Confirming what was revealed in the latest issue of Car and Driver this week, the monster machine advances Corvette’s supercharging legacy with a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. This is thanks to a more efficient intercooled supercharger system, which also has 52 percent more displacement than the one found in the Z06. Until today, the now-dethroned Z06 was the most race-ready ‘Vette on offer. This power plant is also the first one from GM to feature a dual fuel injection system.
All of this is hiding beneath the prominent carbon fiber cover, which the car’s hood cannot contain. Corvette also ups the heat exchanger count to 13 by adding four new radiators.
Managing the output is either a seven-speed manual (you’re welcome) or an eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission, which would be the first auto gearbox on a ZR1 ever offered. Corvette engineers told Digital Trends that the 10-speed gearbox found on the Camaro “doesn’t fit into [the Corvette’s] architecture.”
Power’s nice and all, but you have to be able to keep it on the track, let alone get it around a corner. Facilitating this is the 2019 ZR1’s bodywork tweaks, as well as two aerodynamic packages to choose from. The first is a standard rear low wing option, which allows the ZR1 to hit its “at least 210 mph” top speed. Even so, it still delivers 70 percent more downforce than the base aero package on the Z06. The high wing is your option to deliver the most downforce on the ZR1 — 60 percent more than the most winged-out Z06 available. The wicked wing can be tipped up to five degrees with some manual adjustment for drivers who wish to fine tune things at the track. Either option is paired with a front underwing, something of a first for Chevy.
Further helping things out in the handling department is an electronic limited sip differential, magnetic ride control, and performance traction management all included as standard. The same goes for the Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, making sure you can bring the ZR1’s heft to a stop consistently.
The larger wing is the centerpiece for the ZTK performance package, which gets you ready to race by including Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer ties, a front splitter with carbon-fiber end caps, and specific chassis and magnetic ride control tuning.
If you like orange, you’re in for a treat thanks to the Sebring Orange design package. This nets you the car’s debut Tintcoat exterior, along with orange brake calipers, rockers and splitter accent stripes, seatbelts, and interior stitching. As if you were gonna sneak this car past anyone on the down-low — this is the loudest Corvette in production history.
Behind the wheel, you’ll find the C7 Corvette’s familiar driver-focused layout, coupled with a Bose premium audio system and a performance data recorder. Creature comforts like leather seats trimmed with sueded microfiber can be heated or cooled, depending on your preferences, though we imagine the vented seats will see the most use. If that’s not hardcore enough for you, competition sports seats can be bolted in for the full experience.
Along with revealing a convertible version, Chevrolet announced that the ZR1 will start at $119,995 for the coupe, and $123,995 for the drop-top
The Corvette ZR1 will be ready to roll off dealer lots next spring.
Updated on 11-29-2017 by Alex Kalogiannis: Added pricing info for the coupe and convertible editions.