Cleveland, Ohio – Pour six years of engineering effort into a beast of a supercar, and you apparently get at least 5 more miles per hour, 117 more horsepower, and 111 more lb-ft of torque.
Absent from the Corvette lineup since 2013, General Motors’ Chevrolet division will launch a new ZR1 model next spring, and the numbers are pretty amazing.
Throw a bigger supercharger onto the LT5 6.2L V-8, and you get a lot of power and torque. The engine is so thirsty, engineers had to outfit it with a dual fuel-injection system – using port and direct injection to feed power-making gasoline into the powerplant.
Two wind tunnel-honed aerodynamics packages, including an available High Wing that provides an estimated 950 pounds of downforce, keep all 755hp and 715 lb-ft of torque on the group.
Top speed is more than 210mph, up from the 205mph of the 2013 model.
“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.”
While it's GM's most powerful Corvette ever, it won't be the most powerful production car for sale. That title still goes to FCA US LLC's 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, an 840hp muscle car.
Traditionally selling between $120,000 and $150,000, ZR1s have always been exercises in excess power and performance. And the new model supplies plenty.
The LT5 delivers the highest output ever for a Chevrolet production vehicle, thanks in part to a new, more-efficient intercooled supercharger system that is 52% larger than the Z06’s LT4 supercharger. 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.
An all-new front fascia is designed to channel air for propulsion-system and drivetrain cooling, bringing the car’s number of heat exchangers to 13 (up from 9). A special carbon-fiber hood is open in the middle to clear the LT5 engine’s supercharger/intercooler assembly.
About the author: Robert Schoenberger is the editor of Today's Motor Vehicles and a contributor to Today's Medical Developments and Aerospace Manufacturing and Design. He has written about the automotive industry for more than 17 years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.