The horsepower wars heated up today as Chevrolet debuted the 2019 Corvette ZR1 with a whopping 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. Those figures fall short of the Dodge Challenger Demon’s 840 hp, but the ZR1 is a different kind of beast.
Highlighting its track-focused weaponry is the return of a familiar engine designation: LT5. The 2019 Corvette ZR1 boasts a 6.2-liter supercharged LT5 V8 engine, which distinguishes itself from the 6.2L LT4 V8 in the Corvette Z06 with a more-efficient intercooled supercharger system—with 52 percent greater displacement over the LT4 supercharger—and GM’s first dual-fuel-injection system; the system employs direct injection as a primary and port injection as a supplementary method.
Supplementing the major power outputs are two aerodynamic packages. The standard Corvette ZR1 receives a low-wing spoiler to generate up to 70 percent more downforce than the Corvette Z06’s base aero package. Also standard are a new front fascia to channel large amounts of air for cooling, a front underwing, a special carbon-fiber “halo” hood to provide the clearance needed for the massive supercharger, and four new radiators to bring the heat-exchanger total to 13.
Stepping up to the ZTK performance packages nets the massive two-way adjustable rear wing for maximum downforce. Chevrolet says it provides 60 percent more downforce than the Z06’s Z07 package. The package also includes the front splitter, specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control tuning and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.
Finally, the Corvette ZR1 also rolls out a new Sebring Orange design package, which, obviously, includes a new color: Sebring Orange Tintcoat. The design package also includes orange brake calipers, orange rocker and splitter accent stripes, orange seat belts, orange interior stitching and unique, bronze aluminum interior trim. Although the Corvette ZR1 is pretty darn well-equipped, additional creature comforts such as heated and ventilated seats, competition sport seats, Chevrolet Performance Data Recorder and more are available.
If the media’s collective insights are true, the 2019 C7 Corvette ZR1 will likely be the front-engined Corvette’s swan song as the next-generation Corvette prepares to introduce a mid-engine layout. Swans are delicate, soft creatures. We’d call the ZR1 a brutish creature poised to scare the world’s finest. The Corvette ZR1 goes on sale in spring 2018.