Home C7 Corvette News The 2019 Corvette ZR1 Takes the Automotive Media World by Storm!

The 2019 Corvette ZR1 Takes the Automotive Media World by Storm!

by Rob LoszewskiRob Loszewski
2019 Corvette ZR1 at Road Atlanta

Now that the 2019 Corvette ZR1 is reaching the hands of owners, Chevy dealers and automotive media, the accolades are pouring in for Chevrolet’s all new King of the Hill Corvette.

Over the last month, as customers have taken possession of their ZR1 Corvettes, many owners have already strapped them to a dynamometer and taken them to the drag strip.  The results?  Anything but disappointing!

Keep in mind, GM’s officially reported numbers for the ZR1 are as follows:

Horsepower:  755
Torque:  715 lb-ft

0-60 mph:    2.85 seconds
0-100 mph:  6.00 seconds
1/4 Mile:      10.6 seconds
Top Speed:   212 MPH

That 755 horsepower number, may however, be a bit conservative!  During an interview with Road and Track magazine, Corvette Chief Engineer, Tadge Juechter stated that the 755-horsepower number is a “worst-case number” indicating that in cooler temperatures, the ZR1’s LT5 engine has the potential to make even more power than the reported 755.

While details are slim as of this writing, Chevrolet will be releasing a cold-air performance air intake system, for all Corvettes.  Known as RPO RVK (PN 84152141), this Limited Promotional Option (LPO) can be ordered from your local Chevrolet parts department at a cost of $625.00.  However, the LPO cannot yet be checked off on the list when placing the order for your ZR1 at your Chevy dealer.

So what will this additional $625.00 get you on top of your ZR1?  Have a look below:

Horsepower and Pressure Loss improvements:C7 Corvette Performance Air Intake System

LT1:  0 HP however there is a 30% restriction reduction @ 350g/s
LT4:  +11 with a 28% restriction reduction @ 550g/s
LT5:  +17 with a 26% @630g/s

Unique Attributes:

  • 50 State Legal for each engine with EO label to affix to engine bay
  • Maintains full vehicle warranty when installed by dealer
  • First Performance Air Intake upgrade offered for Corvette since 1957!
  • No additional calibration required
  • Uses a Dry Media Filter
  • Long-term efficiency and durability
  • Seamless integration with production mass airflow sensor
  • Fits all 3 engines: LT1, LT4 & LT5!
  • Hardcore road course testing at MPG, VIR and (soon) Nurburgring
  • Dealer install time – .6 hours on LT1/LT4 and .8 hours on LT5


  • Customer Installed – 12 months/12k mi
  • Dealer Installed as LPO / Ordered on New Vehicle: balance of new vehicle warranty

So the ZR1’s LT5 engine already conservatively makes 755 hp; add an additional 17 hp and you’re looking at a grand total of 772 hp.  Given Tadge Juechter’s comments about the power output, it’s not hard to imagine the LT5 engine could easily make just under 800 hp with optimal atmospheric conditions!

An interesting side note, is that the performance air intake system will soon be tested at the Nürburgring.  A couple weeks ago, we reported that a ZR1 was captured making some quick runs around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.  While the reported times captured by observers were disappointing given the ZR1’s incredible potential, we speculated that maybe Chevy was testing this new performance air intake system in preparation for making a record run.  Our speculation may not have been too off-base!

On-Track Performance

So, what does all that horsepower get you on the track?

A “bone stock” 2019 ZR1 reportedly ran a 10.2 in the quarter at Maryland International Raceway last week while another owner took his “bone stock” ZR1 to Richmond Dragway in Virginia with just 502 miles on the odometer.  That ZR1 ran a 10.1229 down the track clearly indicating that the ZR1 can definitely perform as GM has published.

As you can see, the ZR1 is no slouch at the drag strip, and the same goes for a race track.

Chevrolet initially reported the top speed of the ZR1 to be 212 MPH, however based upon the official Chevrolet video released yesterday, the beast is good for a couple more MPH at top speed!

Automotive Testing Papenburg (ATP) in Papenburg, Germany was responsible for testing the ZR1 above and establishing Chevrolet’s new top speed number for the car.

What the Media Wonks Think

So what does the automotive media think of Chevrolet’s C7 Corvette swan song? They love it!

After years of reading Corvette reviews from all of the major media outlets criticizing the Corvette’s supposed lack of handling capability, extremely poor quality interior components, and overall dismal build quality, it is so refreshing to read all the kudos from automotive journalists regarding the C7 Corvette and this new ZR1.

