Corvette ZR1 breaks cover! Well, sort of…


In the automotive equivalent of introducing a new member to the rest of the family, our spy photographers caught the new Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 traveling with a Corvette Z06, a Corvette E-Ray, and a Porsche 911 in what was most likely a benchmarking session for the ZR1 in Detroit.

The ZR1 is heavily camouflaged with thick plastic, and even the wheels are covered with camouflage discs. But there’s no hiding the massive rubber those wheels are carrying. As for the engine, we’re expecting a twin-turbo version of the Z06’s 5.5-liter DOHC V-8, something in the vicinity of 875 horsepower, with the long-rumored Zora model – if indeed it happens – nearing 1000 horses.

Corvette ZR1 spy shot front three quarter

That model would be fittingly named in honor of Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, credited with making the pleasant roadster into a genuine sports car in the late 1950s and into the 1960s. The Zora would likely be a hybrid with all-wheel-drive.

Consequently, we have to be careful using the term “ultimate Corvette,” until we know for sure what the final version of the C8’s absolute king of the hill will be.

Regardless of the camo, we can still see that it’s hiding a substantial splitter at the bottom of the front fascia. Out back, we can see the same wing as used on the Z06, but that would be easy to change for the ZR1’s production version if Chevrolet is so inclined.

Look for the Corvette ZR1 as a 2025 model. As for the Zora – your guess is as good as ours.

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    There is not one hint of doubt that C8 will top out with the hybrid Zora model with over 1000 hp, awd, twin turbos, a partridge in a pear tree, and a price crowding $200,000. I’d expect it before the end of this decade.
    And the wise money still sez C9 will be a BEV with even better performance.

    “And the wise money still sez C9 will be a BEV with even better performance.”

    Depends on your definition of performance.

    If performance is a few passes down the drag strip or a few laps around the VIR long course during a track day, where performance is enjoyed in chunks of seconds or a few minutes and is measured by comparing time slips, probably.

    You, the proud owner of a C9 BEV meet a lowly C8 ZR-1 owner during breakfast at the 4 Seasons Beverley Hills. You find that you both have an open day and decide use the opportunity to ‘enjoy your cars to the fullest’. The plan is to swing over to La Crescenta, zip down CA2, with a side trip up Mt Wilson to view and photograph the basin, stopping for a leisurely lunch at the Mountaintop Cafe, and then return via CA2-La Crescenta-Hotel, have a short nap, and stroll over to Spago’s for dinner. An important part of the plan is to enjoy as much of your cars’ performance during the exercise as your skill and daring will allow. A fun 200mi round trip on a highway seemingly designed with the idea that cars like your C9 and C8 would someday exist.

    With that scenario being defined as ‘sports car performance’ vice the comparison of time slips on race courses, the superiority of the C9 BEV may not be so apparent.

    Or, maybe the C9 WILL be ‘better’ under both scenarios. Certainly GM will not produce its signature performance car with a range of LESS than 200 miles. Will it?

    Range will be about 350 miles… We call that progress. The current battery and motor tech will certainly be improved significantly over the next 5 years.

    I agree that it will (likely) be certified to have a 350+ mile range, tested under government specified conditions.

    But will it have a 350 mile range under the real-world sports car scenario I described? Demonstrating that it is superior the C8 ZL-1 on a 200 mile round trip out and back on the Angeles Crest Highway, or similar sports car challenging road?

    Bob L: great argument for the 1% who might actually do what you suggest. Range anxiety, like much else that you read about, is largely just that … anxiety.

    Photos make it appear that the side scoops on the Corvette are not in use or not functional as the camouflage is doing a pretty good job of closing them off.

    Ditching the side vent or at least adding a good dose of subtle would greatly improve the profile view of any C8.

    Well well sounds like some others that dislike Corvettes! All that car is , is Government Motors feeble attempt at trying to get a Ford GT type car into the hands of the masses. Good luck GM, you’ll NEVER build a car with the pedigree of the 427 Cobra, GT350R, GT500, Ford GT and of course the GT40.

    I think I would rather have a Porsche 911 GT2 RS. This should be an interesting car though.

