Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is the fastest, most powerful 'Vette yet


Unlike with the original Corvette ZR1, you can add lots of creature comforts to the 2019 version, including heated and ventilated front seats, a Bose premium audio system, and the ultimate social media bragging tool, a Performance Data Recorder.

The new 2019 ZR1 is what Chevrolet is calling its fastest, most powerful production Corvette yet.

The eight generation of America's most famous sports vehicle is expected to ditch its front-engine layout, putting the V8 in the middle to help the bow tie brand compete with the best European sports cars, including the Porsche 911, Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 720S.

"I've never driven a Corvette like this before, and nobody else has either, because there's never been one like this before", said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. "Its unprecedented performance puts all other global supercars on notice that the ZR1 is back". From the most recent leak, we already had a pretty good idea what this auto would be: basically a Z06 with a huge wing and 750 horsepower thanks to a larger throttle body, bigger supercharger, better cooling, and more potent fuel injection system. The ZR1 will be equipped with a supercharged, 6.2-litre V8-code name LT5-that develops 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque.

The ZR1's LT5 6.2L V-8 engine advances Corvette's supercharging legacy, which began with the 2009 sixth-generation ZR1 and continued with the 2015 seventh-generation Z06. Good thing the new 'Vette ZR1 has variable-ratio steering, helping to make this compromise less of an issue. The LT5 delivers the highest output ever for a Chevrolet production vehicle, thanks in part to a new, more-efficient intercooled supercharger system that offers 52 percent more displacement than the Z06's LT4 supercharger. The auto will be available with a seven-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic.

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In the meantime, the new ZR1 is unlikely to be converted to right-hand drive and offered in Australia. Top speed is said to reside somewhere above 210 miles per hour (338 km/h). GM added another four radiators to the mix to prevent overheating, and so the ZR1 has a total of 13 heat exchangers.

The engine sits underneath what Chevrolet calls a "halo hood" which features a carbon fibre two-piece bonnet bulge. The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 can be kitted with one of the two available aero packs. Hard-core enthusiasts will want to opt for the optional High Wing, which is adjustable and offers maximum downforce on the track for the quickest lap times - about 60 percent more downforce than the Z06 with the available Z07 Performance Package. Additional features, including aero packages with stanchion-mounted wings, help push the ZR1 harder onto the track for more confident handling and faster lap times.

Like the Corvette Racing C7.R race vehicle, the ZR1's wings are both fitted directly to the chassis.

Chevrolet is also announcing a new Sebring Orange Design Package.

A further option, the "Sebring Orange Design Package", adds orange accents as well as orange seat belts and stitching combined with the Sebring Orange Tintcoat paint. This package also includes bronze aluminum trim that gives the interior a unique touch.