After all of the good stuff we’ve seen come from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, we were starting to think that it could do no evil. Well, we were sadly mistaken. Chevrolet amazed us with the revealing of the new Corvette Z06 and its supercharged 6.2-liter engine, but the other shoe dropped when news broke that this will, in fact, be the range-topping Corvette for the foreseeable future.
In a brief interview with Autoblog, Tadge Juechter, chief engineer of the seventh-generation Corvette, said that the recently launched Z06 is the only range-topping model currently considered by Chevrolet . This plan could be modified in the near future, but a new-generation ZR1 is not currently part of Chevrolet’s plan
Sorry, but we call shenanigans here...Sure, the new Z06 will grab the the last-generation ZR1 by its lug nuts and make it scream for mercy, but we highly doubt that GM will just forget about it. Chances are that Chevy is already hard at work finding every little trick it can to pack some more muscle into the C7 Corvette and bump up its performance beyond the Z06’s numbers before deciding to kill the notorious ZR1 name for an entire generation.
Keep in mind, we are entering the era of hybrid supercars, ladies and gentlemen, (see 918 Spyder , LaFerrari and P1) so it is obvious where the next step is for injecting more muscle without more engine. We are willing to bet that GM is simply waiting for batteries that are light enough for use in the C7 Corvette before exploring this route in any depth. And it is possible for this technology to be available before the C7’s production life ends.
Purist may be charging the TopSpeed offices with Daniel Akerson-blessed holy water, screaming "NEVER!!!" But remember, the Corvette would also "NEVER" switch from pop-up headlights and "NEVER" rid itself of the dual-round taillights either...
Of course, this is pure speculation and maybe a little bit of us refusing to believe that GM would dare axe the ZR1...
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Corvette Z06.
Gallery Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The new-generation Corvette Z06 made its world debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show as a more powerful, aggressive, sporty version of the new Stingray. Next to the usual upgrades, the new Z06 can be further customized with a "Z07" package that adds larger winglets to the front splitter, along with an adjustable, see-through center section on the rear spoiler for track use.
The new Corvette Z06 is powered by an all-new LT4 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 engine that delivers more than 625 horsepower and 635 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a standard seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match. or an optional all-new, eight-speed, paddle-shift automatic transmission.