Just prior to the introduction of the first ZR-1 in 1989, someone asked Dave McLellan, then Corvette Chief Engineer, what the new car was like. He responded, “It’s a Corvette, only more so.” Indeed it was, immediately acquiring the nickname “King of the Hill”. Dave’s response remained an accurate description of the second generation ZR1 unveiled in 2009,and once again can be used to describe the latest and greatest King of the Hill, the 2019 Corvette ZR1.

Most powerful Corvette ever

The 2019 ZR1 is powered by an SAE-certified 755 horsepower supercharged LT5 engine producing 715 lb-ft of torque to establish a new benchmark in Corvette performance. The LT5 delivers the highest output ever for a Chevrolet production vehicle with its new, more efficient intercooled supercharger system that gives 52% more displacement than the LT4 supercharger on the Corvette Z06. The ZR1 also has General Motors’ first dual-fuel injection system, which employs primary direct injection and supplemental port injection to help give the LT5 its record output. The power and torque are transmitted to the rear wheels via a seven-speed manual transmission or, for the first time ever on a ZR1, an eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission. The top speed of the ZR1 is over 210 mph.

New aerodynamics help make it the fastest Corvette ever

The appearance of the new ZR1 is more aggressive, in part due to an all-new front fascia designed to efficiently channel drivetrain cooling air with four new radiators, bringing the heat-exchanger total to 13. A special carbon-fiber “halo” hood is open in the middle to clear the LT5 supercharger/intercooler assembly. Additional aero features include wings to step-up the ZR1 downforce for increasing cornering force and decreasing track lap times. “As the highest-performing Corvette ever, the ZR1’s design supports its capability in every way,” noted Exterior Design Manager Kirk Bennion. “The new wings, for example, help generate more downforce without adding drag, enhancing road holding and top speed.”

The new ZR1 will offer two aero packages: a standard Low Wing, which delivers the highest top speed and helps generate up to 70% more downforce than the base aero package on the Z06; and an optional two-way-adjustable High Wing that offers maximum downforce for the quickest lap times at track days – this is about 60% more downforce than the Z07 Performance Package on the Z06. All models will feature Chevrolet’s first downforce-enhancing front underwing. Both ZR1 wings are tied into the chassis for strength and stability, just like Corvette Racing’s C7.R.

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.

New Sebring Orange Design Package

If you like the color orange, the new ZR1 has a special package just for you. An optional Sebring Orange Design Package based on the new Sebring Orange Tintcoat exterior color will include orange brake calipers, orange rocker and splitter stripes, orange seat belts, orange interior stitching, and unique bronze aluminum interior trim.

The new driver-focused cockpit includes standard leather-trimmed seats available with sueded microfiber inserts. Heated and vented Nappa leather-trimmed seating is available, as are a carbon-fiber-rimmed steering wheel, competition sport seats, performance data recorder, and a Bose premium audio system.

“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.”

If you’d like to park a new King of the Hill in your driveway, better start saving up your pennies now – the 2019 Corvette ZR1 goes on sale next spring.

Or get a model car or calendar instead:


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All photos by: General Motors


ZR1 Press Release

2019 Corvette ZR1 – First Official Press Photos from Dubai

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