Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Loses Its Top During Official Debut

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
chevrolet corvette zr1 loses its top during official debut

Even though we’ve seen it before, Chevrolet brought the 2019 Corvette ZR1 to the L.A. Auto Show to unveil its sizable price tag. Despite the six-figure sticker, the unabashedly American car manages to be a comparatively good deal for those in the market for a “budget” supercar. That doesn’t mean the ZR1 comes up short on specs. With its LT5 6.2-liter supercharged V8 pumping out 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft of torque, it’s an SAE-certified monster of the highest order.

With a starting price of $119,995, the ZR1 remains more affordable than many exotic offerings with fewer ponies under the hood. If you need the wind in your hair, General Motors is also willing to provide a convertible variant with an MSRP of $123,995.

“The ZR1 convertible is a no-compromise supercar,” said Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter. “Thanks to the strong structure, the suspension tuning between coupe and convertible models is identical, meaning the ZR1 convertible offers the same benchmark performance, including a top speed of over 200 mph.”

The hardtop ZR1 pushes the outer limits of speed slightly further, with its unique aero package makes 212 mph a possibility. But anything over 200 mph should be enough for the daily commute, so you aren’t sacrificing much in the convertible. It’s also only 60 pounds heavier than the standard coupe, which ought to keep its handling dynamics pretty crisp.

“The new Corvette ZR1 convertible is a supercar in all respects,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors’ executive vice president for global product development, in a statement. “Few others can challenge the ZR1 convertible’s power and speed while offering the exhilaration of top-down motoring.”

While we wouldn’t want to attempt 200 mph with the top down in any car, we like that the ZR1 has the capability to do so. Offered with either a seven-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic, General Motors claims preliminary testing has shown the ZR1’s 0-to-60 mph time to reside somewhere below 3.0 seconds. Meanwhile, its quarter-mile time in said to be in the high 10-second range when equipped with the automatic.

The 2019 Corvette ZR1 convertible is expected to go on sale in the spring, right alongside the coupe. Both will also be on display for the public at the Los Angeles Auto Show from December 1st through the 10th.

[Images: General Motors]

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  • Detroit-Iron Detroit-Iron on Nov 30, 2017

    I was going to chime in with some bench-racer bs about diluting the brand, but hey, it's the ZR1. At least it's not a drop-top Z06. It is fast and cool and if you think $120k is a ripoff for 755 horses then all I can say is mozel tov because you must be doing very well.

  • True_Blue True_Blue on Nov 30, 2017

    Looks like the Ferrariesque styling's been mixed in with a bit of Lamborghini in those lower fascia ducts. The 'Vette guys have been aiming to punch well above their weight class and not just with the performance. It's a good look for the C7.

  • ToolGuy
  • Art Vandelay Props for trying something different. EVs should work well in this sort of race. The similar series running ICE run short distances like that
  • ToolGuy Well they wet the track down using sea water - from the South Pacific Ocean. Oceans may have a large amount of water, but it isn't infinite, is it? No, it isn't. So if this sport really takes off, what will happen when the ocean is drained? (And once you put the water on the dirt, how does it ever get back to the ocean?)
  • Bobbysirhan Some friends of mine were dazzled by a CUE demo that circulated on YouTube before this car reached the market. I was bewildered why anyone wanted a car as durable and dependable as their cellphones, but to each their own. One of them did actually show up with an XTS V-sport when the car first came out. He showed people CUE in my driveway, but I don't recall him offering demonstration rides to the assembled imported luxury car drivers. In the months that followed, I never saw or heard about the Cadillac again. He went back to driving his Yukon Denali until I moved away a year or two later.
  • Scoutdude Yes you will have to wait between your 10 second bursts 200 electric ponies. The fact that it lists the continous output of 94 ponies means that is what the battery, wiring or motor can handle w/o overheating. Then there is the battery SOC. There will be some point at which it doesn't have enough charge to produce that 10 second burst and even if you started that 10 sec burst with enough power it may not be able to sustain that for a full 10 sec. So the question becomes which component is the weak link, how long will it take to cool down enough before you can repeat it. If it is the battery did that 10 sec blast no only heat up the battery but also drain it to the point where it needs to be recharged before it can sustain another 10 sec burst.