C8 Chevy Corvette ZR1: Everything We Know So Far

A track-slaying, turbocharged beast with wild aero is almost certainly in our future.

byPeter Holderith|
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The Chevrolet Corvette has been making a lot of noise recently and it's been hard to make sense of all the rumors floating around, especially when it comes to the long-awaited ZR1 variant. The C8 changed the Corvette game with the hybrid E-Ray replacing the Grand Sport not long ago, and there's allegedly a top "Zora" trim coming, too. But while we already got the new Z06, it's not entirely clear what's going on with the ZR1. The hardcore 'Vette is all but confirmed, but it appears it's going to be a little different this time around.

First and foremost, Chevy won't talk about any future trims of the Corvette before they're released, or before it decides to tease them, but it can't really escape testing on public roads. Because of this and other details we've seen, we know a little more about the car than General Motors would is willing to share.

The ZR1 has been rumored for some time, with strong reports suggesting the car's continued existence within the Corvette lineup. It will likely no longer be the top dog as it was in previous generations, however. It will reportedly sit below the range-topping Zora, which is expected to get the same engine as the ZR1 but with a front-mounted electric motor similar to the unit in the E-Ray.

There is also hard evidence of the existence of this new engine for the ZR1, which will likely be called the LT7. It's allegedly a turbocharged version of the Z06's LT6, likely with multiple modifications to support the turbo boost. The moniker "LT7" was seen on a shipping crate that held an LT6, as reported by CorvetteBlogger. The marking is either a very elaborate ruse or a solid indication that the LT7 is on the way. It's expected to produce in the neighborhood of 850 horsepower.

Beyond that, the ZR1 is set to be very similar to the C7's interpretation of the trim, outside of the architectural changes that came with the C8, of course. It's expected to be a hardcore, RWD-only track car with massive rear tires and unique styling changes. Some of these changes have been spotted on test mules running around Michigan.

A video shared by GM Authority highlights the latest view of what is allegedly a ZR1. It features the same rear tire spec as the Z06 as well as the rear wing available on the Z07 package. The heavily camouflaged exterior makes it difficult to discern other changes, although a large front splitter is clearly masked behind the vinyl.

Other recent spy photographs show what may be ZR1s or range-topping Zoras testing in pairs. Posted to the Facebook group Colorado Car Spotters, what looks like a split window Corvette was seen testing in the western state, although it's tough to tell through the camouflage.

The lack of visibility of different parts muddles things a bit, but it's very possible these panels are not the finals. The last ZR1 wore unique fascias, so it's like a new one would, too.

Despite all of this evidence, we probably won't know more without another E-Ray-esque leak or teasers from the automaker. It's a fact that another top trim of the Corvette is coming, but there is no known timeline for its arrival just yet. One thing is certain; we will keep reporting on what little information we find out.

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