We have been waiting for months to see what GM had up its sleeve for the ultimate Corvette that would receive the ZR1 moniker, and we finally got a good look at it when a Road & Track cover accidentally revealed a few images and details of the vehicle.
Behind those gaping air intakes and beneath that carbon fiber hood beats the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1's 755-horsepower heart. The Porsche 911 GT2 RS better watch its back.
"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, and former boss of Holden.
Even so, you likely won't be able to match the ZR1's overall performance at its price, no matter how hard you try. From the most recent leak, we already had a pretty good idea what this vehicle would be: basically a Z06 with a huge wing and 750 horsepower thanks to a larger throttle body, bigger supercharger, better cooling, and more potent fuel injection system.
As the fourth ZR1 in Corvette history, the 2019 version is equipped with a direct- and port-injected, supercharged, 6.2-liter V8 engine, appropriately named the LT5. Bottom line: This new C7 ZR1 is the most powerful and fastest Corvette ever built.
Visually the ZR1 is the most aggressive of its breed, with intimidating new bumpers which feature large carbon-fibre aero.
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The new LT5 V8 makes most of its extra power gains over the old LT4 thanks to a 52-percent larger displacement supercharger.
For the first time, buyers have the option of an automatic transmission with the ZR1 - an eight-speed unit with paddle shifters - while a seven-speed manual is also offered. The latter is a first-ever on a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. Chevrolet didn't go into specifics but confirmed the model has a top speed in excess of 210 miles per hour (337 km/h).
On the exterior there are some obvious changes that help facilitate the ZR1's speed.
The Z06 Corvette copped some backlash when it was released due to problems with heat soak. The model also features a unique carbon-fiber "halo" hood and four new radiators.
Speaking of wings, a standard "Low Wing" delivers the highest top speed and delivers 70 per cent more downforce than the Corvette Z06's base aero package, while an optional "High Wing" is two-way-adjustable and offers maximum downforce for the fastest lap times.
The ZTK Performance Package will include a High Wing that is said to increase downforce by an additional 950 pounds (431 kilograms).
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Both of the ZR1's wings are tied into the chassis, like the Corvette Racing C7.R racecar, for strength and stability.
A new Sebring Orange Design Package will make it virtually impossible to ignore the new Corvette ZR1. The package also includes orange seat belts, orange contrast stitching, and bronze aluminum interior trim.
The ZR1 hasn't ditched its practical side in the pursuit of speed.
The cockpit will boast leather and faux-suede seat upholstery. GM has not announced pricing yet, although it will certainly be priced higher than the Z06, which starts at around $80,000.
Chevrolet says the new Corvette ZR1 goes on sale in spring of 2018.
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