NOVEMBER 15, 2017
Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 12:59PM
Editor

(Chevrolet images)
Chevrolet has introduced the 2019 Corvette ZR1 - in Dubai -  and "it's a supercar that pushes Corvette’s performance legacy with the highest power, greatest track performance and most advanced technology in its production history," according to Chevrolet PR minions. “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. The Corvette ZR1’s exclusive LT5 supercharged engine is rated at an SAE-certified 755HP (563 kW) and 715 lb-ft of torque (969 Nm). 
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. GM’s first dual-fuel-injection system, which employs primary direct injection and supplemental port injection, helps the LT5 achieve its record output. Seven-speed manual and eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmissions are available with the LT5. It’s the first time an automatic transmission has been offered in a ZR1. 

The 2019 Corvette ZR1’s aggressive, functional appearance contributes to its distinction as the fastest production Corvette to date. An all-new front fascia is designed to channel air for propulsion-system and drivetrain cooling, with four new radiators bringing the heat-exchanger total to thirteen. A special carbon-fiber “halo” hood is open in the middle to clear the LT5 engine’s supercharger/intercooler assembly. 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. Top speed of the ZR1 is over 210 mph. “As the highest-performing Corvette ever, the ZR1’s design supports its capability in every way,” said Kirk Bennion, Exterior Design manager. “The new wings, for example, help generate more downforce without adding drag, enhancing road holding and top speed.” 
The ZR1 will offer two aero packages: a standard rear Low Wing, which delivers the highest top speed and helps generate up to 70 percent more downforce than the Z06’s base aero package, and an available two-way-adjustable High Wing that offers maximum downforce - 
an estimated 950 pounds - on the track for the quickest lap times. This is about 60 percent more downforce than the Z06 with the available Z07 Performance Package. All models also feature downforce-enhancing front underwing, which is a Chevrolet first. The adjustable High Wing is part of the new ZTK Performance Package, which also includes a front splitter with carbon-fiber end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer-only tires, and specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control tuning for greater cornering grip. Both of the ZR1’s wings are tied into the chassis, like the Corvette Racing C7.R racecar, for strength and stability.
The Corvette ZR1 offers an available Sebring Orange Design Package. Centered on its Sebring Orange Tintcoat exterior color, the package also includes orange brake calipers, orange rocker and splitter accent stripes, orange seat belts, orange interior stitching and unique, bronze aluminum interior trim.
The driver-focused cockpit includes standard leather-trimmed seats, with sueded microfiber inserts offered. Heated and vented Napa leather-trimmed seating is also available, as well as a carbon fiber-rimmed steering wheel, competition sport seats, Performance Data Recorder, Bose premium audio system and more. The 2019 Corvette ZR1 goes on sale next spring.

 

Editor-in-Chief's Note: The performance credentials of the new Corvette ZR1 are indeed impressive, but its launch timing has screwed up the rollout of the mid-engine C8. The culprit was something having to do with the supercharger system (supplied by Eaton) and cooling, but it really doesn't matter at this point. The Corvette enthusiasts who just have to have the ZR1 will get one, because it's the last hurrah for the front engine C7 Corvette. But everyone else will have to wait for the C8 while Chevrolet operatives figure out what they're doing. But remember, it's not just the production C8 rollout that is being delayed, it also means that the C8.R GTLM racer will be late, too, which at this point is flat-out inexcusable. Oh, and one more thing, it's a good thing that ZR1 sales won't be dependent on the launch photography, because this is the worst photography I have ever seen for a rollout of such a milestone high-performance car. The dark and moody look was overplayed about a decade ago, and it certainly doesn't do the ZR1 justice, at all. -PMD

 


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