Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 returns for 2019 with 755 HP

The power is channeled through the familiar Corvette seven-speed manual - or, in a first for ZR1s, an eight-speed automatic with manual-mode paddle-shifters.

Unlike many cars, however, the ZR1 has two optional packs that help improve the aerodynamics of the auto. So this time around, they went all in.

Also new is the Sebring Orange Design Package, which includes the eye-catching orange exterior paint of the same name, orange brake calipers, orange rocker and splitter accent stripes, orange seatbelts, orange interior stitching and special bronze aluminium interior trim. The engine is so tall that the 755-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8 literally pokes out of the hood.

It's a boutique approach that in many ways is at odds with the "supercar for the people" strategy Chevy has long taken with the Corvette in general, but it makes a lot of sense for the 2019 ZR1.

The second option is a high wing.

Not only does the ZR1 have a more-efficient intercooler system with a heat extractor hole on its hood, but it also packs four new radiators, bringing the number of heat-exchangers to 13.

The latter of the two trims comes fitted with a full aerodynamic body kit, ranging from a revised front fascia with a more pronounce grille and new splitters, to sharp side skirts, and even a downforce-enhancing underwing. It's the first time the ZR1 has offered two-pedal driving, but don't groan just yet: GM claims the 650-hp Z06 hits 60 miles per hour and runs the quarter-mile in 2.95 and 10.95 seconds, respectively, with the automatic. Also optional is the high wing, which increases downforce by an estimated 431kg. The vehicle's carbon fiber features include its end caps, front and back fenders, wing, removable roof panel, and the top of the engine itself.

Now, if you like numbers, we reckon you're going to love the ZR1's weight, which DeMuro says is just 3,560 lbs (1,614 kg), nearly identical to that of a stock Z06, only the ZR1 packs considerably more power. Although, the standard Low Wing package delivers the high top speed and also creates 70 percent more downforce than that of the Z06's base aero package. The Dodge Viper ACR might be dead, but there seems to be a new King of the Hill.

Sales will commence in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2018, sold as the model year 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. More to come soon!

Vanessa Coleman