It wasn't all that long ago - 2009, in fact - when the last Corvette ZR-1 arrived with 640hp. Crikey, we all thought, that's a heck of a lot of power for a Corvette. It probably was, too, given how the final car turned out. But then we had a new Corvette, and a new Z06 with 650hp - the Big Nasty, remember? Great idea, yes, though it did beg a question: if the C7 Z06 was 10hp up on a C6 ZR-1, what on earth was in store for the next ZR-1
Now that's a wing!
Now we know, with this Sebring Orange hell-raiser. 755hp and 715lb ft are the big - really big - numbers, the ZR-1's 'LT5' 6.2 V8 an evolution of the LT4 as used in the Z06. The important changes are in a new supercharger, offering 52 per cent more displacement than the Z06's, plus Chevy's first dual fuel injection system; port injection supplements the regular direct injection. The first ever automatic gearbox is available for this generation of ZR-1, with a seven-speed manual as well, and both are claimed to allow The King - Chevrolet's self-effacing nickname for the car - to hit more than 210mph.
In fact the more significant influence on top speed kudos is which aero package the ZR-1 is optioned with. The car you see here has the two-way adjustable High Wing, which offers the most downforce (60 per cent more than a Performance Package Z06, at an estimated 430kg) and therefore the quickest lap times. It also looks fantastically bonkers - a fortunate coincidence, surely - and claims some race car cool by being "tied into the chassis, like the Corvette Racing C7.R, for strength and stability."
Standard low wing. Sad.
The Low Wing - keeps things simple, doesn't it - is standard, looks moderately less badass and is only capable of 70 per cent more downforce than a regular Z06. Tsk. It is, like the High Wing though, "tied" into the chassis again. And it has the greater top speed. But you want the High Wing, right? The more so because the High Wing is part of a ZTK Performance Package that includes Cup 2s, a new front splitter and revised tuning for the magnetic dampers. Get the High Wing, go on...
All ZR-1s will be recognisable, even if they aren't orange, thanks to a new front end. As before it features the 'halo' bonnet to give you a peek into the engine bay, but also a fresh bumper arrangement to accommodate four new radiators - the heat exchanger total is now 13... If you opt for the Sebring Orange Design Package, the exterior is also embellished with orange brake calipers and orange accent stripes, plus orange seatbelts and orange stitching inside. Maybe leave that on the options list when you're choosing the High Wing.
Chevrolet says the ZR-1 will go on sale next spring, "poised to take on the world's best." With the spec looking how it does, we've no reason to doubt that!