While there have been many spy photos circulating showing a mid-engine Corvette under development, the introduction of the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 at the Dubai Motor Show shows that there is plenty of life left in the traditional front-engine rear-drive configuration.

Boasting a whopping 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft of torque from its LT5 supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine, the new Corvette ZR1 exceeds the output of the previous power champ in the lineup, the 650-horsepower Z06. In addition to its prodigious output, the ZR1 also offers two different aerodynamic packages including a high wing variant that generates 950 pounds of downforce.

Distinctive appearance

There will be no mistaking a ZR1 from the other high performance Corvette variant. In addition to its high rear wing option, the new “King of the Hill” Corvette features a larger front grille opening and intake with mesh inserts, a distinctive power dome hood and additional carbon fiber aerodynamic elements. The front fascia’s design is more than cosmetic; it’s designed to channel air to four new radiators, bringing the total number of heat exchangers to 13 on the car.

The new LT5 engine delivers the highest output ever for a Chevrolet production engine thanks to a new supercharger with 52-percent more displacement, a more-efficient intercooler setup and a dual fuel-injection system that combines both primary direct and secondary port injection. The ZR1 will be available with a choice of either a 7-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic for the first time.

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Two aero packages

The basic setup of the ZR1 has a standard low wing, which helps deliver the car’s highest top speed of 210 mph, while still generating 70-percent more downforce than the base aero package on the Z06. The two-way adjustable high wing is part of a new ZTK performance package that also includes a front splitter with carbon fiber end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer-only tires and Magnetic Ride Control tuning for increased grip. The high wing generates 60-percent more downforce than the optional Z07 Performance Package on the Corvette Z06. Both of the new ZR1’s wing setups are attached directly to the chassis, similar to the construction on the Corvette Racing C7.R.

Debuted in a stunning Sebring Orange paint scheme, the 2019 Corvette ZR1 also features standard leather-trimmed seats with sueded microfiber inserts optional. Other available features include competition sport seats, a performance data recorder, Bose premium audio system and a carbon fiber rimmed sport steering wheel.

Following its Dubai debut, the 2019 Corvette ZR1 is expected to make its first stateside appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show at the end of the month. The ZR1 is expected to go on sale next spring with pricing announced closer to its launch.

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