C7 Corvette ZR1 Vs. C8 Corvette E-Ray: Which One Is the Best Beast?
The upcoming Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray promises to bring the C8 platform to new heights. However, the E-Ray has some stiff competition in the final act of defiance from the model’s seventh-generation lineup: the C7 Corvette ZR1. So, which is the victor between the first hybrid ‘Vette and the most swivel-eyed of supercharged Corvettes?
How much horsepower does the C7 Corvette ZR1 have?
The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 isn’t just the most powerful C7 model; it’s the most potent factory Corvette ever. Specifically, the range-topping seventh-gen ‘Vette produces 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft of torque from its supercharged 6.2L LT5 V8.
|Model||Engine size||Horsepower and torque|
|C7 Corvette ZR1||Supercharged 6.2L LT5 V8||755 HP/ 715 lb-ft of torque|
|C8 Corvette E-Ray||Hybrid 6.2L LT2 V8||655 HP/ 595 lb-ft of torque|
As a result, the ZR1 outmuscles the upcoming C8 Corvette E-Ray by 100 horsepower and a staggering 120 lb-ft of torque. It’s unsurprising, given the ZR1’s extra 4.6 lbs of boost over the C7 Z06’s LT4. Still, the most volcanic ‘Vette in the eighth-generation lineup is the C8 Z06, a high-revving flat-plane Corvette with 670 horsepower and a truly unique voice among the lineup. The C8 Z06 and E-Ray are a long way off from the C7 ZR1’s power reserves.
However, 160 of the E-Ray’s 655 horsepower are a product of the new hybrid model’s front-mounted electric motor. Consequently, the E-Ray is the first electrified Corvette and AWD example ever. The result? The C8 E-Ray’s multiplied grip results in explosive launches.
Is the C7 Corvette ZR1 faster than the C8 Corvette E-Ray?
While the range-topping seventh-generation Corvette, the C7 ZR1, is brutally potent, it is traction-limited compared to the midengine Corvette E-Ray. As a result, the less powerful E-Ray uses its AWD grip and balanced platform to outrun the ZR1 to 60 mph by half a second.
|Model||0-60 mph||¼ mile||Top speed|
|C7 Corvette ZR1||3.0 seconds||10.8 seconds||212 mph (Mfr claim)|
|C8 Corvette E-Ray||2.5 seconds||10.6 seconds||183 mph (Mfr claim)|
Still, even with the E-Ray sure-footed launches, the midengine magic can only stave off the thunder of 755 horsepower for so long. The now-discontinued ZR1 will match the E-Ray in the quarter mile and exceed a hypercar-esque 210 mph top speed, per Chevrolet Media.
Will the C8 Corvette E-Ray outhandle the C7 ZR1?
Of course, the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 isn’t a straight-line hero. Instead, the bleeding-edge ‘Vette is a hairy lunatic with abundant aero and mechanical grip. In fact, the ZTK package’s massive wing will motivate the ZR1 to the tune of 950 pounds of downforce.
As a result, Car and Driver coaxed 1.18 g out of the ZR1 in a roadholding test. Even with its comparably antiquated front-engine construction, the now-extinct ZR1 out-gripped the E-Ray and the Z06 by 0.1 and 0.02 g, respectively.
Sure, the E-Ray represents an evolutionary step in the development of America’s most beloved performance car nameplate. However, the ZR1 holds a special place in the model’s legacy. Barring the debut of some near quadruple-digit C8 halo car, the ZR1 is the most powerful and passionately hilarious Corvette ever produced. Hail to ‘Z’ king, indeed.
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