It will be the most powerful Corvette ever with around 900 horsepower

The C8-generation Corvette brought radical changes to the nameplate, but upcoming versions of the sports car will take things even further. We already learned that the new-generation Z06 will feature a twin-turbo V-8 for the first time, and it seems that the upcoming ZR1 will introduce electrification and all-wheel drive to the iconic Corvette nameplate. The latest rumor claims that the ZR1 will hit the road with no less than 900 horsepower.

The C8 Corvette ZR1 will be the most powerful Corvette yet

The Chevy C8 Corvette ZR1 Will Be the First AWD Corvette and Will Offer Impressive Hybrid Horsepower Exterior Spyshots
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Much like its predecessor, the C8 ZR1 will be the most aggressive road-going version of the Corvette.

The C8 ZR1 will feature enhanced aerodynamics, race-inspired front bumper and rear diffuser, a big rear wing and, more importantly, it will be the most powerful Corvette yet.

The ZR1 will feature an updated version of the engine found in the upcoming Z06 paired to an electric motor.

Specifics aren’t yet clear, but it seems that the Z06 will share a twin-turbo, flat-plane-crank, dual-overhead-cam V-8 with the race-spec C8.R. Displacement remains a mystery though since the 5.5-liter layout of the C8.R would be unusually large for a flat-plane design and vibrate too much. Previous reports suggest that the mill could be as small as 4.2 liters.

The Chevy C8 Corvette ZR1 Will Be the First AWD Corvette and Will Offer Impressive Hybrid Horsepower Exterior Spyshots
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Chevy will probably cram an electric motor between the engine and the transmission, although early rumors suggest that the front trunk might have room for a pair of motors.

Either way, the ZR1 will feature all-wheel-drive capability when needed, but will remain rear-wheel-driven for that old-school feeling. Motor Trend, which claims to have this information from a "high-placed source" within the company, says that the ZR1’s hybrid drivetrain will be oriented toward performance rather than aimed at improving fuel economy. So don’t expect a lot of all-electric range with this model, as the motor will boost power more than anything else.

So, how much power will the ZR1 have? Well, with the standard C8 Corvette rated at 495 horsepower and the Z06 rumored to arrive with close to 700 horses, the C8 ZR1 will generate a whopping 900 horsepower. The V-8 will probably generate power similar to the Z06, so the electric motor (or motors) will do the rest. That’s at least 200 horsepower.

The C8 Corvette ZR1 won’t share its engine with Cadillac

The Chevy C8 Corvette ZR1 Will Be the First AWD Corvette and Will Offer Impressive Hybrid Horsepower Exterior Spyshots
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There’s been a lot of talk about GM granting Chevrolet access to Cadillac’s 4.2-liter Blackwing V-8. Despite Cadillac’s claim that this unit is exclusive to its own products, we speculated that some sharing might happen since companies like General Motors are always open to strategies that help reduce costs. However, Motor Trend’s unnamed source confirmed that the Blackwing engine will indeed remain exclusive to Cadillac. In exchange, Chevrolet received separate funds for its very own V-8.

As a brief reminder, the 4.2-liter BlackWing V-8 is offered in the Cadillac CT6-V. The twin-turbo engine cranks out 550 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of twist and for the time being it’s not available in other Cadillac vehicles.

The C8 Corvette ZR1 will be impressively fast

The Chevy C8 Corvette ZR1 Will Be the First AWD Corvette and Will Offer Impressive Hybrid Horsepower Exterior Spyshots
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At 900 horsepower and possibly more than 1,000 pound-feet of torque, the C8 ZR1 will be notably more powerful than the C7 ZR1.

The latter cranks out 755 horses and 715 pound-feet, so the C8 version will deliver an extra 150 horsepower and 300 pound-feet. Coupled with the midship layout and better electronics, the C8 ZR1 will probably need only 2.5 seconds to hit 60 mph. That’s almost a half-second quicker than the standard C8 Corvette and three tenths quicker than the C7 ZR1.

The C8 ZR1 will also trump competing supercars like the Ford GT, McLaren 570S, and Lamborghini Huracan Evo.

The C8 Corvette ZR1 will probably arrive in 2020

The Chevy C8 Corvette ZR1 Will Be the First AWD Corvette and Will Offer Impressive Hybrid Horsepower Exterior Spyshots
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With only the standard C8 Corvette available in late 2019, the ZR1 is still around a year away from production. The Z06 will arrive first sometime in mid-2020, while the ZR1 could brake cover toward the end of 2020. This seems rather soon given Chevrolet’s previous habits with higher performance versions of the Corvette, but things are evolving much rapidly now. Needless to say, we won’t wait two or three years for a new ZR1 to follow the standard C8 Corvette.

Source: Motor Trend

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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