Say hello to the fastest production ’Vette ever made

The ZR1 is a beast of a car, one which carries a reputation as a full-fledged track tool capable of slaying much more expensive machinery. Now, Chevy has the lap times to prove it thanks to a new fastest lap record at the Virginia International Raceway.

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The Full Story

A 2019 model year Corvette ZR1 just set a new production car lap record at the Virginia International Raceway, taking just 2 minutes, 37.25 seconds to complete the 4.1-mile Grand Course West.

Revealed in a surprise event late last year in Dubai, the new Corvette ZR1 takes the standard C7 formula and cranks it up to 11. The whole thing is dripping in go-faster attitude, and now, it looks like it’s got the lap numbers to prove its worth.

Apparently, a 2019 model year Corvette ZR1 just set a new production car lap record at the Virginia International Raceway, taking just 2 minutes, 37.25 seconds to complete the 4.1-mile Grand Course West. Chevy also released an onboard video of the lap record, which you can watch right here.

The car was equipped with a harness bar, track seats, and five-point racing harnesses, as well as the optional eight-speed automatic gearbox and paddle shifters. The equipped ZTK Performance Package also helped mightily thanks to its hyper-aggressive and highly adjustable carbon fiber High Wing aero in the rear, a splitter with carbon end caps in the nose, Michelin’s summer-only Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and Magnetic Ride Control tuning chassis upgrades

“The Corvette ZR1’s lap record at VIR, arguably America’s most challenging road course, is a testament to its supercar status. On the racetrack, the ZR1 can compete with any supercar – at any price,” said Chevy’s executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, Mark Reuss.

Video: New Corvette ZR1 Proves Its Worth With New Lap Record At VIR Exterior
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Chevy has every right to be proud of this fast time, and supercar makers should be wary of this all-American challenger.

While we might have a few words about the claim that VIR is America’s “most challenging road course” (Laguna Seca, anyone?), we will admit that it is highly technical in spots and the surface looks less than ideal as well. Regardless, Chevy has every right to be proud of this fast time, and supercar makers should be wary of this all-American challenger.

The ZR1 in question set the record while conducting “routine validation testing” earlier in January, with vehicle dynamics engineer Jim Mero in the hot seat. The set-up included track-spec alignment and aero-setting recommendations as outlined in the owner’s manual. “As part of the validation, the ZR1 was finalizing its total of 24 hours of at-limit track testing, with multiple GM Performance engineers logging laps,” Chevy said in a press release.

Hopefully, that means the overheating issues that plagued the Z06 are now a thing of the past. As well it should, considering the ZR1 comes with 13 radiators total. Output is provided by a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, which peaks at 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque thanks to a more-efficient intercooler system, dual fuel injection, and 2.65-liter blower.

The ZR1 coupe goes on sale this spring for $119,995, with the ZTK Performance Package running an additional $2,995.

References

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1

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Press release

Chevrolet today announced that the 2019 Corvette ZR1 set a production-car lap record on the 4.1-mile Grand Course West at Virginia International Raceway with a time of 2:37.25.

Along with a harness bar and track seats with five-point harnesses, the record-setting stock ZR1 coupe was equipped with the available paddle-shift eight-speed automatic and ZTK Performance Package, which includes an adjustable carbon-fiber High Wing, a front splitter with carbon-fiber end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer-only tires, and specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control tuning.

“The Corvette ZR1’s lap record at VIR, arguably America’s most challenging road course, is a testament to its supercar status,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “On the racetrack, the ZR1 can compete with any supercar — at any price.”

On sale this spring, the ZR1 coupe will carry a suggested retail price of $119,995 (price includes destination charge, but excludes tax, title and other dealer fees). The ZTK Performance Package will cost $2,995.

Validation testing

The ZR1’s record lap at VIR was set during routine validation testing earlier this month, with vehicle dynamics engineer Jim Mero at the wheel. The car was set up per the owner’s manual’s recommended track alignment and aerodynamic settings. As part of the validation, the ZR1 was finalizing its total of 24 hours of at-limit track testing, with multiple GM Performance engineers logging laps.

“The track had been empty since mid-December, so it was a bit slow when we started, but the conditions turned pretty quick at the end,” said Alex MacDonald, manager, Vehicle Performance. “On the heels of announcing our Z06 time of 2:39.77, the ZR1 lap time is the icing on the cake. It’s not too often you set a lap record during validation testing.”

Speed-enabling horsepower

The ZR1’s exclusive LT5 6.2L supercharged engine is rated at an SAE-certified 755 horsepower (563 kW) and 715 lb-ft of torque (969 Nm). The LT5 features a new, more-efficient intercooled supercharger system, along with GM’s first dual fuel-injection system, which employs primary direct injection and supplemental port injection. Compared to the supercharger system on the Corvette Z06’s LT4 engine, the LT5 employs a larger, 2.65-liter supercharger that generates more boost while spinning at a slightly slower speed. That reduces heat to help maintain a lower air intake temperature for optimal performance.

Four new radiators also help manage cooling in the ZR1, which features 13 radiators in all, including circuits for engine oil, transmission and differential cooling.

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