2009 corvette zr1: gm image
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GM Trademarks ZR1 Again, Could Hint to New Super Corvette

Earlier this month, General Motors once again filed a trademark application for the term ZR1, possibly hinting to a new high performance Chevrolet Corvette – which could be something as incredible as the long-rumored mid-engine super-Vette.

Now, before getting into all of the Corvette –based possibilities for why General Motors would file a trademark application for the ZR1 name, I should point out that automakers can trademark names to protect them from other companies. A great many names are trademarked by automakers without ever appearing on a vehicle and because of that, those unused trademarks eventually expire. The automaker is then required to re-file for that trademark. A few examples include GM protecting the Chevelle name and the Chrysler Group protecting the Barracuda name.

However, the fact that GM has moved to protect the ZR1 name is different – as this is a name that has been well used on the Chevrolet Corvette several times in the past half century. Just because GM has filed for a trademark of the ZR1 name does not mean that we are guaranteed to see a new Corvette ZR1 – but the fact that the company is protecting that name gives us some direction in guessing at the future of the Chevrolet supercar.

Could There Be a C7 ZR1?
The ZR1 name has been used in some form (sometimes ZR-1) three times on the Chevrolet Corvette – during the C3, C4 and C6 generations. In each of those past editions, the Corvette ZR1 was an ultra-high performance package, with the most significant version being the supercharged C6 Corvette ZR1 with 638 horsepower.

The last Corvette ZR1 was the most powerful in the history of the American supercar, until the C7 Corvette Z06 was introduced with a 650 horsepower supercharged engine of its own. The C7 Z06 shares a great many features with the C6 Corvette ZR1 so when the new supercharged Vette was introduced, it was assumed by many that the ZR1 would be no more. However, the company could be working on a new Corvette to top the range and set the performance world on fire – and it could be the next ZR1.

Of course, the first option is that a new Corvette ZR1 would be similar to the current Corvette lineup, except with more power, improved aerodynamics and an overall greater level of performance. Basically, it could be “just another Corvette” with enough power to beat the best from Italy and Germany, just in case the C7 Z06 cant handle the job.

Or, it could be something much more exciting.

We have long heard the rumors about the future arrival of a mid-engine Corvette. The most recent rumors suggest that the mid-engine car will ring in the C8 generation altogether, while other rumors indicate that the mid-engine car will be a sort of trimline for the current Corvette. In either case, something as groundbreaking as a mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette would be a significant enough performance car to wear the ZR1 name.

GM could have applied for the trademark of the ZR1 name for a new Corvette trimline, and that trimline might just be the long-rumored mid-engine Corvette. The next ZR1 could also be a front engine vehicle with a monster engine or the company could have just protected the ZR1 name to prevent any competitors from using it – but I am hoping that the ZR1 badges will be found on the fenders of the alleged mid-engine Corvette.


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