Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Loses Its Top During Official Debut

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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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.

  • C-b65792653 I'm starting to wonder about Elon....again!!I see a parallel with Henry Ford who was the wealthiest industrialist at one time. Henry went off on a tangent with the peace ship for WWI, Ford TriMotor, invasive social engineering, etc. Once the economy went bad, the focus fell back to cars. Elon became one of the wealthiest industrialist in the 21st century. Then he went off with the space venture, boring holes in the ground venture, "X" (formerly Twitter), etc, etc, etc. Once Tesla hit a plateau and he realized his EVs were a commodity, he too is focused on his primary money making machine. Yet, I feel Elon is over reacting. Down sizing is the nature of the beast in the auto industry; you can't get around that. But hacking the Super Charger division is like cutting off your own leg. IIRC, GM and Ford were scheduled to sign on to the exclusive Tesla charging format. That would have doubled or tripled his charging opportunity. I wonder what those at the Renaissance Center and the Glass House are thinking now. As alluded to, there's blood in the water and other charging companies will fill the void. I believe other nations have standardized EV charging (EU & China). Elon had the chance to have his charging system as the default in North America. Now, he's dropped the ball. He's lost considerable influence on what the standardized format will eventually be. Tremendous opportunity lost. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos I never used winter tires, and the last two decades I am driving almost only rear wheel drive cars, half of them in MI. I always bought all season tires for them, but the diff between touring and non touring flavors never came up. Does it make even the smallest bit of difference? (I will not read the lengthy article because I believe it does not).
  • Lou_BC ???
  • Lou_BC Mustang sedan? 4 doors? A quarterhorse?Ford nomenclature will become:F Series - Pickups Raptor - performance division Bronco - 4x4 SUV/CUVExplorer - police fleetsMustang- cars
  • Ede65792611 Got one. It was my Dad's and now has 132K on it. I pay my Mercedes guy zillions of dollars to keep it going. But, I do, and he does and it's an excellent vehicle. I've put in the full Android panel for BT handsfree and streaming with a backup cam.
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