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Hardcore new Corvette ZR1 lifts a wheel at the Nurburgring

Chevrolet’s most serious Corvette looks set to rip up the track

We like the new C8-generation Corvette with its fresh mid-engined layout and now there’s a track-focused ZR1 version coming - which we’ve spied for the first time. 

The previous C7-generation ZR1 Corvette spawned a huge rear wing and air-sucking ducts, and it’s the same story with the new car. The most obvious addition is the rear spoiler which looks like it could be adjusted thanks to a set of bolts on the struts beneath. 

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A completely reshaped front bumper has grown canards to the side for more front-end downforce and we can see a fairly firm suspension set up from the car cocking a wheel around the Nurburgring’s ‘mini karussell’, plus there are large vents cut out of the bonnet and behind the engine intakes on the side we can see an additional set of smaller ducts. 

Behind the new style of alloy wheels we expect to see larger brakes. This is just as well because we expect the race-derived 5.5-litre V8 engine of the Z06 will be bumped up from 670bhp to well over 800bhp in the ZR1, thanks to a set of twin-turbochargers - this hardcore model forgoing the hybridisation we saw in the new Corvette E-Ray. A new centrally-mounted quad-exhaust system should provide an ample soundtrack to suit. 

Like every other C8 Corvette, the ZR1’s power will be sent through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission to the rear wheels. Chevrolet claims a 2.6-second 0-60mph time for the Z06 and a 195mph top speed, with the extra power the ZR1 should be able to comfortably beat the Z06 in acceleration but the extra focus on aerodynamic downforce might lower the top speed. 

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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