With the unveiling of what we long-suspected was a supercharged Corvette Z06, it seems almost silly to ask whether or not GM intends to carry on with the ZR1 nameplate. After all, how much more horsepower can GM legally sell without Congress getting involved? The Z06 is definitely a big step up from the base 450 horsepower LT1 Corvette, yet there are still those hoping for a continuance of the ZR1 program.
Autoblog interviewed Tadge Juechter, chief engineer on the C7, who told them at the debut of the Corvette Z06 that a ZR1 model was not in the plans. Motor Trend, however, has it on good authority that a track-specced, stripped-down Z06X model could be in the works. Sounds just as good as a ZR1, and perhaps even better. Chevy has teased us with Z06X concept cars before, but if the ZR1 is no longer in the lineup, that leaves more room for a factory track toy Corvette.
It really doesn’t make sense to add a ZR1 to the Corvette’s lineup with the supercharged Z06, and with the Z51 performance package, even a non-supercharged Stingray can have some damn good track performance. To gain enough performance to differentiate a new ZR1 from the Z06 would require a huge investment of time and money, and the resulting car wouldn’t be that much better.
However, by stripping the 2015 Corvette Z06 down to only the bare essentials needed to meet federal safety requirements, and you could have a truly track-capable car in the same vein as the $75,000 Camaro Z/28. Even at that price range, buyers are lining up for this stripped-down, tuned-up Camaro, and a Corvette Z06 given the same treatment should have plenty of interest as well.
Would you take a stripped-down Z06 over a 700+ horsepower Corvette ZR1?