Since the last ZR1 Corvette went out of production in 2013, there has been a spot left unfilled in the Corvette product lineup. From a performance standpoint, you can argue that the C7 Z06 and its 650 hp LT4 has picked up where the LS9-equipped C6 had left off, but you have to remember hat the Z06 was the midrange model.
Our assumptions were put to rest once we started seeing camouflaged C7 Corvettes, yet again, with and without different style rear spoilers that to date, haven’t been seen on any other production Corvette this cycle.
We can only speculate what kind of power or even what engine is under the hood of these cars, but if the ZR1 is designed to be the “King of the Hill” Corvette, it’s going to be substantially more than the Z06’s 650 hp.
Before you think this will just be some sort of hardcore version of the C7 or C7Z, you have to keep in mind that the Grand Sport and Z07 options are already currently available from Chevrolet, so the only natural local solution that this is the third-generation of the late-model ZR1.
Naturally, you can expect more of everything from the ZR1; larger brakes, engine, transmission and rearend coolers, improved aerodynamics and presumably, a more intense driving experience. The Z06’s 650 hp won’t cut it, not if the ZR1 is going to target the higher-end of the spectrum, of which is the McLaren P1s of the world.
If we were to make an educated guess, we have a feeling that these will be powered by some 800 hp twin-turbo V8. Superchargers are more compact, easier to manufacture and so on, but there’s only so much power left in the LT4’s 1.7L Eaton Roots-style blower that could produce that kind of power reliably, for General Motors to tack a warranty onto.
We don’t know any solid facts than what we’re obviously presented with, but General Motors rarely disappoints these days. Bring on 2018!