I sorta halfway alluded to the timing of the Corvette ZR1 reveal in yesterday’s Corvette Sales report but I am just going to come out and say what I think is going to happen in the next two weeks. And since we are seeing mutliple mentions of Dubai on the forums, now is as good a time as any for making predictions on the ZR1’s reveal.
For the longest time, at least since Corvettes at Carlise, I’ve been convinced that the 2019 Corvette ZR1s would be revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show at the end of November. With the Corvette ZR1 looking and sounding like the track-attack C7 model, Los Angeles would be the perfect venue for the car, and Chevrolet has previously paid its respects to the West Coast’s culture of speed. I also believed the LA Auto Show reveal would also start the clock for production starting 2-3 months after the announcement. Tie in the plant closure and then subsequent reopening in November, the timing would mean ZR1s starting sometime in the Spring of 2018.
But then Chevrolet threw in the new wrinkle. The 2018 Corvette model year production will end early and the 2019 Corvettes will start production at the end of January. To kick off 2019 model year ordering, Chevrolet will be releasing its official 2019 Order Guide on November 20th.
With that Order Guide date now set, it does look like the November 14th opening of the Dubai Motor Show will be where Chevrolet officially unwraps its new supercar.
I know, Dubai…
I reached out to members of the Corvette team last week regarding the reveal in Dubai but my emails went unanswered.
Dubai actually makes a lot of sense for a car like the ZR1. Forget the talk that it should only be revealed in America. In today’s highly-connected society, automotive reveals in foreign shows still attract plenty of press back home as did the surprise 2016 Grand Sport reveal in Geneva. We’ll see the same photos and read the same press releases as if they were revealed in LA. Plus, Chevrolet will benefit from a high profile unveiling in the Middle East while still showing the ZR1s in LA just two weeks later where they will be fawned over by the domestic automotive press who now know it’s going to be there.
As far as Dubai goes, middle eastern customers love high horsepower sportscars and there’s a large contingent of Corvette owners in the area. Ask Ken Lingenfelter or Pete Callaway about their middle east customers and they’ll tell you they want the highest horsepower available. Like the 750-800 hp that the ZR1 is estimated to have under its unique hood.
One last rumor regarding the Corvette ZR1’s reveal is now that there is talk about some sort of “tease” prior to the official live reveal. Look for a couple of the long-lead auto magazines to start breaking official photos before the reveal in Dubai.
As for the mid engine C8 Corvette, I don’t think we’ll be seeing that car revealed for at least another year. Our supposition is that the C8 Corvette is too important of a car to the people at Chevrolet to be revealed anyplace but in Detroit and so the 2019 NAIAS will see the reveal of the mid-engine 2020 Corvette ZORA.
A Corvette owner I know from the Middle East sent me this graphic tonight. Looks like Chevrolet is planning a special event around the Corvette on Sunday, November 12th. With the time change, we are looking at a start time of 10 am ET. The only question is will Chevrolet stream the event for all us to watch? Let’s hope!!
First magazine hits the newsstands!! Car and Driver shows the 2019 Corvette ZR1 with 750-horsepower!
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