It’s been a long road for Corvette fans, but the greatest ‘Vette of them all will soon be official. Chevrolet announced the debut date for the new ZR1, and we’re barely a month away as this article posts. Save the date for July 25.

What can we expect on that day? While nothing is official just yet, the new ZR1 should be the most powerful production Corvette of them all. The rumor mill points to something in the neighborhood of 800 horsepower, easily eclipsing the previous-generation ZR1. And while Chevrolet hasn’t confirmed details of the engine, spy videos and teasers leave very little to the imagination. As a reminder, Chevy’s latest announcement gives us another sound clip to salivate over.

That’s not the 6.2-liter pushrod V-8 in the Stingray. It sounds like the 5.5-liter DOHC mill from the Z06, force-fed with a pair of turbochargers. Beyond the exhaust note, Chevy’s previous teaser video had an Easter egg that all but confirms the high-revving engine. Barely visible in the smoke you’ll see the shape of a rocket ship, identifying it as the Z06’s LT6 Gemini V-8. Furthermore, the wisps of smoke eventually form two circles that one might interpret as a pair of turbochargers.

In the Z06, this engine develops 670 naturally aspirated horsepower and redlines at 8,600 RPM. There’s still some debate as to whether the ZR1 will rev as high, with some rumors saying the engine will incorporate a cross-plane crankshaft versus a flat-plane crank. One doesn’t simply bolt on turbochargers without making other mechanical changes, so whatever the engineers have in store, the ZR1’s engine will likely gain an LT7 designation.

The ZR1 has long been the performance flagship for Corvette, but everything changed with the mid-engine C8 and there could be another trim still to come. Rumors of an all-wheel-drive Corvette Zora have percolated since the current generation debuted in 2019. A leaked report said it would follow the ZR1, pairing the twin-turbocharged engine with hybrid assist to generate 1,000 hp. Thus far, that leaked report was correct in predicting the Z06, E-Ray, and ZR1.

For now, all eyes are on Chevrolet for a big Corvette party on July 25.

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Last Update: June 20, 2024

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