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2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Goes Topless

Mark Reuss: "The new Corvette ZR1 convertible is a supercar in all respects." Photo credit: Tom Worobec

The fastest, most powerful production Chevrolet Corvette ever is going topless... And just in time for summer 2018.

   

Chevrolet unwrapped the 2019 Corvette ZR1 convertible -- the first ZR1 droptop since the original 1970 ZR1 -- Tuesday on the eve of the Los Angeles Auto Show.

  

The convertible is expected to go on sale in the spring, alongside the 2019 Corvette ZR1 coupe, starting with a base price of $123,995. The coupe, which debuted this month in Dubai, will start at $119,995. Pricing includes destination charges.

  

Unlike some convertibles in the past, Chevrolet officials contend, there's little to no compromise with the ZR1 droptop, which has a curb weight within 60 pounds of the coupe.

"The new Corvette ZR1 convertible is a supercar in all respects," Mark Reuss, General Motors' executive vice president for global product development, purchasing and supply chain, said in a statement. "Few others can challenge the ZR1 convertible's power and speed while offering the exhilaration of top-down motoring."

The strength of the sports car's aluminum chassis, according to Chevy, meant the only structural changes required for the convertible were repositioned seat-belt mounts and the power top, which can be operated remotely or while driving up to 30 mph.

  

The fourth-generation ZR1 features several more aggressive design features compared with the current top-tier Corvette Z06, including a more sculpted hood, larger and lower air intake grilles above a more prominent splitter and a massive rear spoiler.

  

The ZR1 coupe and convertible feature an exclusive 6.2-liter supercharged LT5 V-8 engine that generates 755 hp and 715 pound-feet of torque and a top speed of 212 mph.

  

For the first time, the ZR1 will be available with an optional eight-speed, paddle-shift automatic transmission. A seven-speed manual transmission will be standard.

  

Chevy says preliminary performance testing has garnered a 0-to-60-mph time under 3 seconds and a quarter mile time in the high 10-second range when equipped with the automatic transmission. Both stats are comparable to the current Chevrolet Z06 coupe with a Z07 performance package, which starts at about $92,600 including destination.

The ZR1 is aerodynamically designed with a standard rear low wing, which delivers the highest top speed and helps generate up to 70 percent more down force than the Z06's base aero package.

  

An available two-way-adjustable high wing that offers maximum down force on the track for quicker lap times is available as part of a new $2,995 ZTK Performance Package, which also includes a front splitter with carbon-fiber end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control tuning. The top speed of the car is lower with the high wing but still exceeds 200 mph, according to Chevrolet.

  

The ZR1 could be the coup de grace of the seventh-generation Corvette. GM is expected to adopt a midengine configuration for the eighth-generation Corvette, however the company has not confirmed those plans.

  

You can reach Michael Wayland at mwayland@crain.com -- Follow Michael on Twitter: @MikeWayland

Views: 29

Tags: 2019, Chevrolet, Corvette, Goes, Topless, ZR1

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