Chevrolet introduces convertible version of its 2019 Corvette ZR1 supercar

Article by Christian A., on November 30, 2017

Just this month, Chevrolet unveiled the new 2019 Corvette ZR1 super coupe. Dubbed by Chevrolet as the fastest and most powerful production Corvette, the new 2019 ZR1 astonished the public with its 755 hp (563 kW) of output and 212 mph of top speed. While people are still reeling from the arrival of the new Corvette ZR1 super coupe, Chevrolet has opted not to wait too long to unveil its drop-top version.

Yes, Chevrolet is introducing the 2019 Corvette ZR1 Convertible, with the official unveiling set to happen at the upcoming 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. It will be sold along with the 2019 Corvette ZR1 super coupe starting next spring. It will the first ZR1 convertible since the original 1970 ZR1, taking nearly 50 years before the first drop-top was followed up by a modern version.

As the drop-top version of the coupe introduced at the 2017 Dubai Motor Show, the Corvette ZR1 convertible has the same performance and technology offerings as its roofed twin. Thanks to the Corvette’s strong and stiff aluminum chassis, Chevrolet has to implement a few structural changes, which include the accommodations for its folding top and repositioned safety belt mounts. Drivers could open or close the power top up to speeds of 30 mph. The folding top hardware accounted for most of the 60 lbs (27 kg) of curb weight difference between the coupe and convertible versions of the new Corvette ZR1 supercar.

Tadge Juechter, Corvette Executive Chief Engineer, called the ZR1 convertible as a no-compromise supercar, noting that even the suspension tuning between coupe and convertible versions is identical, allowing the drop-top to deliver the same benchmark performance.

Both the coupe and convertible versions of the new Corvette ZR1 are powered by the same supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine -- officially dubbed as the LT5 mill – that delivers the same 755 hp (563 kW) of max output and the same 715 lb.-ft. (969 Nm) of peak torque (SAE-rated). This power is transmitted to the wheels via either a seven-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission. Just like the coupe, the Corvette ZR1 convertible comes with a special carbon-fiber “halo” hood that is open in the middle as well new 13 radiators, four of which are new.

This power is complemented by two aero packages: a standard rear Low Wing and the optional adjustable High Wing. The Low Wing package allows the Corvette ZR1 convertible to achieve the highest top speed possible, as it could generate up to 70 percent more downforce than the base aero package of the Z06.

Meanwhile, the two-way adjustable High Wing – coming as part of the new $2,995 ZTK Performance Package that also includes a front splitter with carbon-fiber end caps, specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control tuning as well as Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires -- is created suitable for customers wanting to achieve the quickest lap times. While the top speed with the optional High Wing package is lower (but still over 200 mph), the car is faster at corners thanks to up to 950 pounds of downforce.

The Corvette ZR1 coupe will have a suggested retail price of $119,995, while the ZR1 convertible will be just $4,000 costlier at $123,995. The prices already include destination charge, but exclude tax, title as well as other dealer fees.

Press Release

FIRST MODERN-ERA CORVETTE ZR1 CONVERTIBLE MAKES DEBUT

Chevrolet today dropped the top on the 2019 Corvette ZR1 with the global introduction of the ZR1 convertible, the first ZR1 drop-top since the original 1970 model-year ZR1.

On sale next spring alongside the Corvette ZR1 coupe, the ZR1 convertible emphasizes Corvette’s iconic proportions and functional sculpture, highlighting the seamless transition between the exterior and interior.

The ZR1 coupe will carry a suggested retail price of $119,995, while the ZR1 convertible will start at $123,995 (prices include destination charge, but exclude tax, title and other dealer fees).

“The new Corvette ZR1 convertible is a supercar in all respects,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Few others can challenge the ZR1 convertible’s power and speed while offering the exhilaration of top-down motoring.”

The performance and technology introduced on the Corvette ZR1 coupe carry over to the new ZR1 convertible. The strength of the Corvette’s aluminum chassis means the only structural changes in the convertible are accommodations for the folding top and repositioned safety belt mounts. The power top can be operated remotely or while driving up to 30 mph.

In fact, the curb weight difference between the ZR1 coupe and convertible is less than 60 pounds (27 kg), with most of the difference attributed to the folding top hardware.

“The ZR1 convertible is a no-compromise supercar,” said Corvette Executive Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter. “Thanks to the strong structure, the suspension tuning between coupe and convertible models is identical, meaning the ZR1 convertible offers the same benchmark performance, including a top speed of over 200 mph.”

Top speed-enabling aero, horsepower

The Corvette ZR1’s unique aero package is central to the coupe’s 212-mph (341 kph) top speed. Its standard, stanchion-mounted Low Wing generates road-holding downforce with minimal drag, enabling the benchmark top speed. This was evident during top-speed testing at Germany’s Papenburg proving ground.

An adjustable High Wing is part of the new $2,995 ZTK Performance Package, which also includes a front splitter with carbon-fiber end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control tuning. It is designed to help generate faster lap times through maximum grip in the corners, with up to 950 pounds of downforce. The top speed is lower with the High Wing but still exceeds 200 mph.

Complementing the ZR1’s aero advantage on the way to 212 mph is the thrust generated by the exclusive LT5 6.2L supercharged engine, which is rated at an SAE-certified 755 horsepower (563 kW) and 715 lb-ft of torque (969 Nm). A seven-speed manual transmission and a ZR1-first paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission are offered with it. Preliminary testing has shown 0-60 mph in under 3.0 seconds and the quarter mile in the high 10-second range when the engine is equipped with the eight-speed automatic.

The LT5 features a new, more efficient intercooled supercharger system, along with GM’s first dual fuel-injection system, which employs primary direct injection and supplemental port injection. Compared to the supercharger system on the Corvette Z06’s LT4 engine, the LT5 employs a larger, 2.65-liter supercharger that generates more boost while spinning at a slightly slower speed. That reduces heat to help maintain a lower air intake temperature for optimal performance.

Four new radiators also help manage cooling in the ZR1, which features 13 radiators in all, including circuits for engine oil, transmission and differential cooling.

A distinctive voice

A new, patent-pending exhaust system is the voice of the supercharged LT5 engine and offers the most aggressive sound ever for a production Corvette.

Building on the bi-modal exhaust system offered on other Corvette models, it features four distinct modes and sound levels: Stealth, Tour, Sport and Track. In Stealth mode, the ZR1 is quieter than the Corvette Z06, while in Track mode it is significantly louder.

In Track mode, a spring-loaded passive valve closes to allow virtually unrestricted exhaust flow for maximum performance. The exhaust note for all modes was carefully tuned to deliver a distinctive sound.

The 2019 Corvette ZR1 coupe and convertible will be on display to the public Dec. 1-10 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Source: Chevrolet

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