When the eighth-generation Corvette Stingray debuted for the 2020 model year with its engine behind the passengers and proportions similar to those of a mid-engine Ferrari, a slew of rumours followed in its wake. According to rumours, the Stingray would ultimately aim for the throats of Lamborghinis, McLarens, and anything with the words “hypercar” or “exotic” in its dating profile. The ZR-1 and the Zora, two ultra-high-performance Corvettes, will arrive within the next couple of years, making these rumours a reality.

The foundational components of the 2023 Z06 and the forthcoming 2024 E-Ray hybrid are presently on display in the 2023 Z06 and the 2024 E-Ray hybrid, respectively. The ZR-1 and Zora utilise a significant portion of the superb Z06 as a starting point, including a large portion of its structure and its flatplane-crank V-8, wider body, enormous tyres, and carbon-ceramic brakes. In addition, the ZR-1 and Zora have distinct powertrains, performance, and functions.

800 horsepower ZR and 1,100 horsepower Zora Could Take the C8 Corvette to New Heights

The ZR-1

The ZR-1, which is expected to debut as a ’25 model, takes those fundamentals and adds firepower in the form of a twin-turbo version of the Z06’s 5.5-liter V-8, which is rumoured to produce more than 800 horsepower.

As with the Z06, the ZR-1 will continue to be rear-driven. It will likely feature active aerodynamic elements, such as a rear wing and a front splitter, and a track package reminiscent of the Z07. Even though its weight will likely increase by about 200 pounds compared to a Z06 as a result of its new turbo components and increased powertrain-cooling needs, we anticipate that the additional venom in its tail will allow it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds or less. It will be the quickest Corvette on a racecourse while maintaining the Z06’s street manners. Its performance will place it in direct competition with the McLaren 750S and Porsche 911 Turbo S. However, its estimated base price of $150,000 will undercut competitors by tens or hundreds of thousands.

The Newest Leader

Appropriately, Chevrolet will call its new flagship Corvette the Zora, in honour of its most renowned chief engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov. In the 1950s, he was instrumental in bringing the Corvette out of the stone age by combining high-tech features of the day—disc brakes, fuel injection, and an independent rear suspension—with American V-8 power. That is precisely what the Zora will accomplish.

The cutting-edge technology of today is electrification, and the Zora is a combination of the ZR-1’s mechanicals and the 160-hp electric powertrain tucked beneath the E-Ray’s nose. Add the electric power of the E-Ray to the output of the ZR-1 engine, and the Zora will approach 1000 horsepower. It could weigh 4200 pounds, but with all-wheel drive assisting the launch, it will be the Top Fuel dragster of the Corvette lineup; we expect it to reach 60 mph in about 1.9 seconds and accelerate through the quarter-mile at about 150 mph in under 10 seconds.

The Zora will not be designed for racing on road courses, but it will be a speed demon with a full complement of luxury features and a ride comfortable enough for cross-country excursions. It will provide typical Corvette value, beginning at approximately $200,000. Its power and performance, however, will propel it into the stratosphere of hypercars alongside more expensive hybrid missiles such as the forthcoming electrified Lamborghini Aventador replacement and the Ferrari SF90 Stradale. A fitting approach to honour the legacy of the real Zora.

The Iconic

Zora Arkus-Duntov is frequently credited with transforming the Chevrolet Corvette into a world-class sports vehicle. In his 22 years at GM, he almost exclusively worked on the Corvette, rising to the position of chief engineer for the vehicle in 1967. Arkus-Duntov introduced the Corvette’s independent rear suspension, disc brakes, and limited-slip differential. Arkus-Duntov, an avid racer, won his class at Le Mans in 1954 and ’55 and set a Pikes Peak record that lasted for 13 years in a pre-production 1956 Chevrolet four-door hardtop.