2019 Corvette ZR1 Beats The Ford GT To Claim New Lap Record At VIR

The rivalry between Ford and General Motors is alive and well as Chevrolet has revealed the 2019 Corvette ZR1 has set a production-car lap record at the Virginia International Raceway.

The record was set in a Corvette ZR1 Coupe which was equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission and the $2,995 ZTK Performance Package. The latter item adds a unique front splitter, an adjustable carbon fiber rear wing, a retuned Magnetic Ride Control system, and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.

Chevrolet says the record was set during routine validation testing earlier this month when vehicle dynamics engineer Jim Mero posted a time of 2:37.25. This beats the previous record of 2:38.62 which was set by the Ford GT.

In a statement heralding the achievement, GM executive vice president Mark Reuss said “The Corvette ZR1’s lap record at VIR, arguably America’s most challenging road course, is a testament to its supercar status.” He added, “On the racetrack, the ZR1 can compete with any supercar — at any price.”

Speaking of the latter, the Corvette ZR1 will go on sale this spring with a base price of $119,995. That’s more than twice the price of the standard model but the ZR1 features a supercharged 6.2-liter LT5 V8 engine that develops 755 hp (563 kW) and 715 lb-ft (969 Nm) of torque. It enables the coupe to hit a top speed in excess of 210 mph (337 km/h).

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  • Bo Hanan

    Ford’s GT better find a V8 that will fit it, butt quick. Cause if a 7 year old design beat its numbers you can bet the mid engined Vette will destroy it.

    • LWOAP

      I strongly doubt a V8 is going to automatically fix it.

      • Bo Hanan

        Clearly it would come with all the upgrades.

    • The packaging won’t allow it…

    • SteersUright

      Ford is on record stating the GT was designed with aero and weight in mind so they settled on the V6 due to packaging. While I’d love to see a much more charismatic engine in the awesome GT (instead of that huge vacuum cleaner sounding V6), I can’t imagine what that sort of re-engineering would cost. Perhaps they can still fiddle with the engine acoustics? I mean look what Ferrari was able to do with the turbo V6 they developed for Maserati and Alfa, those sound incredible. So does the Jaguar’s supercharged v6. Surely, Ford can do better.

      • chuck2

        x5 – they wanted to leverage the v6 turbo.. so they went for lowdrag and weight ..

  • Six_Tymes

    Its a monster. I cant wait to see a full video review of this.

  • LWOAP

    If I’m correct, aren’t all the other times set by Car and Driver? This was done by GM themselves where I doubt there was any traffic to contend with.

    • brn

      If you’re correct, that’s a big deal and they’re not comparing apples to apples.

      At the same time, good for GM for pulling off what they did.

    • chuck2

      Actually, I think the CD Lightning laps are CD sponsored and unique but those aren’t necessarily the only records the track documents.

    • Shobin Drogan

      In Chevy’s defense Ford also claims to “not care about laptimes” in a supercar that was originally designed for track use. They could’ve posted a better laptime themselves than C&D but since they “don’t care” this is what happens.

    • Chris Krajnik

      Ford’s time of 2:38 was done by one of their engineers after the CD Lightning Lap which was a 2:40.

  • eb110americana

    Oh snap!

  • nellydesign

    Before everyone shits on the GT, this article has some facts wrong. The GT’s 2:43 time was not a VIR lap record. It was a C&D Lightning Lap record set at VIR. Entirely different things. Lightning Lap times are posted by journalists, not race drivers or development drivers. The GT lapped VIR at 2:38.62 during development testing and they weren’t even trying to set a record. Just shaking out some mechanical issues. And it wasn’t even the competition spec model. Just the “normal” GT.

    http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/a15884757/ford-gt-lap-record-vir-viper-acr/

    The ZR-1’s time is still extremely impressive, but it does have an extra 100hp + over the Ford and I’d be willing to bet an all out lap record attempt by Ford would probably match or beat the ZR-1’s time.

    • Merc1

      The problem is that it shouldn’t even be close considering the 400K+ pricetag of the Ford.

      M

      • lagunas3ca

        That’s like saying the Ferrari 488 GTB, Lamborghini Aventador, Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series, and Audi R8 V10 Plus (among others) shouldn’t be getting owned by the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE at The Green Hell… which is sad but true.

        • Merc1

          Well they shouldn’t. Same problem. Thing is though those cars aren’t like 4 times the price of the Vette, aside from the Lambo. The Ford is. SLS AMG Black Series hasn’t been in production for years.

