Australia’s Wheels magazine recently featured the C8 Corvette ZR1 on the cover with an accompanying article detailing it and the other rumored C8 variants that include the E-Ray, Z06, Zora models. We perked up immediately when we saw it was written by the great Angus MacKenzie of MotorTrend fame and so we figure this article will both recap what we already know and perhaps offer a few tidbits to help fill in some details of what we don’t.
There are also more than a few renderings of the C8 ZR1 offered throughout the layout which you can see below.
The premise is that coming from Team Corvette are four exciting C8 Corvette models: the E-Ray, the Z06, the ZR1, and the ZORA with the rollouts occurring over the next two to four years.
Angus believes the coming rollout of these four C8 Corvette models in the next few years will closely resemble the highly successfully strategy of Porsche’s 911 lime-up: “The C8 Corvette on sale today is the equivalent of a base 911 Carrera, and the ones coming will be roughly analogous to Carrera 4, GT3, GT2 and Turbo S in terms of their purpose and performance.”
Stepping up from the base model Stingray is the Corvette E-Ray, powered by the 495 horsepower LT2 V8 engine with a 160kW electric motor providing the equivalent of an extra 215 horsepower. The total output is said to be around 440kW or 590 horsepower. (Again, these totals don’t seem to add up on the E-Ray, but they do add up on the ZORA?) Angus says the even though the E-Ray will be more aggressive than the Stingray, it will still be comfortable enough to use a daily driver. He also repeats the fact of the E-Ray’s eAWD and instant-on torque will make the E-Ray quicker to 60 mph than the Z06.
The Z06 powerplant will closely resemble the 4.2-liter Cadillac Blackwing engine, except instead of the Hot-Vee turbos, it will be a naturally-aspirated flat-plane crank dual-overhead cam V8 capable of revving to 9,000 rpm and will have approximately 625 hp according to Angus. Here is why the Z06 is utilizing the flat-plane crank V8:
Why the flat-plane crank? The technical explanation is that the smaller and lighter flat-plane crank allows the engine to rev faster and higher, and thus make more power. Flat-plane crank V8s also have a different firing order that allows for better exhaust scavenging, the reflected pressure waves helping suck the burnt gases out of the combustion chamber.
In addition to the FPC engine, the Z06 will offer upgraded suspension and brakes, with optional carbon-ceramic brakes and carbon fiber wheels offered. Custom aero is also being developed and Angus says the rear facia bodywork will be different.
Now on to the ZR1 which will not be the King of the Hill when it comes to the C8 lineup. The C8 ZR1 will have similar yet different bodywork to the Z06 as both will share the wide Michelins and a revised rear suspension. The ZR1 will take the Z06’s flat-plane crank V8 and add two turbochargers that will sit on either side of the engine. Total power is expected to be around 800 horsepower.
As the final C8 Corvette, the ZORA is the one model to rule them all. Named after the first Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, the ZORA takes the ZR1’s FPC twin-turbo V8 and adds the E-Ray’s front axle-mounted motor for a combined 1,000 horsepower, making it the most powerful Corvette ever created. With that kind of power, the ZORA has its sights set squarely on the Porsche 911 Turbo S and Ferrari’s SF90 Stradale.
As Wheels is an Australian magazine, the article does caution readers that these upper-level versions of the C8 Corvette may have a slim to none chance of ever arriving on the island nation due to costs associated with building and validating Right Hand Drive versions of each model. That would be a shame if Chevrolet was only exporting the base models Stingrays abroad. You have to send the best to beat the best, and hopefully, that was the plan all along.
The complete Wheels article is posted on the MidEngineCorvetteForum.com, so head over there now for the full article!
[VIDEO] Are Those C8 Corvette Mules With the Center Mount Exhaust Actually the Twin-Turbo ZR1?
Don Sherman Offers New Details on the 2023 E-Ray Hybrid Corvette
What The Reveal Of The C8 Lineup Tells Us About The Future Of Corvette