    What will 1,000+ HP do that my 74 HP old Porsche can’t do when you need to go to the store? Yes, it will get you there faster, however, if your time management requires you to watch your time down to the seconds, I’d certainly be seeking some stress relief program. That might start with slowing down your life, a lot! I’d also start thinking about the old adage that its more fun to drive a slow car fast than drive a fast car slow.

    Oh, that was a plastic wrap? It resembles the paint orange peel on the only two (GM) cars I’ve ever bought…. both of which also lost their ring & pinion within their warranty period. Mechanics at both dealers said “GM just doesn’t know how to set up a differential….”

    Gov-Loc in trucks had a near 100% failure rate when used offroad.

    Per Thad Stump with GM NA Truck group.

    Government Motors doesn’t know how to set up much of anything for that matter! Like most mechanical things the younger folks could care less how it actually works. They think everything is done on the computer, unfortunately, this country is due for a catastrophic awakening of proportions never seen before. I was a power plant operator for 13 years then a grid operator and the incompetence out of would knock your socks off! I asked even engineers simple generation and electrical questions they could not answer! I worked for a utility for gods sake, incredible I’m surprised the lights stay on as much as they do. Sorry getting off track…

    As for the Gov-loc…another GM idea that didn’t work. As the other guy started 100% failure offroad. Unfortunately, I had a 1976 Chevy half-ton back then all I could afford. Well the Gov-loc failed all most immediately, not surprising Government Motors would bring back that device. As far as I’m concerned GM doesn’t make ANYTHING that lasts. They should have gone the way of the Dodo in 2008, how soon people forget!

    I drove my 4-speed 1970 Olds Convertible which I bought new over 150,000 miles only replacing the clutch, starter, and distributor. The body and top are original. While doing a nut and bolt restoration, my engine, specifically the rings and bearings are well within original specs. In the meantime, my 2017 Caddy CTS has had catalytic converters and various sensors replaced that cost me more than I originally paid for the Olds. I envision junk yards full of mechanically good shiny cars junked because the computers, sensors, and wiring are too expensive to diagnose and replace.

    As usual who cares! I sure don’t and most all of the car people I know have the same opinion of corvettes and their owners. Over confident Jackwagons, sorry but those are absolutely the facts take it or leave it! ZR1 woopty flipping do, buy a real GD car then will talk.

    This site is making a big deal about GM being at La Ma, again, who cares! Ford did it 57 years ago, welcome to the party pal. It about time Mr. Government Motors!

    Hmmm, benchmarking the article says. Benchmarking it’s trainload of failures I would imagine. In my 62 years on this planet benchmarks are usually reserved for something extraordinary. There is absolutely nothing extraordinary about that car and never will be. Good luck GM and with any luck good riddance!

    GM stopped making Corvettes in 1963 when that awful splitwindow hothouse came out. The models thereafter are progressively worse. The 53 even with the six powerglide lights me up more that the mid-engine computer controlled nightmares.

    Wow, a lot of corvette and gm hate here. Don’t know why. From a performance standpoint, the corvette is awesome, the z06 even better and if history has anything to prove, the zr1 will be absolute bananas.

    However, the rear end styling is a little too much Kardashian and not enough Mrs. Johansson in my opinion. But I guess you have to be able to fit in golf clubs for the old Caucasian New Balance wearing men. 😉 The corvette is slightly too big and over styled in general for my preference. Beauty for the beholder I guess.

    Bottom line is the car is a performer and a value. What’s not to like?

    Even with my personal like and dislike about the corvette, I am willing to put my money where my mouth is. It isn’t a corvette and that was an easy decision because I went for the best grand touring/sports car that has heritage, speed, reliability, pedigree, timeless styling, and quality….Porsche 911 992 gts, there is no substitute. Flame away vette owners….you already knew what car I was referring to before I named it, there’s a reason for that…

    To Lfg350, My Dad bought a brand new 76 K20. 256k miles, never had the 350, or either diff apart. (Rear was Posi). Did a Chevy guy run off with your Mom when you were a kid or something? I mean, dang man, lighten up. I’ve put a lot of food on the table in my 61 years working on Henry Ford’s stuff. Sure ain’t any better than GM.

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