2019 ZR1 is ‘Biggest, Baddest Corvette Ever,’ Say YouTube Stars

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Everyday Driver provides a first and second opinion on the 2019 ZR1 in video bonus from YouTubers’ Corvette-focused film American Original.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to get a second opinion. If you’re unsure about something, getting another set of eyeballs on it may put your mind at ease. If you have even the tiniest shred of a doubt that the Corvette ZR1 is totally nuts in every way, the guys from the Youtube channel Everyday Driver give you a first and second opinion in this video bonus from their Corvette-focused film “American Original.”

Co-hosts Todd Deeken and Paul Schmucker pretty much deliver the same verdict: The ZR1 is bonkers. As Deeken puts it, the ZR1 is “the biggest, baddest Corvette ever.” It starts with the ZR1’s styling. The available high wing makes it look like a race car roared off of a track and onto public roads. Even the ZR1’s cooling system is crazy. The entire front end is basically an air intake to keep the car from overheating during hardcore performance driving. To ensure that the ZR1 doesn’t suffer from heat soak like the Z06, engineers stuffed it full of radiators – thirteen, to be exact.

corvetteforum.com Everyday Driver Tests the 2019 Corvette ZR1

Then there’s the ZR1’s engine. The supercharged 6.2-liter V8 generates 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers are eye-popping in their own right, but even more stunning when you consider the fact that they’re so far beyond the uber-powerful Z06’s specs.

corvetteforum.com Everyday Driver Tests the 2019 Corvette ZR1

When Deeken and Schmucker open up the LT5 on long and winding roads free of other drivers, it becomes even clearer just how over-the-top the ZR1 is. Schmucker says, “The throttle response on this car is speed limit, jail. You’re going the speed limit and now you’re in federal prison.” He almost winds up in a much worse place; the ZR1’s back end breaks loose…in fourth gear.

corvetteforum.com Everyday Driver Tests the 2019 Corvette ZR1

No matter how much the guys push it, the ZR1 seems to be capable of doing more. And willing. Its psychotic appetite for speed is impossible for Deeken to ignore. He says, “There’s a constant devil on your shoulder in this ZR1 going, ‘A little bit faster. It can take more.'”

Those limits are only going to get higher. The mid-engine C8 Corvette is coming and one of these days, it’s going to make the C7 ZR1 seem sane by comparison.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Texas State University, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism from Austin Community College as well. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including JK-Forum.com and Ford-Trucks.com, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram and Facebook to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

Derek can be contacted at [email protected]

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