Recently, Chevrolet invited several automotive media outlets to the infamous Road Atlanta road course in Georgia to experience the ZR1 first-hand and the reviews have been nothing but stellar!

Matt Farah, writing for Road and Track magazine, was utterly blown away by the ZR1’s performance and relative ease of driving around the road course.  He writes:

“…the ZR1 is everything you want out of the ultimate Corvette to compete with the world, at a price nobody can compete with, though at perhaps a lower quality of interior and finish than more expensive competition. For better or worse, it’s a Corvette. But it is, without question, the fastest, loudest, craziest, most capable Corvette ever made, which puts it right in the running for fastest road cars of all time. Hu’Murrica, hell yeah.”

Check out his video review below and turn up your volume!

Edmunds’ Senior Writer, Carlos Lago was called out by GM to Road Atlanta to sample the ZR1 both on the track and off.

Ever since I started following Lago and reading his reviews for the popular Ignition program for Motor Trend Magazine, I’ve gained a huge amount of respect for him as a journalist.  His automotive reviews have always been extremely fair, objective, and refreshing amid a sea of other journalistic reviews that often times, seem unfair and skewed.  He writes:

“The ride isn’t too firm. The front tires don’t follow grooves in the road. And aside from the occasional clunky shift and the slight delay from the paddle shifters, the automatic transmission’s smoothness turns this massively powerful machine into a gentle street car. To be sure, the road and interior noise is loud, and the mounting location and height of the optional rear wing make accessing the trunk exceptionally difficult mdash; don’t plan on impressing your golf buddies in the parking lot. But the ZR1 is civil enough to be driven daily.”

“The combination of big stupid power and sophisticated technology means you can approach the ZR1 with confidence. But this attention to ownership comes bundled with a peerless performance-per-dollar ratio and largely uncompromised road manners, ensuring the ZR1 a special spot in the hearts of its owners.”

Below is his video review:

Hagerty Insurance also got to hot lap Road Atlanta in a ZR1 followed by a spirited run on Blue Ridge Mountain roads through the Chattahoochee Forest on north Georgia’s highway 19.  For Hagerty, Don Sherman writes:

“The ZR (Zora Arkus-Duntov Racer) code name is more legit than ever. If anything, this $122,095 ultra-Vette has rocketed out the top of the supercar category into low hypercar orbit with its 10.6-second quarter-mile acceleration and 200-plus mph top speed. More remarkably, it also offers impeccable road manners with a twist of its driving mode knob. Dial Tour or Sport and the ’19 ZR1 soothes your soul as it leaps vast distances in a single bound.”

“It’s easily the greatest Vette ever made.”

For Maxim Magazine, Dan Carney writes:

“With the 2019 ZR1, the Chevrolet Corvette has ascended to the ranks of the genuinely fire-breathing super-sports cars, joining the rarefied likes of the McLaren P1 and the Lamborghini Aventador…the ZR1 is as utterly docile in street driving as your mom’s Accord.”

“The Testor’s model glue aroma that has permeated Corvettes since time immemorial is now blessedly absent, eliminating that subconscious cue that has previously undermined the car’s stake on claims of prestige.”

“With a base price of $120,000, nobody wants to have their car’s premium atmosphere undercut, so this is an important step, even for a car that can defeat half-million-dollar exotics on the track.”

During the Road Atlanta event, ABC News sat down with Corvette Engineering to discuss the ZR1 and Corvette culture in general.  Out of all the interesting comments and information provided by the Corvette Engineering team, we found Tadge Juechter’s remarks enlightening and music to our ears:

“The design language of the car got more expressive and we realized we had to make it very different,” he said. “We want to keep pushing because our customers are getting older and we really want to get more young people interested in the car. It takes 20 years, a generation, to really change one’s impression, so you imprint on people when they’re young. We really want to impress the youth of today and then 20 years from now when they can afford it, they can buy their dream car and it’s going to be a Corvette.”

Amen!  Preach it Brother Tadge!!

Media Reviews:

Road and TrackThe 755 Horsepower Corvette ZR1 Will Warp Your Perception of Speed

Edmunds2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 First Drive

Hagerty2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 first drive review – Hail the new king of street and track speed

MaximThe 212-MPH, 755-HP Corvette ZR1 Is a Street-Legal, Track-Ready Monster

ABC NewsWhy the new $120K ZR1 sports car is a game changer for the Corvette

Related Links:

[VIDEO] 2019 Corvette ZR1 Making an Official Nürburgring Nordschleife Timed Run?

2019 Corvette ZR1 Registry

2019 Corvette ZR1 Forum

Chime in with your thoughts in the forums >>>

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