All talk in Corvette circles right now is over the mid-engine C8 generation expected for 2020, but the C7 generation currently on sale offers plenty of thrills, especially with 2019 seeing the return of the storied ZR1 badge.
Yes, there's a Corvette ZR1 currently on sale, and we loved it so much we named it our Best Car To Buy 2019. Just one look tells you this beast means business. The gaping intakes, aggressive body work, and massive Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires don't mince words, and under the hood lurks a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 with 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque.
The engine is related to the one in the Corvette Z06 but with substantially better cooling, and the ZR1's 2.65-liter supercharger boasts 52 percent more displacement than the one ramming air down the gullet off the Z06's mill.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
The full 755 hp of grunt goes to the rear wheels via a 7-speed manual or 8-speed automatic. Notably, this is the first time an automatic has been offered in a ZR1. For those counting, the badge has seen production three times since its debut in 1969.
Performance is staggering with a 0-60 mph time of 2.85 seconds, a quarter-mile run in the high 10-second range, and a top speed in excess of 200 mph all possible. And for track enthusiasts, Chevy offers a package that nets you a larger rear wing capable of generating up to 950 pounds of downforce at 150 mph. The pack also includes a front splitter with carbon fiber end caps, specific calibration for the chassis and magnetic ride suspension, and those aforementioned Michelin Cup 2 tires. Incredibly, you can get this ultimate performance setup in the Corvette's convertible body style too.
If all of this seems like too much to handle, don't sweat it as the base Corvette Stingray is still available and certainly no slouch. It comes with a 455-horsepower (460 hp available) 6.2-liter V-8 under its hood, plus similar looks to the ZR1, and can be had for a very reasonable $56,995. Its 0-60 mph time is just 3.7 seconds.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Standard goodies include 19-inch wheels, HD digital radio, OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. We'd recommend adding the magnetic ride suspension for better ride and handling. It was made a standalone option for 2018.
Next up the performance rung is the Corvette Grand Sport, which comes with a 460-hp V-8 and 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.6 seconds, and then there's the Corvette Z06, which comes with a 640-hp V-8 and a 0-60 mph time of 2.95 seconds. Note, all acceleration figures are with the available 8-speed automatic transmission equipped. The standard transmission remains a 7-speed manual.
Full pricing for the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette range is below:
2019 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: $56,995
2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport: $66,995
2019 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: $81,995
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1: $121,995
All prices include a $1,095 destination charge.
For more on the Chevrolet Corvette, read the in-depth reviews at The Car Connection.