The all-new 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 is the most powerful and fastest Corvette in history — and we were on hand when Chevy revealed the new ZR1 in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, a place known for its obsession with exotic high-performance cars. The ZR1 is certainly exotic, and it’s certainly high-performance — and today, we’re covering the five coolest things about Chevy’s latest ‘Vette.
Endless Carbon Fiber
Chevrolet told us the latest Corvette ZR1 has more carbon fiber than any other General Motors vehicle in the automaker’s history — and it’s easy to see how that’s possible. The front splitter is carbon-fiber, as are its end caps. There are carbon-fiber vents on the side, and carbon-fiber rocker panels. The steering wheel and dashboard make use of carbon fiber, and the huge wing in back is fully carbon-fiber — meaning there’s a lot of weight saving going on. Also carbon fiber is the hood — the hood itself and, also, well, the part in the middle.
I say "the part in the middle" because there’s no middle piece in the ZR1’s hood — it’s basically a hood donut, with an empty portion in the center. That’s where the engine sticks up, straight through the hood, topped with (you guessed it) a piece of carbon fiber. Although you wouldn’t really know the hood has this huge opening when it’s closed, you can tell what’s going on when the car is revving its engine — because the exposed piece of engine shakes and vibrates as you’d expect. This is an amazingly cool touch, and it’s a lot better than the see-through engine window on the last-generation Corvette ZR1. See the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette models for sale near you
The Exhaust Note
Watch the video above and you’ll see why the exhaust note is on our list: It’s positively mean. Floor the accelerator in this car and you’re confronted with an exhaust note that sounds like an exotic sports car mixed with a muscle car — the noise was tremendously loud when Chevrolet revved up the car for me on the sound stage where they unveiled it. Another cool thing about the exhaust note: Unlike many modern exotic cars with a valve that basically turns on as the car accelerates, giving it an "on or off" quality, the ZR1 uses new technology where the exhaust valves open progressively, meaning the sound ramps up more naturally as you increase the car’s engine speed.
The Rear Wing
The rear wing is massive. There’s really no other way to put it — it visually dominates the look of the car, and it’s absolutely huge. In fact, it’s so big it sticks up past the roof line so it can catch wind and perform its wing functions — meaning it’s been hoisted out of the driver’s line of rear visibility. This particular ZR1 features the "high wing" that’s included with the optional ZTK Performance Package — and Chevy is also offering a "low wing" for drivers who don’t get the option. But the high wing is the one you’ll want for track use, as Chevy says it makes up to 950 pounds of downforce, and it’s adjustable up to five degrees, allowing you to dial in your track setup.
Under the Hood
And then there’s the engine, which is under the hood — or in the middle of it, in this case. The ZR1 uses a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that makes an amazing 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft of torque. That’s 117 hp more than the outgoing Corvette ZR1 and a whopping 105 hp more than the Corvette Z06 — a huge deal, since the Z06 does zero to 60 in 3 seconds, meaning the latest ZR1 will likely improve on that already amazing figure. I suspect zero to 60 will likely come in the 2.7-second range, placing the ZR1 well into supercar territory.
And so that’s the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 — Chevy hasn’t yet announced pricing, but we’re thinking it’ll start somewhere around $120,000, with well-equipped models maybe reaching as high as $140,000. Chevy has announced they’ll be sharing more details about the ZR1 over the next few months, as the ultimate Corvette gets closer to reaching dealers in spring 2018.