The New King of the Hill: 2019 Corvette ZR1

The most powerful and fastest production Corvette ever made. (Fig. 1) That’s the 2019 ZR1, with its hand-assembled 6.2L supercharged V8 engine (RPO LT5) producing 755 horsepower and 715 lb.-ft. of torque and propelling the car to a top track speed of 212 mph (341 km/h).

Fig. 1

The supercharged V8 engine is paired with either a standard TR6060 7-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching (RPO MEK) or an available 8L90 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters (RPO M5U). It’s the first time an automatic transmission has been offered in a ZR1. A new four-mode exhaust system using variable valves provides a range of sound profiles: Track, Sport, Tour, and Stealth.


LT5 Supercharged V8 Engine

The all-aluminum 6.2L V8 engine (Fig. 2) is a cam-in-block deep skirt 90 degree V-configuration with five crankshaft bearing caps. The engine is equipped with variable valve timing (VVT) with two valves per cylinder. The valve rocker arm covers use a pre-molded silicon gasket for sealing and incorporate positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) fresh air passages.

Fig. 2

The Eaton R2650 supercharger (Fig. 3) provides 52% more displacement compared to the supercharger that is used on the LT4 6.2L V8. A larger 2.65 liter compressor generates a maximum boost pressure of 13.96 psi (96.3 kPa) at 15,860 rpm.

The Roots-type supercharger is a positive displacement pump that consists of two counter-rotating rotors installed into the lower intake manifold housing. The 11-rib compressor drive belt pulley is pressed onto the input shaft, which is coupled to the rotor shaft. Both the belt pulley and shaft coupling are serviced as an assembly.

Fig. 3


Dual Fuel Injection

The LT5 engine has a dual fuel injection system — a Chevrolet first — that features a primary direct injection (DI) system along with a secondary port fuel rail and injectors (PFI) that provide supplemental fueling when needed. (Fig. 4) The PFI/secondary fuel injectors are only activated at high engine loads when substantial fuel enrichment is necessary for exhaust system protection or to achieve peak engine torque/power. The E99 ECM controls the direct injection and the Fuel Injector Control Module (FICM) controls the port injection.

Fig. 4

The structural dry-sump oil pan is cast aluminum. An external oil cooler assembly is mounted directly to the left side of the oil pan. (Fig. 5) The oil pan is sealed to the oil pump with a silicone push-in-place gasket and to the engine block with RTV sealant.

Fig. 5


On the Track

For the best performance on a track, 100 octane fuel should be used. Also, Mobil 1 SAE 15W-50 full synthetic engine oil is required during track events.

For street use, the engine oil must be changed to Mobil 1 dexos2 0W-40 oil. Released for the 2019 model year, Mobil 1 dexos2 0W-40 oil can be used in 2014-2019 Corvettes with the LT1, LT4 and LT5 engines.


Brembo Brakes

The ZR1 features 19-inch front and 20-inch rear aluminum wheels that are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport P285/30ZR19 front and P335/25ZR20 rear summer-only tires. The ZTK Track Performance Package adds Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer-only tires.

At each corner are high-performance Brembo aluminum calipers with carbon ceramic brake pads and rotors that provide exceptional stopping performance. Up front, the 15.5-inch (394 mm) two-piece carbon ceramic matrix rotors have fixed 6-piston aluminum calipers. (Fig. 6) At the rear are 15.3-inch (388 mm) two-piece carbon ceramic matrix rotors with fixed 4-piston aluminum calipers.

Fig. 6

TIP: A high-pitch squeak sound may be heard when the brakes are lightly applied during regular driving. This is a normal operating condition of the front brake pad material and high-temperature front carbon ceramic rotors that are designed for track use.

Several brake components, including brake cooling deflectors and brake cooling ducts, are loose shipped to the dealership. The brake cooling ducts are intended for track use only and should not be installed during the Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI).

On ZR1, the wide brake deflectors (Fig. 7, #2) should not be installed due to interference with the brake duct. Do not modify the brake duct to make the wide deflector fit. The short deflector (Fig. 7, #1) should be installed during PDI. No change is required for track use.

Fig. 7


ZTK Track Performance Package

The ZTK Track Performance Package is designed to deliver faster lap times. It includes specific Magnetic Ride Control tuning, higher spring rates (30% for the front and 13% for the rear), Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer-only tires, and a high downforce aero wing spoiler and front splitter with carbon fiber end caps.

The stanchion-mounted carbon fiber high wing (Fig. 8) provides an estimated 950 pound force (lbf) (431 kg) of downforce. It can be mechanically adjusted up to five degrees for different levels of downforce, based on the track environment.

The available high wing spoiler and the standard low wing spoiler are tied into the chassis for strength and stability.

Fig. 8

TIP: GM does not support exchanging rear spoilers or removing the rear spoiler. Refer to Service Bulletin #18-NA-112. All ground effect parts are shipped separately from the vehicle. Refer to Service Bulletins #16-NA-330 and #16-NA-201.


Carbon Fiber Components

To achieve its impressive performance on the track, the Corvette ZR1 features an extensive use of strong, lightweight carbon fiber. Available exterior carbon fiber components include:

  • Visible carbon fiber package with splitter/spoiler/rockers
  • Visible carbon fiber roof with body color surround on coupe models
  • Carbon fiber tonneau inserts on convertible models
  • Specific carbon fiber halo hood/engine cover with a visible weave (Fig. 9)
  • Carbon fiber fender and quarter vents
  • Carbon fiber front splitter winglets

Fig. 9


Special Tools

Any time the supercharger’s cooling system on LT4 and LT5 engines is replaced, removed or separated from the engine, it must be properly drained and filled.

Special tools GE-52079 Coolant System Fill Tool and GE-52079-10 Coolant System Fill Tool Adapter should be used when filling the charge air cooling system.

For additional information on the 2019 Corvette ZR1, refer to Service Bulletin #18-NA-196.

– Thanks to Jeff Strausser and Sherman Dixon

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