Next year's Corvette has already been the topic of many reviews heaping on the praise, and the last one we got our eager hands on here at Jim Butler was by the staff at Wheels.Ca, who immediately billed the car as “completely captivating.” Stating that “long drives are a joy, and storage is bigger than Nickelback was a decade ago,” writer Brian Makee was convinced that it is just as comfortable and accessible as any nationally-ranked grand touring auto. There is the 6.2-liter LT5 small block up front, creating 755 horsepower, and 715 lb-ft of torque. Brian tested a model with a seven-speed manual, and was way more excited to pound the track with it then the automatic alternative.
To achieve the additional 105 horsepower, many changes were required: the LT5 has a much larger supercharger, a different cam, as well as much stronger connecting rods and crank. There is a quiet mode to calm the roaring exhaust a bit, but we kind of frown upon it: the plentiful decibels from the piping are a part of the complete package that will resonate well with the most die-hard of track enthusiasts. Unlike the highly charged Hemi V8s found in some Jeeps and Dodges, the LT5 has a different whine from the supercharger, and it’s a constant reminder of the outright amazing horsepower number you are drawing from during the drive.
The chassis begins with the standard suspension set up of the 'Vette, with double wishbones at all four corners, and the latest version of magnetic ride dampening. Very extra-large sized carbon ceramic rotors clamped by six piston calipers are the Brembo brakes found up front, with four-piston in the back. The wing is massive, and drivers out there who are dying to race-test the best in the land will want to spring for the ZTK track package option: it includes the front splitter end caps, as well as the tall rear wing, which has uprights bolted directly to the chassis.
One feature that greatly deserved an up-close look in this article was the electronically controlled limited slip differential. It works overtime to assure that the car is sure-footed and uses a variable format to carefully control the amount of lock being optimized in real time. Brian excitedly claimed that the body and wheel control is “impeccable” on the ZR1, and really took notice of the fact that the dampers are the latest gen magnetic ride, which can adjust to changing road surfaces in an astonishing fifteen milliseconds.
Steering is delivered via an electronically assisted variable ratio rack and pinion system, and Brian thought that turn in response is definitely sharper than any previous 'Vette model in existence. We invite you to visit us this holiday season here at Jim Butler, and see what it's like to “unleash all 755 horses:” wide-open straights and fast corners are going to be the most rewarding locations to drive, and truly bask in the well-honed machinery that is the 2019 ZR1!