The only way to best the Z06 is to make the Corvette a mid-engine supercar.
To fight a good war, it’s important to have an arsenal of options at your disposal that can be taken out and used to fire back on the opposing side. GM has been around a while and has racked up a decent amount of options. Lying somewhere in its arsenal bin is a black and blue badge that reads “ZR1.” Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last decade, you know that the C6 Corvette ZR1 was the cheap performance monster of its time. It offered a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that made 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque for the bargain rate of $100,000.
It could keep up with supercars and even Jeremy Clarkson drove one and said that it was as fast as a Ferrari Enzo. Then the C7 Z06 came out and undercut the previous generation ZR1 with 650 horsepower and an even lower base price of $80,395. A faster ZR1 version seemed unnecessary, but GM’s latest trademark filing indicates that the guys over at Chevy don’t care about what’s needed and what’s not as long as there’s more horsepower involved. On May 16, 2016, GM filed a trademark application for the ZR1 moniker. Given that GM has three years to complete the registration and prove to the Patent and Trademark office that it has an actual product to sell, we can probably expect to see a faster Corvette by 2019.
The problem that GM has on its hands now is figuring out how to beat its own Z06. One of the principal complaints about the current Z06 is that it has too much power for the chassis to handle and therefore fails to put down its horsepower properly. In order to fix this, GM might give the ZR1 some aerodynamic upgrades to make it a downforce factory like the Dodge Viper ACR. Chevy likely has even bigger aspirations meaning that the reality may be even better than a cheap Porsche 918 beater. Previously we reported that the next ZR1 would debut in 2017 and be the mid-engine Zora that we’ve all been waiting for. If Chevy goes this route, it could keep the same Z06 engine and become the cheapest new mid-engine car on the market.