Take A Listen To The New Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

A prototype of the C8’s highest-performance version has been caught on video idling, and it sure sounds like it has the Z06’s flat-plane crank V8
C8 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - teaser
C8 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - teaser

For its eighth generation, the Chevrolet Corvette finally went mid-engined after years of concepts, hints and false dawns; a move that positioned it closer than ever before to European exotica. Then, to create the higher-performance Z06 version, Chevrolet benchmarked one of the greatest supercars of recent years, the Ferrari 458.

Now, if anyone was still in doubt that the Corvette was a fully paid-up member of the supercar club, they’re about to be silenced. Ahead of its debut this summer, Chevrolet is teasing the range-topping ZR1 version.

The ZR1 designation has been used several times to denote the highest-performing version of the Corvette range, and it last appeared in 2017 on the C7 ’Vette, the final front-engined car. In that form, it featured a 6.2-litre supercharged V8 that made a mighty 755bhp and some very aggressive aero. Already, it was perfectly capable of matching Europe’s best, but the C8 version should elevate that even further.

The current highest-performing version of the C8, the Z06, uses a newly-developed 5.5-litre V8 that subverts the traditional American V8 setup by using a Ferrari-style cross-plane crank setup. While Chevrolet still hasn’t confirmed any powertrain details of the ZR1, the prototype idling in this video, caught by Scott Fisher in the C8 Corvette Owners (And Friends) Facebook group, has a definite harsher edge to its sound that suggests it might use a development of that same engine. We heard a similarly high-pitched V8 sound in the teaser video Chevrolet shared a few weeks ago.

With 670bhp, the Z06’s V8 is already the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 ever fitted to a road car, but any version of it fitted to the ZR1 will have more power still. Last year, a mysterious ‘LT7’ twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 popped up in a General Motors parts catalogue, fuelling rumours that it could be ZR1’s motor.

The video also gives us our best look yet at the ZR1’s aggressive aero, with a towering wing on the back, as well as some canards just about visible on the front.

C8 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 teaser, showing a large rear wing
C8 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 teaser, showing a large rear wing

It all points to a ZR1 that’ll have the likes of the McLaren 765LT, Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, and whatever Porsche cooks up for the next-generation 911 GT2 RS squarely in its sights. We’ll get to see it in full this summer.


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