Next Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 could pack 700hp, 600 for the C7 Z06
Even though GM hasn’t said word one about the existence of a Z06 or ZR1 based on the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, there is no one in the auto industry who doesn’t expect to see those two high performance packages offered on the new Stingray in the next few years. Even since before the 2014 Stingray debuted there were rumors floating around the internet about “what could be” with the C7 Z06 and ZR1 and thanks to the folks at Motor Trend, we have an idea of what we might see when these models debut in the next year or so.
First of all, Motor Trend’s source indicated that the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 would continue to be powered by the huge, naturally aspirated 7.0L V8 that powers the current C6 Z06 but the power output should be increased substantially. This is contrary to the rumor that the LS7 V8 packed under the hood of the current Corvette Z06 would be discontinued after the 2013 model year but the inside information doesn’t specify whether this 7.0L mill would be based on the current LS engine series or the new LT V8 engine. Regardless of the engine family, the inside information suggests that the C7 Z06 will pack somewhere in the area of 600 horsepower which will come as a significant increase over the 505hp produced by the C6 Z06.
The juicier portion of Motor Trend’s inside info is that the C7 Corvette ZR1 will be powered by a new supercharged V8 based on the new LT1 engine that will offer somewhere in the area of 700 horsepower. We should consider the fact that the C4 ZR1 was powered by a 375 horsepower LT5 engine option when the base Corvette was powered by the LT1 engine. The 2014 Corvette Stingray is once again powered by an LT1 engine so the C7 ZR1 could bring back the fabled LT5 name – although it will offer vastly more power than the LT5 of the early 1990s.
While all of this big power talk would help the C7 Chevrolet Corvette compete a great deal better in the global performance market – the real shootout for the Corvette is with the new 2013 SRT Viper. In early testing, the 2013 Viper has been pretty much even with the 2013 Corvette ZR1 but if GM was to cut some weight from the range topping ZR1 while adding an additional 62 horsepower…it would most likely put to rest any questions about which of these American supercars offers better performance. The Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Technology Group has been quick to refute any claims that the current ZR1 is the better performance car when compared to the 2013 SRT Viper GTS but if the next generation ZR1 packs 700 horsepower, it will be hard for the new Viper to compete in its current form.
In fact, if the C7 Corvette Z06 offers somewhere in the area of 580-600 horsepower, the next generation Z06 fitted with the ZR1 Selective Magnetic Ride Control system may be able to go head to head with the Viper in a venue with turns while the 640 horsepower Viper would still likely be the stronger car in a straight line battle with the C7 Z06.