s iconic sports car for decades. Check the 405 horsepower C4 and 650 horsepower C6 editions. But, with the advent of the C7 generation Z06 model, with 650 horsepower, there didn’t seem to be much headroom for more performance. Anybody who truly believed that was shown the door on Nov. 12 as the 2019 Corvette ZR1 debuted in Dubai.

Let’s skip all of the pleasantries and get to the digits. The new LT5 supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine delivers…wait for it…755 horsepower and 715 lb.-ft. of torque! That’s by far the most powerful factory-delivered Corvette ever and allows the supercar to top 210 mph. The ZR1 will be available with a seven-speed manual or eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission.

“I’ve never driven a Corvette like this before, and nobody else has either, because there’s never been one like this before,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain for GM. “Its unprecedented performance puts all other global supercars on notice that the ZR1 is back.”

To handle all of the car’s power, stylists re-worked the Corvette’s aerodynamics and air inlets. Clamped to the back is a door-sized High Wing that provides 950 pounds of downforce to keep it planted on the track. A new front facia channels air for drivetrain cooling. There are a total of 13 heat exchangers. Taking a cue from the C6 ZR1 is a carbon-fiber “halo” hood that’s open in the middle to clear the supercharger/intercooler assembly.

“As the highest-performing Corvette ever, the ZR1’s design supports its capability in every way,” said Kirk Bennion, Exterior Design manager. “The new wings, for example, help generate more downforce without adding drag, enhancing road holding and top speed.”

Choosing a ZR1 is about choices. Owners can also choose a standard Low Wing, which enables the highest top speed. All models wear a Chevrolet-first, downforce-enhancing front underwing. The adjustable High Wing is part of the ZTK Performance Package that also includes a front splitter with carbon-fiber end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer-only tires, and Magnetic Ride Control tuning to enhance cornering grip.

Designers also finessed the car for fashion. It’s available in the Sebring Orange Design Package with orange metallic paint, brake calipers, rocker/splitter stripes, seat belts, and interior stitching. There’s also bronze aluminum interior trim. Standard leather-trimmed seats with sueded microfiber inserts add class – as do optional heated/ventilated Napa leather seats, carbon fiber-rimmed steering wheel, competition sport seats, Performance Data Recorder, and Bose premium audio.

There’s much evidence to suggest the C8 Corvette will be mid-engine and raise the performance envelope even higher. If this is how the front-engine car is to go out, it will go out as King of the Hill! Sales commence next spring.



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