Radical Chevy Corvette ZR1 Follows in the Footsteps of Its Predecessors, but With a Twist

2025 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 9 photos
Photo: Baldauf
2025 Chevrolet Corvette ZR12025 Chevrolet Corvette ZR12025 Chevrolet Corvette ZR12025 Chevrolet Corvette ZR12025 Chevrolet Corvette ZR12025 Chevrolet Corvette ZR12025 Chevrolet Corvette ZR12025 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Supreme. Extreme. And everything in between. Chevrolet disclosed has finally disclosed the day it would reveal the latest iteration of the C8 ZR1. The model is expected to come with over 800 horsepower and all the credentials the Corvette has been labeled as America's sports car for.
This is the news that all Corvette enthusiasts have been waiting for. Chevrolet is finally bringing the long-awaited and much-coveted Corvette ZR1 into the spotlight. The model will make its debut next month on Thursday, July 25.

The automaker made the announcement through a six-second video that only indicates the date and shows the brand logo. But watching that video teaser with the volume up is a must because you might want to hear the soundtrack that the sports car will be accompanied by.

The model will most likely be powered by an LT7 twin-turbocharged engine that should pump out over 800 horsepower. The 5.5-liter flat-plane crank V8 should be the same engine that sets the Corvette Z06 in motion. In the Z06, the V8 pumps out 670 horsepower (679 metric horsepower) and 460 pound-feet (624 Newton meters) of torque.

It does 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 kph) in 2.6 seconds, runs the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds, and hits a top speed of 200 mph (322 kph). We should expect upgraded figures from the ZR1, especially because earlier this month, in another video teaser, the carmaker mentioned "unthinkable speed."

2025 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Photo: Chevrolet
The engine that will set the ZR1 in motion is codenamed LT6 in the Z06, but it should get the LT designation once it gets the pair of turbochargers. Prototypes equipped with the LT7 have already been spotted testing at the Nurburgring in Germany.

Spy shots have shown what might be a rear split window unless Chevrolet won't choose to keep this solution for the radical Zora, which is expected to arrive sometime in 2025. What we do know is that the ZR1 will receive a more aggressive styling that will make it instantly recognizable when sitting next to the Stingray, Z06, or E-Ray.

Chevrolet won't change much about the cabin. The carmaker is not planning any revolutionary layout changes on board because, you know, you don't change the winning team.

Chevrolet rolls out ZR1s since the 1970s

The C8 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 drops twenty-four years after the first-ever ZR1 version hit the market. But before that, Chevrolet offered ZR1-branded go-fast packages, starting with the C3 Corvette in 1970, which was 54 years ago.

Back in 1990, the ZR1 version came with the LT5 engine that was designed by Lotus and built in the Mercury Marine plant in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The LT5 was a four-cam that boasted 375 horsepower. Chevrolet kept it in production from 1990 through 1995 model years. But somehow, it made the wrong step at the wrong time, rolling out visual upgrades in the style of the ZR1 for the entire lineup. The move weakened the fine line that set the ZR1 apart from the rest of the Corvettes.

The ZR1 made a comeback with the sixth generation. General Motors released a press statement in December 2007 to announce its debut. It came with the then-all-new LS9 6.2-liter V8 engine, equipped with an Eaton supercharger.

The engine put out 638 horsepower (647 metric horsepower) and 604 pound-feet (819 Newton meters) of torque at its best for a top speed of 205 mph (330 kph). Those were the numbers that made the LS9 the most powerful engine ever installed in a General Motors production sports car.

There was no ZR1 for the C5 Corvette. By the time the C5 was out, Chevrolet already had their full. They were over their heads in developing a new LeMans racer.

In 2011, Chevrolet thought that involving customers in the build would attract more people who still had their doubts about buying America’s sports car. It was an opportunity offered for the buyers of the Corvette Z06 and ZR1 under the "Corvette Engine Build Experience" program.

Customers had to pay extra money to fly all the way to Wixom, Michigan, and give a helping hand along the assembly line. The program also offered a special delivery event as the owners were invited to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to take delivery of their car.

The ZR1 returned for the 2019 model year. It received the 6.2-liter LT5 engine, which was, in fact, in LT4 with a supercharger with a capacity increased from 1.7 to 2.65 liters and 755 horsepower coming out of it.

2025 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Photo: Chevrolet
Now, the time has come for the C8 to get its ZR1 extreme version. A little over a month is left until the moment we get to see it. For the Corvette fans, the countdown started back in April with the first teaser.

The wait will be over soon as Chevrolet has set the reveal date: July 25. The ZR1 will go into production in September. First customers will get their hands on their extreme sports cars in the first quarter of 2025.

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