The King returned to his hill as a grand finale for the seventh generation Corvette. 2,441 ZR1 coupes and 512 ZR1 convertibles were built during the extended 2019 model year for a grand total of 2,953 retail units of the supercharged swan song of the C7.
The ZR1 is undoubtedly the most capable Corvette of all time but with option ZTK (colloquially known as the big-wing package), buyers had to decide if they wanted to slay road courses with the 950 lbs. of downforce and otherworldly 1.16g of lateral acceleration provided by the carbon fiber wing or if they preferred the small wing which allows the ZR1 to be the fastest road car that GM has ever produced with an official two-way top speed of 212.54 mph. 2,077 people (over 70%) opted to keep the ZR1 focused on lap times with the big-wing option. A whopping 2,761 ZR1s (93.4%) were fully optioned with the 3ZR package while the take rate for seven-speed manual transmissions was a slightly disappointing 29.9% showing a split of 744 coupes and 140 convertibles.
When looking at the color spread, more 755 Horsepower ZR1s were coated in their signature Sebring Orange paint than any other color. 614 Coupes and 197 Convertibles combine for 811 Sebring Orange ZR1s (a whopping 27.5% of total production including 758 that featured the Sebring Orange design Package!). Our old friends, Black (538) and Arctic White (364) round out the medal winners.
The honor of rarest ZR1 goes to Admiral Blue with a total count of 51 examples (just 12 convertibles, tied with Ceramic Matrix Gray for rarest overall ZR1 when looking at body styles separately).
With under 3000 examples on the road, the C7 ZR1 is downright scarce. By comparison, we are practically swimming in the previous iterations (we didn’t include the C3 version as it was more of a handling package than a full-blown model). The C4 ZR-1 enjoyed a six-year life spanning 1990-95 with a final tally of 6,922. During a five-year production run from 2009 through 2013, GM built 4,684 C6 ZR1s. The C7 is unique in this group as only having one year of production. It was a successful one though as only the first year 1990 ZR-1s found more buyers (3,032) in a single production year.
Ever since the Corvette transitioned from a wild west of available options to a model range under the same umbrella, there have been two other one year only models that acted as a conclusion for an entire generation of America’s Sports Car. Both of these provided less excitement for a lame-duck generation than the C7 ZR1 was able to conjure before a changeover to the most hyped generation of all time.
The most recent was the 2013 427 Convertible which finally combined top-down driving with the Z06’s legendary LS7 to cap off the highly successful C6 generation. When the dust settled just 2,552 427 Convertibles found new homes before the assembly plant transitioned to building 2014 Stingrays. 1996 saw the other end cap model in the form of the reborn Grand Sport. Just 1000 C4 GSs were built (810 Coupes and 190 convertibles).
So, there you have it as this concludes our breakdown of the entire range of C7 Corvettes ranging from 2014 through 2019. One thing is for sure, the C7 leaves behind a legacy as the greatest Corvette in history and the C8 has some huge shoes to fill, but we think it is up to the challenge.
Photos by Keith Cornett