General Motors Files For 'ZR1' Trademark, Supercharges Mid-Engine Rumor Mill

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
general motors files for zr1 trademark supercharges mid engine rumor mill

General Motors filed a trademark application for the “ZR1” name, reports AutoGuide, once again fueling rumors of [s]the second coming of Jesus[/s] a mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette.

The last time a Corvette wore the ZR1 designation, it came packing 638 horsepower thanks to a blown 6.2-liter LS9 V8. The next ZR1, however, may just eclipse the 707-horsepower Hellcat duo for the Horsepower Wars Output Crown.

The C6 ZR1 — almost always pictured in the deep, metallic shade of blue shown above — offered the ultimate in performance for those looking to plunk down six figures on a Corvette. Its LS9 propelled the ‘Vette to over 200 mph, and specially developed Brembo brakes brought it all to a stop.

Should General Motors use the designator again for the C7 Corvette, its recipe is murkier. A jump in engine performance is almost certain, as are other required bits to keep all that power in check. Maybe it will get that power bump by way of electrification.

Yet, for decades, the rumors of a mid-engined Corvette have graced the pages of your favorite car rag, and they’ve grown in volume over the last two years. Chief engineer for the Corvette program disputed the existence of a mid-engined Corvette last year, even after spies supposedly caught images of a mule undergoing testing.

Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire — or maybe it’s just a front-engined Corvette dropping elevens on the asphalt.

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7 of 11 comments
  • B534202 B534202 on May 20, 2016

    Well GM can either renew the ZR1 trademark or let it lapse. Doesn't mean they have a new car to use that name.

    • See 1 previous
    • Golden2husky Golden2husky on May 20, 2016

      @notwhoithink There will likely be a ZR1 for the last few C7 model years before the new C8 comes out...

  • Jpolicke Jpolicke on May 20, 2016

    Motor Trend and Popular Science have been running stories about the imminent mid-engine "future Corvette" since Kennedy was president. When I see one in a showroom I'll know hell has frozen over.

  • Raph Raph on May 20, 2016

    Hmmm... I wonder how Corvette might electrify (though I doubt it), GM des have that hybrid transmission though that they used in the trucks. I wonder how well it would adapt to the transaxle? Anyways, I thought the ZR1 C6 would hold its value but you can get these things for as little as half the msrp if you look around.

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on May 22, 2016

    Well I guess we can bank on a renewal of the Thunderbird/Corvette rivalry since Ford just renewed the T-Bird trademark too. Something tells me I will not see either of these coming to a dealer near me anytime soon.