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The New Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 could be America's Greatest Performance Convertible

We have talked a great deal about the future of the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and the mid-engine supercar which could be called the Zora, but we haven’t talked much about the C7 Corvette ZR1 convertible – which could set a new benchmark for high performance American convertibles.


We still haven’t received any sort of official confirmation on either of these two vehicles, but it is widely expected that General Motors will soon introduce two new Corvettes – the C7 ZR1 and the long-rumored mid-engine supercar which might be the C8 and it might be called the Zora. Or it might be a Cadillac, we don’t really know, but spy shots and on-road video footage indicates that there is a spicier C7 and some sort of mid-engine supercar on the way from GM.

Those two cars have been talked about a great deal over the past two years or so – and for good reason – but we have seemingly ignored the fact that the car believed to be a C7 Corvette ZR1 is also being tested in convertible form. If this mysterious C7 is the next Corvette ZR1 and if it is offered with a convertible top, the resulting Chevrolet supercar will very likely be the greatest American performance convertible ever.

The C7 Corvette ZR1 Convertible
Now, since we don’t have any official details on the C7 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, we can only go on what most people are expecting when dreaming of this monster convertible. It is expected that the ZR1 will have more power than the 650hp and 650lb-ft of torque offered by the current Corvette Z06. More specifically, rumors suggest that the C7 ZR1 will have at least 725 horsepower, allowing it to overpower the Dodge Hellcat cars. That power will likely be sent to the rear wheels by the current 7-speed manual transmission or the new 10-speed automatic transmission, with high performance tires putting the power to the ground.

Helping to keep the tires to the ground will be an advanced suspension setup which could be a new version of the magnetic setup in the Z06 or it could be a setup like the new Camaro ZL1 1LE, which offers better handling than the magnetic setup. There will also be monster brakes – presumably with carbon ceramic rotors – and the most effective aerodynamics package that we have ever seen on any road-going Chevy Corvette.

Many of those expected features come from what we have seen in spy shots and on-road video footage, but those videos also showed that the company was testing one of these super-Vettes in convertible form. Should Chevrolet make a Corvette ZR1 Convertible with a supercharged V8 delivering 725+ horsepower, it will be the most powerful American convertible road car ever and the best performing American convertible ever, while also being among the best-performing convertibles in the world.

Corvette ZR1 Convertible VS Everybody
Right now, the most powerful American convertible road car was the 2014 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang Convertible, which packed 662 horsepower. Next in line is the current C7 Corvette Z06 Convertible with 650 horsepower, so Chevrolet leads the way in terms of American drop-top performance right now, but any new Corvette with at least 670hp will set the all-time record for the most powerful American production convertible roar car.

In terms of the global race, there are plenty of European hypercars which offer some sort of convertible top and monster power, like the Porsche 918 Spyder with roughly 900 horsepower. The odds are good that the Corvette ZR1 Convertible will not have 900 horsepower, so it won’t stand to challenge for the title of the most powerful road going convertible in the world, but it will likely offer better all-around performance than most of the drop-top European exotics. In other words, the C7 ZR1 Convertible might not beat every other convertible in the world on a dyno, it should beat most of those cars with more powerful on most road courses.

Of course, this is all speculation based on speculation, but if Chevrolet does roll out a Corvette ZR1 Convertible, it will almost certainly be the greatest American performance convertible ever while also being one of the best open-air performance cars in the world.