Thursday, July 25

The Super Corvette is Poised for a Return

06.26.16 - 2012 Corvette ZR1

Corvette has been a name that has stood for the top end affordable supercar from an American automaker for many decades. There have been others that have come and gone and even some that stick around with exorbitant prices and low sales volume, but the Corvette is the every person supercar that comes in a wide variety of builds to give us the performance we want and a car that in many cases is track ready. When it comes to driving excitement on a scale that is not going to break the bank the Corvette has always been the name we know and trust and feel as good about as we do the American flag.

Over the history of the Corvette, Chevrolet has at times given us a version that has stood out at the top of the model structure well above any other Corvette. This particular model has been called the ZR1 many times over and it appears it may be making another appearance on the market in the near future. This is based on the fact that General Motors recently filed a trademark application for the name ZR1 which would only indicate a rebirth of this awesome supercar.

The ZR1 performance name has been part of the Corvette tradition. Originally it appeared in the C3 version from 1969 to 1970 and was listed as the ZR-1 with the hyphen. Then the name reappeared in 1990 and lasted until 1995 in the LT5 Corvette. The ZR1 name made a third appearance in 2009 that was used until 2013 to give us the 638 horsepower supercharged LS9 version of the Corvette which was sleek, powerful and a lot of fun to drive and discuss. Currently The trademark for the ZR1 name has expired even though they still have live trademarks for the ZR-1 name.

As uninteresting as the differentiation of the hyphenated or non-hyphenated name is the idea of a new ZR1 is simply exciting. The thought is the new ZR1 might be an upgraded version of the Z06 that has a mid-mounted engine rather than the current mounting. This would give the Corvette a supercar that could take on nearly everything else on the track and be able to win off sheer power. The Corvette is already one of the best handling cars on any surface with the dynamic steering and suspension setup.

When will we see the new ZR1 Corvette? That’s hard to say since the name patent is just now being filed, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be out by 2018. I’m sure the Corvette team has already been hard at work to create the new ZR1 and we will get a glimpse of it in concept or production form sometime in the next several months. One thing’s for sure, GM will want to have the new ZR1 setup to tear up some of those others that keep winning off the line with their hybrid powertrains so we might see a new hybrid form of the Corvette in the top slot, but that’s just speculation on my part.

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