When the previous generation Corvette ZR1 debuted in 2009, the automotive world stood up and took notice. Here was a car built by an American OEM that produced 638 horsepower, utilized magnetic ride control, and was capable of showing the best from Europe its taillights — on the street and on the track.
Even by today’s standards, that car is still a powerhouse in the supercar world. But now, a new version has emerged in the form of the 2019 C7 ZR1. This one packs a supercharged 6.2-liter LT5 V-8, features both port and direct injection, and produces 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft of torque. It’s a road hammer of the highest order, and truth be told, it’s more car than virtually any human will ever require.
For the full 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 review, specs, pricing, and data, read on.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Exterior
From the A-pillars back, the new Corvette ZR1 is no different from its slightly less bonkers 650-horsepower Z06 brother. Yet move forward, past that windshield, and my-oh-my do things start to change. You see, the ZR1 was not only made to go fast, but more importantly, to stick to the tarmac while at speed.
To accomplish this Chevrolet, has changed everything that appears in the driver’s view. A carbon fiber hood with an elevated hood scoop — the new blower wouldn’t fit under a standard hood — has been utilized to help the supercharged LT5 breathe. Then there’s a carbon fiber front underwing that was derived directly from the Corvette racing program, and features removable — and track only — carbon fiber end caps. To accommodate the half-inch-wider front wheels, the front end of the ZR1 is also almost two inches wider than a current Z06 . Finally, out back there’s a stanchion-mounted adjustable carbon fiber wing that’s bolted through the rear fascia and into the actual frame of the car for added rigidity. This aero, some of which is part of the ZTK Performance Package — a $2,995.00 option — helps the ZR1 generate over 950 pounds of total downforce at speed.
Up front, there are large 19-inch rims sporting 285/30-series Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Run Flat tires, while out back, the size increases to a 20-inch rim with 335/20-series rubber. To makes sure this beast stops as good as it goes, there are six-piston Brembo calipers and 15.5-inch carbon ceramic rotors up front, and 15.3-rotors with four-piston calipers out back.
Visually, the 2019 Corvette ZR1 combines aggressive street styling with elements taken directly from Corvette’s race division. Make no mistake — this is the most aggressive Corvette the General has ever produced.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Interior
When the C7 was first introduced back in 2014, Corvette enthusiasts rejoiced, as the interior was improved by leaps and bounds over the outgoing C6. For 2019, the ZR1 can be outfitted with either the base 1ZR package, which offers standard black leather seating surfaces with microfiber inserts, or the upscale 3ZR package which adds an array of interior color options, vented and heated seats with Napa leather, a carbon-fiber rimmed steering wheel, and wonderful competition seats that are built on magnesium frames and utilize high bolsters with pass-through openings for harnesses. There’s also a Performance Data Recorder that can be accessed through the BOSE audio system.
As with all hardtop Corvettes, the removable targa comes off and fits neatly in the rear hatch.
The multi-configurable dash combines both a digital media screen and analog gauges, allowing one to monitor the vehicle’s performance data. Everything from a zero-60-mph meter, to ancillary information like voltage, oil pressure, tire pressure, and even tire temperature can be monitored here. Switch suspension modes between Touring, Sport and Track and you’ll notice that the cluster also reconfigures itself to provide you with the information that best suits each mode. At this point, we should also mention the Corvette’s stellar heads up display. In my opinion, this should be a standard feature on every car. It’s that good.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Performance
Under the massive carbon fiber hood lives a hand-built and supercharged 6.2-liter LT5 that utilizes both port and direct injection and produces 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. It’s the most powerful engine ever put in a production Corvette — and we’ve been assured this will be the baddest C7 Corvette ever produced. Top speed has been verified at 212 mph, with 60 mph coming up in just under three seconds. Buyers can opt for either a seven-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission, and regardless of which one you choose, rest assured, it will be the right one.
But those are just numbers. And after spending two days ripping around Georgia’s famed Road Atlanta raceway and the surrounding roads, we came away shocked at how truly magnificent the ZR1 is.
On the raceway, the ZR1 is far more car then most track day enthusiasts will ever be able to utilize, and there’s definitely a bit of a learning curve here. By employing the same Magnetic Ride Control suspension as the Z06 (albeit with different suspension rates to cope with added downforce), the ZR1 is a hammer through the corners. The ZTK Aero Package combined with the sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires provide levels of grip that truly do take some getting used to. The supercharged LT5 delivers every one of its 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque progressively, and works in conjunction with the traction control system to keep the car firmly planted both in corners and on the straights.
We routinely exceeded speeds of 150 mph, and never once did the car feel light or unstable. To the contrary, it exceeded our expectations and allowed us to drive it faster and harder than we thought possible. In short, it’s way more capable then we’ll ever be. Hauling us down from speed were the spectacular and standard, carbon ceramic brakes. With six-piston Brembo calipers up front and four-pistion in the rear, we went lap after lap without a hint of break fade even when coming down from speeds of over 150 mph.
The seven-speed manual transmission employs tightly spaced shifts with active rev matching available with the flip of the steering-wheel-mounted paddles. And while the system works beautifully, the ZR1 generates so much power and torque, that on track, the automatic was the quickest way around. By offering three different suspension modes (Touring, Sport, Track) and four different modes for the active exhaust (Tour, Sport, Track, Stealth) the ZR1 lets you configure the driving experience to suit your own unique situation.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Safety
Aside from the aforementioned carbon ceramic brakes, the 2019 Corvette ZR1 comes with active handling stability control, airbags, electronic traction control, anti-lock brakes, a rear-view and curb-view camera system, and a heads up display, along with OnStar and other safety features. To further explore the safety features of the 2019 Corvette ZR1 head on over to Chevrolet.com.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Overall
There are very few cars out there able to generate the levels of excitement and pure adrenaline-filled hilarity that comes with the new ZR1. On the open road, the configurable suspension system means that it’s capable of going toe-to-toe with some of the best grand touring coupes in production. And on the track? Well, that’s a different story entirely — as the new ZR1 has set itself as one of the fastest and most impressive supercars in the world.
Oh yeah, it’s also EPA rated at 13-mpg in the city, 19-mpg on the highway and 15-mpg in combined driving*. Not that you care…
Drop by your local AutoNation Chevrolet dealer today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $131,165.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.