Dubai is probably the last place in the world where you would expect the Corvette ZR1 to make its long-awaited debut, but Chevrolet must have had a legitimate reason for picking the ongoing 2017 Dubai Motor Show to unveil the fastest and most powerful production ‘Vette it has ever made.
“The King is returning, stronger than ever,” says the press release, and the ZR1 manages to live up to that statement thanks to an exclusive 6.2-liter supercharged V8 LT5 engine that develops a mighty 755 horsepower (563 kilowatts) at 6,300 rpm and an immense maximum torque of 715 pound-feet (969 Newton-meters) at 4,400 rpm. In order to achieve the staggering output, Chevy’s engineers developed a dual fuel injection system, which represents a first for General Motors.
To please both worlds, the company with the bowtie emblem will sell the 2019 Corvette ZR1 with a choice between a seven-speed manual (with active rev match) and an eight-speed automatic. It’s the first time in the ZR1’s prolific existence when it’s available with an ‘auto box. A new carbon fiber "halo" hood had to be developed to help cool the uprated engine generating the highest output ever seen in a road-going Chevy production car.
There’s more to the flagship Corvette than its powerful engine as the ZR1 has also gone through a series of aerodynamic upgrades compared to the previous range topper, the Z06. Customers will be able to choose from one of the two aero packages: standard Low Wing and optional two-way-adjustable High Wing. If you’re after the highest top speed possible, you will have to go with the Low Wing configuration as that will enable the ZR1 reach more than 210 mph (338 kph). Despite featuring the base aero settings, the Low Wing-enabled Corvette ZR1 still generates up to 70 percent more downforce than the aforementioned Z06.
If you’re after blazing quick laps on the track, go for the High Wing setup that boasts 60% more downforce (at an estimated 950 pounds) than the Z06 fitted with the Z07 Performance Package. Regardless of selection, both ZR1 flavors will benefit as standard from a front underwing. Selecting the High Wing means you’ll be getting the optional ZTK Performance Package, which also encompasses a front splitter benefitting from carbon fiber end caps. The kit also brings special tuning of the chassis and Magnetic Ride Control, along with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer tires.
Those willing to reach deeper into their pockets can order the new Sebring Orange Design Package adding an assortment of orange accents combined with the main Sebring Orange Tintcoat paint. The orange theme continues on the inside for the seatbelts and the upholstery stitching, while a bronze aluminum trim rounds off the changes.
Chevy says the Corvette ZR1 will go on sale next spring, without revealing how much it's going to cost. Expect to pay considerably more than the Z06’s starting price of $79,495 MSRP.
Gallery: 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1
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.