          M

    • Mike Gauthier

      You’re correct, the article has been updated to reflect that

    • seriously

      yeah but the GT is a 400k mid engine super car, so discounting the Corvette based on power is ridiculous what about weight, what about dynamics, by and large the GT should dominate the Corvette and really all that power should only put the Vette on par with a car with the specs of the GT not make it an automatic win for the Vette

    • SteersUright

      You’re 100% right. Also, the GT is a sophisticated mid-engine supercar with far superior dynamics, transmission, and likely confidence it instills in its driver as such. The ZR-1 is amazing and even more so at 1/3 of the price. But it is still a RWD, front engined, unruly beast of a machine that (price aside) doesn’t being to match the GT on sophistication, layout, nor elegance in design. They are entirely different cars for different drivers of different means.
      A Camaro SS can match a Cayman S today on most tracks but this says nothing of the driving experience and enjoyment offered up by each.

    • john1168

      Unfortunately Ford just announced that it’s not going to compete against other cars for PRODUCTION track records… BUMMER!!! I want to see the GT and the ZR-1 go head to head on the Ring to see which is faster!!! If the Viper was still in the game, Dodge be like, “oh yeah?!?! Watch this!!!” I’m a Vette guy but I LOVED the competition between the Vette and the Viper! I will miss the Viper! So I’m VERY disappointed that Ford isn’t even gonna try with the GT… BUMMER!!!

  • seriously

    Gm has been putting out some excellent track ready cars, just saw a review of the SS 1LE vs the new GT performance and they said the 1LE felt a class above the mustang in every dynamic test while being cheaper

    • SteersUright

      This means little to nothing for regular folk who buys these cars. The Camaro SS 1LE, on a track and in the absence of traffic, is a stunning performance value. On the street, its blind spots and lack of any reasonable visibility are utter deal-breakers and kill much of the joy of owning the thing. The Mustang is clearly more real-world friendly. And its a damn shame, really. The Camaro’s performance is so unbelievably amazing given its price that I wish GM would somehow keep it beautiful but also address this serious design flaw.

      • Vanquish

        I agree its styling limits its appeal but I disagree its because of its visibility I think thats some what a cop out or a knock down for people that need a reason to give a negative view of the camaro (just my opinion) and I say that because some of the worlds best regarded performance crossovers and exotics and sports cars even more practical cars have poor visibility the Challenger is like sitting in a tank with mac truck blind spots and its size makes it worse its sales have gone up why? its a gorgeous car like the Huracan and others with poor visibility out. The CLA sells well again poor visibility same for the GLA, its not about the visibility that deters people from the Camaro its the styling.. Its styling is self referencing of the last one, most people that buy these cars dont really care about performance at all they care more about the style and how they look or feel driving it hence why the lower end versions sell in such high percentage when the V8s really are a ton more. The mustang looks completely different than the last one, the Challenger has a retro look like nothing else on the road, and the Camaro just looks like a refreshed version of the last car that sold like hot cakes and still had poor visibility they need more intriguing styling to fix its sales funk.

  • brian

    The corvette is still a POS to all you haters out there. Right!

    • LWOAP

      What?

    • SteersUright

      I think you jumped in a time machine and landed in the wrong year. People the world over admire the current C7 Corvette, even if it isn’t ultimately their first choice of sports cars. But I do know what you mean, just a few generations ago this was not the case.

      • brian

        I see comments on other sites who just don’t like Chevrolet because of the bail out. Well I do from a former GM employee where many motors were built in Tonawanda ny the home of the big block

  • MJack

    These are the moments when Dodge should dust off the Viper TA or ACR and see what happens? Just for fun.

    • Viper is out of production, I doubt they will do it.

    • SteersUright

      So sad they killed off that stunning machine. I do hope they build a proper sports car again some day. The straight-line super hp machines they’re making today appeal to many fans, but Im not one of them. I like cars that can both sing and dance, if you catch my meaning.

      • Simply there aren’t demand for Viper, and with current FCA situation I think they will stick to Hellcat and change their halo car to next gen Challenger (Reportedly called Barracuda)

  • Well manufacturer backed lap times can be EASILY done by customer in their car, right?

  • SteersUright

    Despite the astounding performance, torque converted automatics absolutely suck. They neuter the driving experience compared with a manual or Porsche PDK quality dual clutch. Why the heck won’t one American automaker match or beat the Germans with an excellent DCT paired to a V8 already (uber expensive Ford GT aside)??? I cant imagine how fun blipping off shifts from a lightning quick DCT in a V8 Corvette, Camaro, or Mustang could be!

  • john1168

    One things for sure… This new ZR-1 sounds F-ing AWESOME!!! And I thought the Z06 sounded good when I was driving one of those on a track…

  • Vassilis

    Damn…

  • Chad Gordon

    He looks very angry, and his face is all red!

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