Photos Leaked! The Corvette ZR1 Debut Date Announced

Today feels like Christmas, and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. Why? Because this morning we awoke to a tantalizing video from Chevrolet announcing the official release date of arguably the most anticipated Corvette of all time–the C7 ZR1. We are teased with shots of the car but at this point we have a pretty good idea what it looks like–especially considering our other surprise. To top it all off, the full article from an upcoming issue of Car and Driver featuring the ZR1 has leaked revealing quite a bit of detail about the car–kind of like peaking at your Christmas gift beforehand.

If we didn’t have a good idea of what the car looked like before, we do now. While the leaked images are low quality, you can still get a pretty good idea of what the car will officially look like and we now officially know that the LT5 will come with 750 horsepower and there is not an overhead cam in sight. One of the largest advances though, is the use of both port- and direct-injection on the new motor–more popularly referred to as dual-fuel.

Dual Fuel

But why is that big new? It means that Gen V LT builders will no longer be limited by the direct-injection system that comes with the car–or previous models of LT for that matter. While there are fuel system upgrades available for the direct-injection system from companies such as Lingenfelter, a dual system such as this will let modifiers stretch the LT’s capabilities even further, while avoiding the nasty tuning headaches that come along with adding a supplemental system on your own.

While it may take some engineering to get it to work, the system that runs the ZR1 will likely be implemented into previous LT engines to allow them to easily make dizzying horsepower numbers. On top of all that, the dual-fuel system on the ZR1 allegedly makes it spit flames right off the show room floor.

No Multimatic Shocks or 10-speed Auto

We also discovered that the ZR1 will not come with the Multimatic DSSV shocks found on extreme models such as the ZR2 Colorado or ZL1 1LE Camaro, though the magnetorheological  system on the car has been retuned to provide better handling characteristics than the Z06. The ZR1 will be available with either a 7-speed manual or 8-speed auto–no 10-speed here due to the car’s limited drivetrain capacity. According to Chevrolet insiders, the 10-speed wasn’t an option for the car as it was designed before the 10-speeds development and would take substantial modification to the car make it fit–though the 8-speed is a perfectly capable transmission in its own right.

Debut Date

The date that Chevrolet has announced for the reveal is November 12, 2017–which just so happens to be a Sunday in case you were wondering. While your next door neighbor is religiously watching sports ball hoping that his terrible fantasy team will win, we will be glued to Chevrolet’s live feed of the reveal.

You maybe wondering at what event the Corvette will finally take its bow. Well, the only auto show even remotely around that time is Dubai, though the event officially starts on November 14. That doesn’t mean that it won’t debut at Dubai a bit earlier to capture headlines, but it’s possible that they will debut it somewhere completely independent from any show. We still don’t know.

Turn It Up

We are also treated to some aural delights as the ZR1 can be heard in the video happily burbling away with a slight blip of the throttle thrown in to give you just a taste of what is to come. Logic says that the new LT5 will be the same displacement as the LT4 but come equipped with the R2650 supercharger that we just saw at SEMA from Eaton with a few other tweaks including an improved bumpstick. We were even told by Eaton, that the R2650 wouldn’t be available to the aftermarket until it debuted on the OEM car it was designed for. They intimated that the reveal would arrive soon during SEMA, we just didn’t realize it would be this soon.

We can’t wait to get an official look at the car, though we have a pretty good idea what it will look like at this point thanks to the leaked images and story from Car and Driver.

There is still a lot we don’t know about the car, including pricing which will likely take a while to surface. Chevrolet recently announced that the 2018 Corvette will cease production at the end of this month and the 2019 model will begin production at the first of January, making the ZR1 a 2019 model. The ordering guide for all 2019 models is set to be released on November 20, so we knew the reveal was likely happening before that, thanks to some insight from Corvette Blogger.

Rendering via

We are thrilled to have all the debate about the car finally put to rest, but it’s a bittersweet moment. What will we speculate about next? Well, the C8 mid-engine Corvette naturally. But lets focus on what’s at hand. This will be the fastest, most capable, most powerful Corvette of all time and that’s not something easily said. We wouldn’t be surprised if the ZR1 is capable of a sub-7-minute Nurburgring lap.

So, if you have any plans for this Sunday, cancel them. The King of the Hill is back.

Update: Story updated 2:48 p.m. to additional details.


About the author

Chase Christensen

Chase Christensen hails from Salt Lake City, and grew up around high-performance GM vehicles. He took possession of his very first F-body— an ’86 Trans Am— at the age of 13 and has been wrenching ever since.
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