By on May 20, 2016

2008 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, Image: GM

General Motors filed a trademark application for the “ZR1” name, reports AutoGuide, once again fueling rumors of the second coming of Jesus 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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11 Comments on “General Motors Files For ‘ZR1’ Trademark, Supercharges Mid-Engine Rumor Mill...”


  • avatar
    5280thinair

    Slow news day, Mark? This is straight from the “if we keep saying it’s going to happen we’ll be right eventually” school of journalism.

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      Big, beautiful, fantastical automotive news doesn’t happen all day, every day.

      I’d prefer having something “new” to read (even if a bit speculative and overwrought in the world of automotive journalism) over having nothing posted for the day.

      Keeps the brains wheels turning.

      • 0 avatar
        5280thinair

        As the article itself says, there’s nothing even remotely “new” (even with quotes around it) to this rumor. It’s been around since at least the 1980s and might be even older.

        Posting this is like the outlets that keep publishing Dvorak’s “Apple’s new product is a huge FAIL and the company’s in big trouble” ‘reviews’. Sure, it’s going to happen eventually but he’s cried wolf so many times that if and when he finally gets it right will just be down to random chance.

    • 0 avatar

      I think the main thrust of the piece is: here’s a trademark filing, but don’t count chickens before they hatch. By spotlighting all the rumors and speculation, the piece effectively tells you that nobody really knows what’s going on with any amount of certainty.

  • avatar
    b534202

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

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      You can pretty much guarantee that there will be a new ZR1 in the next few years, especially since they no longer hold the American HP crown. But there’s no reason it would have to be mid-engined.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Now they run 911 mid-engine stories too:

      http://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsports/news/a27416/report-porsches-next-911-race-car-wont-be-rear-engined/

  • avatar
    raph

    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.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    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.

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