2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is already proving it’s the real deal

The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 may not be on sale yet, but it’s already proving its performance credentials. The monster ‘Vette set a lap record for production cars on the Grand West Course at Virginia International Raceway, lapping the 4.1-mile course in 2 minutes, 37.25 seconds, and beating rival Ford’s GT supercar.

The record-setting car was equipped with a harness bar, racing seats, and five-point harnesses for safety, but was otherwise stock. The car was a ZR1 coupe (a convertible will be available as well) with the eight-speed automatic transmission (Chevy will also offer a seven-speed manual) and ZTK Performance Package. The package adds a larger carbon fiber rear-wing spoiler, front splitter, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer tires, and special suspension tuning.

The ZR1 is powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that produces a titanic 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. Chevy claims the supercharger is more efficient than any of its previous systems. The ZR1 also boasts 13 radiators to keep everything cool during aggressive driving.

At VIR, all of this came together in a supercar-stomping show of force. The ZR1 beat the lap record set just days before by the Ford GT, a purebred supercar that costs around $450,000 (the ZR1 starts at $122,990 with the ZTK package). The Chevy lapped the track 1:37 seconds faster than the Ford. The new lap record was set a few days after Ford GTs beat Corvettes in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, so you could say Chevy got itself a little payback.

Besides beating eternal rival Ford, the ZR1 topped the Dodge Viper ACR’s 2:40.02 lap time. In a clear demonstration of what 150 more horsepower and more aggressive aerodynamic aids can do, the ZR1 also obliterated the 2:39.77 time of the Z06, the previous top-dog Corvette. Not bad for a car with an automatic transmission.

If today’s Corvette is this quick around a track, we can only imagine what the rumored mid-engined ‘Vette will be like. Moving the engine from the front to the middle of the car offers numerous performance benefits, which is why Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren like to do it. But considering the blistering speed of the ZR1 (not to mention the Z06), does Chevy even need to bother with a mid-engined Corvette?


Chevrolet’s 2020 Corvette gets supercar specs and tech without the price

Chevrolet completely reinvented the Corvette Stingray for the 2020 model year. While the first seven generations of the car came with a front-mounted engine, the eighth-generation model switches to a mid-engined layout.

Toyota RAV4 vs. Honda CR-V: The differences and the similarities

The Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V are two of America's best-selling vehicles. They're safe, reliable, and spacious. Read on for our direct comparison of the two, which highlights design, technology, performance, and fuel economy.

Camaro vs. Mustang: Differences and similarities between two premier pony cars

The Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang are two of America's favorite sports cars. In this comparison piece, we highlight the main differences between the two machines when it comes to their design and performance, among other factors.

The 2020 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R remains hilariously hardcore

The GT500 may be the new kid in town, but the Shelby GT350R offers the purest driving experience of any Mustang. The hardcore model borrows some tricks from the GT500 for 2020, Ford claims.

2020 Honda Civic hatchback keeps the manual-transmission faith

The 2020 Honda Civic hatchback was treated to a subtle exterior facelift. Honda also expanded the availability of both the manual transmission and 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

2019 Audi E-Tron is the first electric car to earn top IIHS safety rating

The 2019 Audi E-Tron is the first electric car to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating. But the IIHS hasn't tested the Audi's two main rivals -- the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X.

UPS partners with TuSimple to test self-driving semi-trucks

UPS has been carrying truckloads of goods in self-driving semi-trucks since May. The vehicles are being tested in Arizona routes between Phoenix and Tucson for better service and efficiency for UPS delivery.

Vintage Electric readies the Roadster Speed Merchant, a souped-up ebike

Vintage Electric introduced the latest in its line of retro-styled premium performance ebikes for fall 2019. The Vintage Roadster gets styling cues from board track racing motorcycles and its power from a 1,123-watt battery.

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are some of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.

Infiniti’s Formula One-inspired Project Black S may enter production

The Infiniti Project Black S is a Q60 luxury coupe enhanced with a Formula One-inspired hybrid powertrain. The 563-horsepower car can sprint from zero to 62 mph in under four seconds, according to Infiniti.

Toyota raises the curtain on 2020 Corolla Nightshade Editions

The 2020 Toyota Corolla SE sedan and hatchback with a CVT (continuously variable transmission) will be available in Nightshade Editions, joining the Toyota 4Runner, Camry, Highlander, and Sienna with the blacked-out trim style option.

Here’s why your Uber or Lyft car always seems to be a Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry is one of the most popular cars sold in the United States, and not just with retail buyers. Uber and Lyft drivers love the Camry for its reliability, according to a new report.

The electric Volkswagen ID Buggy makes even Ferrari drivers stop and stare

Volkswagen traveled to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to introduce an electric dune buggy named ID Buggy, and Digital Trends drove it in California. It's a modern-day tribute to the 1960s Meyers Manx.

Infiniti will take on BMW and Mercedes-Benz with its own crossover coupe

Launching in 2020, the Infiniti QX55 will be a crossover coupe similar to models that have proven successful for BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Infiniti said the QX55 will have styling influenced by its early 2000s FX.