Chevrolet introduced the highest-performing Corvette in history over the weekend with the unveiling of the 2019 ZR1. Chevy says the new Vette sets a performance benchmark with its unparalleled track presence, powerful engine, and other advanced technologies.
“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, General Motors. “Its unprecedented performance puts all other global supercars on notice that the ZR1 is back.”
Supercharging has been synonymous with the Vette for nearly a decade, beginning with the sixth-generation in 2009. The new Corvette ZR1 continues that trend with an engine that boasts an intercooled supercharger system with 52 percent more displacement than the Z06’s LT4 supercharger. The ZR1’s LT5 6.2L supercharged V8 is the most powerful production Chevy engine yet, complete with 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft. of torque. The engine also features GM’s first application of the “dual-fuel-injection system,” which employs direct injection (primary) and port injection (secondary).
The engine is paired to either a seven-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission, the latter being a first for the ZR1. Top speed, interestingly enough, is over 210 mph – but it’s not just the engine that makes that happen. The 2019 Corvette ZR1 is nothing short of an aerodynamic masterpiece.
The newly designed front fascia serves to redirect air for engine and drivetrain cooling. There are four new radiators for a total of 13 heat exchangers, while the carbon fiber “halo” hood provides an opening for the supercharger and intercooler assembly. Two different aero packages enhance the new ZL1 on the track, the first being the standard rear Low Wing. This provides 70 percent more downfornce than the Z06’s base aero package and returns the highest top speed. The second is an available two-way-adjustable High Wing for maximum downforce – about 60 percent more than the Z06’s Z07 Performance Package – to return the quickest lap times.
All variants of the new ZR1 feature a Chevrolet-first, downforce-enhancing front underwing. All wings have a design similar to the Corvette Racing C7.R racecar, meaning they are integrated with the chassis for strength and stability.
“As the highest-performing Corvette ever, the ZR1’s design supports its capability in every way,” explained Kirk Bennion, Exterior Design Manager. “The new wings, for example, help generate more downforce without adding drag, enhancing road holding and top speed.”
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 Magnetic Ride Control.
The 2019 Corvette ZR1 in the photos is decorated with the Sebring Orange Design Package. Naturally, the package outlines a number of items in orange, including the brake calipers, rockers, and seat belts, among others. Drivers will also find unique orange stitching, bronze aluminum trim, and leather seats with suede microfiber inserts; optional are the heated and vented Napa leather seats.
Pricing & Availability
The 2019 Corvette ZR1 goes on sale next spring. Pricing has not been announced.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.