2019 Corvette ZR1, the Last of the Front Engine Stingrays?

The Corvette Stingray was one of the first and is still one of the most legendary American sports cars. Blending European curves with American muscle the Vette held a special place in the hearts of many motoring enthusiasts around the world. The sumptuous curves and big block V8 muscle have made the Stingray an object of desire for many years but the latest 2019 incarnation of the Stingray may be the last of the front engine Corvette’s with Chevrolet experimenting with a mid-engine hypercar style in 2020, a change that will forever alter the Vette as we know it.

GM introduced the world to the 2019 ZR1 in Dubai this week, with aggressive aero and styling, re-engineered mechanics from front to back and improved cooling this is a track ready daily driver that will take on the best that Italy and Germany have to offer. Rumours are also swirling around the internet that Chevy is readying the C08 mid-engine Corvette to take on the best that Europe has to offer. Will this mean the end of the Stingray as we know it or will Chevy surprise us all?

Chevy’s mechanical upgrades have endowed the 2019 ZR1 with an astounding 755 bhp and 715 foot pounds of torque, the front engine Stingray is going out with a bang, a big block V8 bang. The Eaton Supercharger, larger intercoolers, updated fuel injection system and overhead twin cam variable valve timing all contribute to the staggering amount of power available to your right foot. In order to take advantage of the extra grunt Chevy have also improved the aero package of the Vette, an update that also enhances the aggressive muscle car styling. All of which provides a higher top speed of 210mph / 337 kph and guarantees that if this is the last of the front engine Stingrays it will quickly become a collector’s edition Vette.

Official performance figures are still a little light on the ground, but we can assume that if the current generation is capable of 2.95 seconds to 60mph / 100kph then an extra 100 bhp will help the 2019 ZR1 to do better than that.

While the release of the 2019 ZR1 is now official the rumours of a new type of Vette continue to keep the internets gears spinning at full speed. Some sites are reporting that the mid-engine variant will completely replace front engine Vette we love so much however another far more interesting rumour has started to circulate, both variants could exist side by side with the mid-engine C08 Zora occupying a far higher price point. Here at Highpants we would hate to see the tradition Vette disappear completely and hope that Chevy realise two cars would equal more sales and less risk.

Chevrolet are still to provide a cost or exact delivery date (spring 2018 in the US) for this update to an American legend, but that hasn’t stopped the pre-orders rolling in early even though there is still nearly a year until it is expected to be delivered. For those lucky enough to get their hands on what is possibly the last of a legend lets hope the smile it puts on their face exceeds the hit their bank accounts will take and remember to treat her well, this collectors item will be a valuable car in years to come.

Reference: Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (Homepage)
Reference: MotorTrend
Reference: Car and Driver
Reference: CNET