The latest addition to the Corvette family is the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. This model is the range-topping, high power edition of the Corvette C7 and is sort of late to the scene. The C7 saw its release in 2014 and replaced the nine year old C6. We expect the Corvette ZR1 to sell better than any supercharged Corvette before, since the C7 finally ended the most recent Corvette’s inclination of sporting a cheap, plastic interior. Finally, there’s a ridiculously fast Corvette that looks as good outside as in and can impress the driver as well as the on-looker.
Main competitors of the new Corvette are the widely anticipated 2017 Ford GT Supercar and the aggressive and aerodynamic 2018 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang. This and next year are going to be great years for all-American modern classic supercars!
So, what do we know about the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1? It’s due very soon, the official reveal of the car won’t wait for much longer now. In the most recent spy shots the car is seen with only a little camouflaging, as opposed to earlier shots when it was heavily padded in every nook and cranny. So we’re also able to make some pretty accurate predictions about the finished product’s exterior.
At first, it wasn’t easy to distinguish in the heavily padded prototype that it was in fact the new ZR1. It could just as well have been a special edition Corvette or something else. However, at a closer look some new features catch the eye that we haven’t seen before on any other Chevy.
To start with, this prototype has a rear wing on the trunk lid, no other production Corvette has one yet. The current Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and other existing models feature spoilers on the rear lid. Then, there are two larger vents on each side of the front fascia. The size of the vents suggest the presence of an intercooled engine, like a V8, since these need more air to keep the engine functioning.
Furthermore, underneath these vents there’s a large splitter, and the hood of the prototype protrudes much more than the Z06. This would suggest that more equipment is hiding under the hood. All in all, these changes in the front already seem to prove that a whole new model is underway, and not just an updated version of an existing one.
As much as we know about the exterior, so little do we know about the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1’s cabin. Based on the experience with the Corvette Z06, however, we expect the cabin to be practically the same as the Chevrolet C7’s. The Z06 followed the same path and received some extra features to distinguish the higher-range model from the regular one.
All in all, we expect the same for the ZR1. Chevrolet could surprise us with a whole new interior, but we’re not counting on it. Most likely the C7’s interior will be recycled and will receive the same updates as the Z06 had. So that means ZR1 emblems throughout the cabin, a carbon fiber dash and probably some extra upholstery choices, such as fine leather in different hues.
It’s also likely that the standard sound system will again be the BOSE 9 speaker unit for the base model.
As you could have read under Exterior Design, we expect the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 to get its power from a V8 engine. The large air vents on the hood suggest intercoolers, which are only necessary on high-power engines like V8s. We know Chevrolet has such an engine, named the LT5, and is a twin-turbo drivetrain. A V8 engine is far from standard to use by Chevrolet, but the transfer is understandable at least. A V8 makes it easier for the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 to reach a high amount of horsepower, but at the same time retain the best possible fuel economy as well. In times when taunting EVs like the wonderfully minimalist yet modern 2017 Tesla Model S try to grab your public by almost matching your car’s top speed, but at zero emissions, you’re simply forced to take fuel economy into account when producing it.
Back to the ZR1, we expect horsepower to be well over 650, since that’s what’s the Z06 puts out. Also, the previous ZR1 had a peak at 63 horsepower, so a good guess is that the 2018 ZR1 will at least be 700. Top speed will match its predecessor’s at 205 mph (330 kph).
The tech department of this vehicle is still a mystery, but we expect to hear more about that at the official reveal of the ZR1.
Since the Z06 features tech stuff like Bluetooth phone connectivity and a Wi-Fi hotspot, it’s expected that the ZR1 will feature these too. Also, the Driver Mode select that the Z06 has is a welcome addition to the ZR1 and will surely make the cut. The Standard Magnetic Selective Ride Control and Performance Traction Management will also appear as standard on the ZR1.
Price, reveal and sale date
The Chevrolet Z06 starts at $79,400, since August 2016. It’s clear that the ZR1 will cost more, but we know Chevrolet wants to keep it relatively affordable. Hence, we expect a price of around $115,000 to start the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.
The revealing of the car is imminently getting closer. Somewhere in the spring of 2017 the car is expected to make some eyes bulge at a road show, and to go on sale in late 2017 or early 2018.