Joining the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Coupe will be the 2019 Corvette ZR1 Convertible – just announced ahead of the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. Featuring performance and technology introduced on the Corvette ZR1 coupe but with a convertible soft-top.
“The new Corvette ZR1 convertible is a supercar in all respects,” said GM product chief Mark Reuss. “Few others can challenge the ZR1 convertible’s power and speed while offering the exhilaration of top-down motoring.”
Like on other C7 Corvette models, the power top can be operated remotely or while driving up to 30 mph.
The beastly motor can be paired either to a seven-speed manual transmission or paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission, a first for the ZR1. Chevrolet says that preliminary testing has shown 0-60 mph in under 3.0 seconds and the quarter mile in the high 10-second range when equipped with the eight-speed automatic. Top speed is said to be 212 mph.
The LT5 features a new, more efficient intercooled supercharger system, along with GM’s first dual fuel-injection system, which employs primary direct injection and supplemental port injection. Compared to the supercharger system on the supercharged 6.2L V8 LT4 engine on the C7 Corvette Z06, the LT5 employs a larger, 2.65-liter supercharger that generates more boost while spinning at a slightly slower speed. That reduces heat to help maintain a lower air intake temperature for optimal performance.
Four new radiators also help manage cooling in the ZR1. In all, the C7 ZR1 features 13 radiators, including circuits for engine oil, transmission and differential cooling.
The new LT5 engine roars through a new, patent-pending exhaust system. In fact, Chevrolet says that the ZR1 offers the most aggressive sound ever for a production Corvette.
The system builds on the bi-modal exhaust system offered on other Corvette models and features four distinct modes and sound levels: Stealth, Tour, Sport and Track. In Stealth mode, the ZR1 is quieter than the Corvette Z06; in Track mode, it is significantly louder. The exhaust note for all modes was carefully tuned to deliver a distinctive sound.
Enabling Track mode is a spring-loaded passive valve that closes to allow virtually unrestricted exhaust flow for maximum performance.
Thanks to the C7’s strong aluminum chassis, the only structural changes seen in the convertible are accommodations for the folding top and repositioned safety belt mounts. In fact, the curb weight difference between the ZR1 coupe and convertible is less than 60 pounds (27 kg), with most of the difference attributed to the folding top hardware.
“The ZR1 convertible is a no-compromise supercar,” said Corvette Executive Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter. “Thanks to the strong structure, the suspension tuning between coupe and convertible models is identical, meaning the ZR1 convertible offers the same benchmark performance, including a top speed of over 200 mph.”
On the C7 Corvette ZR1 coupe, unique aerodynamics equipment that includes a stanchion-mounted Low Wing generated road-holding downforce with minimal drag, enabling the benchmark top speed of 212-mph (341 kph) top speed. Furthermore, the 2019 ZR1 Convertible is offered with the same ZTK Track Performance Package as the ZR1 Coupe, which includes Performance Ride and Handling Suspension, Front P285/30ZR19 and Rear P335/25ZR20 Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 summer-only, run-flat tires, adjustable high-wing spoiler and specific front splitter end caps.
Availability & Pricing
The C7 ZR1 Convertible represents the first ZR1 drop-top since the original ZR1 for the 1970 model year. It goes on sale in the spring of 2018 alongside the Corvette ZR1 coupe for a starting price of $123,995 (including destination charge, but exclude tax, title and other dealer fees).
The 2019 Corvette ZR1 coupe and convertible will be on display to the public Dec. 1-10 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.