Chevrolet unveiled the 2019 Corvette ZR1 in Dubai yesterday, a 755-horsepower race-ready machine that’s now the fastest, most powerful production car the company has ever built.
Powered by a supercharged LT5 6.2-litre V8 that’s also good for 715 lb-ft of torque, the ZR1 is capable of a claimed top speed of 338 km/h (210 mph)—the only performance metric Chevrolet has revealed about the car.
The LT5 boasts a massive 105 hp and 65 lb-ft advantage over the Corvette Z06’s LT4 thanks to what Chevrolet calls a more efficient intercooled supercharger with 52 percent more displacement and the brand’s first-ever dual fuel-injection system, which combines direction injection with port injection.
That bigger supercharger meant a taller engine altogether, one that wouldn’t clear the hood; so, while the center carbon-fibre section looks like one piece, it’s actually separate, with the intercooler on top poking through, in a sort of retro “shaker hood” style. Chevrolet calls it a “halo hood” instead, though.
This also marks the first time the ZR1 has been offered with an automatic transmission, specifically an eight-speed offered as an option to the standard seven-speed manual.
Other key features are two aero packages. The standard car comes with a low rear wing that allows the car to reach its huge top speed and produces 70 percent more downforce than the Z06’s body. An optional two-way adjustable high wing is estimated to add 431 kg of downforce for increased high-speed stability and faster track lap times.
That high wing comes as part of a ZTK performance package that also brings a front splitter with carbon fibre end caps, Michelin Sport Cup 2 summer-only tires, and specific tuning for the chassis and Magnetic Ride Control suspension system to boost cornering grip.
Both of the rear wings are tied directly into the car’s chassis, as on the C7.R race car, for the best possible strength and stability. Notable among the car’s mechanical characteristics are its 13 various heat exchangers and radiators; and the fact it comes with a patent-pending active exhaust that’s rumored will, from the factory, spit flames.
Another option will be a Sebring Orange design package that combines Sebring orange paint with matching brake calipers and accent stripes for the splitter and rocker and, inside, orange seat belts, stitching, and bronze aluminum interior trim.
Chevrolet says the 2019 Corvette ZR1 goes on sale in spring 2018, with pricing to be announced closer to that time. The company expects to hand-build about 3,000 per year.