Chevrolet’s most powerful Corvette ever, the C7 ZR1, just broke cover in Dubai last month, igniting a firestorm within the automotive enthusiast community with its supercharged, 755-horsepower LT5 V8 and impressive downforce-generating bodywork. Recently, a handful of automotive press outlets had the opportunity to ride along in the ultimate manifestation of the C7 Corvette at Willow Springs Raceway, giving us our first detailed look at how well the new ZR1 can handle itself on a road course.
In the video above, Roadshow Editor-At-Large Tim Stevens rides shotgun in the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 for a few laps, while we get to watch the tach, accelerometer, and speed readout in real time, thanks to the Corvette’s on-board Performance Data Recorder. Behind the wheel is Michael Tung – a Chassis Controls Engineer at General Motors, who reckons that he’s taken the new ZR1 around the road course at Willow Springs around a hundred times now.
Asked about what kind of challenges Tung and the rest of the team faced when developing a car with so much power, he replies: “Every time you have this much power, you’re going to be exercising these active systems a lot,” referring to the Corvette ZR1’s traction control. “That just means the integration and everthing’s got to be to a higher level, essentially. You’re going to be in traction control, or PTM, quite often when you have seven hundred fifty five horsepower.”
In fact, the difficulty of putting so much power down in a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive road car is believed to be one of the driving forces behind the Corvette’s anticipated switch to an RMR layout for C8. But Tung claims he doesn’t know anything about that.