2019 Corvette ZR1 Drive Review: 755 Horsepower of American Excess
Corvette ZR1 is an insane monster of a car, and there is no better way to send off the front-engine Corvette than that.
Big changes are on the horizon for Corvette. After all, the new C8 is coming, you know it, I know it, and General Motors knows it. It is set to be the first ever mid-engine Corvette, bringing to fruition something that Zora Arkus-Duntov, the “Father of the Corvette,” put into motion over 60 years ago.
However, despite all of the concepts and design studies that General Motors has experimented with, the Corvette has always had the engine in the front, the transmission behind it, whether it be directly, or by torque tube, and power sent to the rear wheels.
Well, after nearly 70 years, the switch to the mid-engine layout is here, and Chevrolet has given one hell of a send off tribute to the front-engine Corvette. The latest and last C7 model is here, it’s called the ZR1, and it is absolutely insane.
What is It?
It’s the most powerful production car ever built by General Motors, featuring a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine, dubbed LT5, that produces 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft of torque. That mega motor can be paired to either a 7-speed manual transmission, or an 8-speed automatic, which sends power to the rear wheels via an electronically-controlled limited slip differential. This test car has the stick.
The interior features the finest blend of materials ever seen in a Corvette, with every surface wrapped in leather, alcantara (micro suede) or carbon fiber. Of course, the optional, and excellent, Competition bucket seats are available in the ZR1, and they are a must-do when filling out the order form. Additionally, this test car has the Performance Data Recorder setup, which can show vehicle telemetry live time, as well as record said data to overlay over video taken from a front-facing camera system. If track days are in your future, it’s a must-have piece of tech.
This particular ZR1 features the $2,995 ZTK package, which includes 285/30R19 and 335/25R20 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 competition tires, Magneride suspension, adds aggressive end plates to the front splitter and swaps out the standard low-rise rear wing for a large, and very functional, rear wing. Corvette team chief engineer Tadge Juechter claims that the ZR1 produces 60% more downforce than a Z07-equipped Corvette Z06. That works out to almost 1,000 pounds of downforce at it’s top speed of 212 MPH.
Base price is currently $121,995, and, for an extra $4,500, a drop top model is also available. This test car is right around $140,000 all-in, thanks to all of these performance-minded optional extras.
Continue reading about the Corvette ZR1 on the next page.