- Mark Phelan Detroit Free Press
LOS ANGELES — Chevrolet has unveiled the fastest and most powerful convertible in the Corvette sports car’s 65-year history.
The 2019 Corvette ZR1 convertible will arrive in dealerships in the spring. It’s powered by the same supercharged 755-hp 6.2L V8 as the ZR1 coupe.
Chevrolet also announced prices for the ZR1 coupe and convertible. The coupe will cost $119,995, while the convertible starts at $123,995.
The coupe’s top speed will be 212 mph. It will hit 60 mph. in less than 3.0 seconds, GM global product development chief Mark Reuss said.
The new ZR1 is the ultimate performance version of the current Corvette, Reuss said. It has more carbon fiber parts than any Corvette before it, including a high wing rising from the rear deck that generates so much downforce it’s mounted to the car’s frame rather than the truck lid, because the trunk would buckle under the pressure.
Downforce uses airflow to helps keep cars planted solidly on the ground at speeds where they might otherwise leave the ground. The high wing produces 950 pounds of downforce, 60 percent more than that of the 650-hp ZO6 that was the fastest version of the Corvette until now.
The 2019 ZR1’s aerodynamics benefit substantially from Corvette racing teams that compete in races like the annual 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in France, designer Tom Peters said.
Another piece of exposed carbon fiber is the top of the engine’s intercooler, which pokes through the ZR1’s hood.
“If you asked Corvette fans ‘What would you do to improve the car?’ they’d say ‘More horsepower!’” Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter said.
“It’s the ultimate Corvette ever, after 65 years. What’s not to like?”