After countless months of speculation, spy photos, and someone leaking out the cover of this month's Car and Driver, Chevrolet has revealed the 2019 Corvette ZR1. This is the maddest Corvette that Chevrolet has ever built.
Beginning under the hood, the ZR1 packs an LT5 V8 engine. While carrying the same name as the engine found in the original ZR-1, the new ZR1 skips the dual-overhead cams found in the original LT5. Instead, Corvette engineers took the supercharged 6.2L V8 found in the Z06 and installed a larger Eaton supercharger that pumps in 52 percent more air into the engine. The LT5 also features direct and port fuel injection, upgraded crankshaft, dry sump lubrication, and a 4-inch throttle body (the largest ever fitted to a Corvette). The end result is action with 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. Chevrolet is keeping quiet the 0-60 mph time, but did say the ZR1 can reach a top speed of 210 mph.
Like the Z06, the ZR1 will be available with the choice of a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic. According to a report from Automobile, engineers tried to fit GM's new ten-speed automatic into the ZR1 but couldn't due to packaging issues with the Corvette's architecture.
Polarizing is the best way to describe the Corvette ZR1's styling, especially in the front with large air ducts. This is to help maximize cooling with each duct featuring a radiator and intercooler. The front fenders are slightly wider to make space for wider tires. Unlike the previous ZR1 with a window on the hood showing off the supercharger assembly, the new model makes do with a carbon fiber “halo” hood featuring vents and a shaker piece covering the supercharger.
The ZR1 shown in the photos provided by Chevrolet features the optional ZTK performance package which comes with an adjustable high-wing kit, front splitter with carbon-fiber end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and special tuning for the chassis and magnetic ride control system. The large rear wing is said to provide 60 percent more downforce than the Z06 with the optional Z07 package. The standard ZR1 sticks with a fixed, low wing that is said to deliver the highest top speed.
Those wanting to stand out further with their ZR1 can order the Sebring Orange Design Package. It includes a Sebring Orange Tintcoat for the exterior, brake calipers finished in orange, rocker panels and splitter featuring orange stripes; orange seatbelts and stitching for the interior; and bronze aluminum trim.
The Corvette ZR1 arrives at dealers next spring. No word on pricing, but we wouldn't be shocked if it begins over $100,000.
Press Release is on Page 2
2019 CORVETTE ZR1: RETURN OF THE KING
- The fastest, most powerful production Corvette ever retakes its supercar crown
DUBAI — The King is returning, stronger than ever.
Chevrolet today introduced the 2019 Corvette ZR1, a supercar that pushes Corvette’s performance legacy with the highest power, greatest track performance and most advanced technology in its production history.
“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. “Its unprecedented performance puts all other global supercars on notice that the ZR1 is back.”
The Corvette ZR1’s exclusive LT5 supercharged engine, which is rated at an SAE-certified 755 horsepower (563 kW) and 715 lb-ft of torque (969 Nm), is establishing a new benchmark in performance. Further, the ZR1 elevates Corvette’s track capability with two wind tunnel-honed aerodynamics packages, including an available High Wing that provides an estimated 950 pounds of downforce.
Most powerful ever
The ZR1’s LT5 6.2L V-8 engine advances Corvette’s supercharging legacy, which began with the 2009 sixth-generation ZR1 and continued with the 2015 seventh-generation Z06. The LT5 delivers the highest output ever for a Chevrolet production vehicle, thanks in part to a new, more-efficient intercooled supercharger system that offers 52 percent more displacement than the Z06’s LT4 supercharger. GM’s first dual-fuel-injection system, which employs primary direct injection and supplemental port injection, helps the LT5 achieve its record output.
Seven-speed manual and eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmissions are available with the LT5. It’s the first time an automatic transmission has been offered in a ZR1.
The 2019 Corvette ZR1’s aggressive appearance is driven by function, contributing to its distinction as the fastest production Corvette to date.
An all-new front fascia is designed to channel air for propulsion-system and drivetrain cooling, with four new radiators bringing the heat-exchanger total to 13. A special carbon-fiber “halo” hood is open in the middle to clear the LT5 engine’s supercharger/intercooler assembly. Additional features, including aero packages with stanchion-mounted wings, help push the ZR1 harder onto the track for more confident handling and faster lap times. Top speed of the ZR1 is over 210 mph.
“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.”
The ZR1 will offer two aero packages: a standard rear Low Wing, which delivers the highest top speed and helps generate up to 70 percent more downforce than the Z06’s base aero package, and an available two-way-adjustable High Wing that offers maximum downforce on the track for the quickest lap times — about 60 percent more downforce than the Z06 with the available Z07 Performance Package. All models also feature a Chevrolet-first, downforce-enhancing front underwing.
The adjustable High Wing is part of the new ZTK Performance Package, which also includes a front splitter with carbon-fiber end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer-only tires, and specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control tuning for greater cornering grip.
Both of the ZR1’s wings are tied into the chassis, like the Corvette Racing C7.R racecar, for strength and stability.
Sebring Orange Design Package
The Corvette ZR1 introduced today also debuted a dynamic, available Sebring Orange Design Package. Centered on its Sebring Orange Tintcoat exterior color, the package also includes orange brake calipers, orange rocker and splitter accent stripes, orange seat belts, orange interior stitching and unique, bronze aluminum interior trim.
The new design package complements the Corvette ZR1’s tradition of offering maximum performance with refinement and design distinction. The driver-focused, well-appointed cockpit includes standard leather-trimmed seats, with sueded microfiber inserts offered. Heated and vented Napa leather-trimmed seating is also available, as well as a carbon fiber-rimmed steering wheel, competition sport seats, Performance Data Recorder, Bose premium audio system and more.
The 2019 Corvette ZR1 goes on sale next spring, poised to take on the world’s best.
It’s good to be the King.