After being leaked out earlier in the week, Chevrolet has formally taken the cover off the 2019 Corvette ZR1 at the Dubai Motor Show. This beastly new ‘Vette is rightfully the fastest Corvette ever thanks to its 755 horsepower LT5 V-8 under the hood. Indeed, the King has returned.
“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 notice Reuss is referring to will be delivered via two elements. First and foremost is the new supercharged 6.2-liter LT5 V-8 under the ZR1 hood. Obviously based on the Z06’s LT4, this version has a supercharger bolted on it that spins 52 percent more displacement than the Z06 engine. The added air is pairing with a new dual-fuel injection system that combines direct injection and port injection; a first-time application in a GM engine.
With more air and fuel to play with, the LT5 is SAE rated at 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. That power will flow through Corvette’s well-known Tremec TR7070 seven-speed manual gearbox or an optional eight-speed automatic. This marks the first time an automatic has been offered on the coveted ZR1.
The added power has required the Corvette team to take a serious look at the car’s aerodynamics to keep it firmly planted on the tarmac. So, the second element of notice here is the added aero work. 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.
Trophy buyers will likely opt for the base aero package, which includes a Low Wing design on the rear. Hard-core enthusiasts will want to opt for the optional High Wing, which is adjustable and 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 ZR1’s also feature a 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.
Chevrolet is also announcing a new 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.
Chevy says the 2019 Corvette ZR1 will go on-sale next spring.