2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 inadvertently sets lap record at VIR

The beastliest Corvette ever is so fast that it set a lap record at America's toughest track with an engineer at the wheel.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt

When Roadshow boss Tim Stevens got to ride around Southern California's legendarily fast Big Willow circuit in Chevrolet's new ZR1, he confirmed all of our suspicions that the apex-predator Corvette was a stupid-fast car. Now, we have more than Tim's butt-dyno to go on because Chevrolet engineers managed to set a lap record of 2 minutes 37.25 seconds during validation testing at Virginia International Raceway.

Watch this: 160 mph in the outrageous, 755-horsepower Corvette ZR1

Keep in mind that this was a stock ZR1 equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission and ZTK performance package. The only modifications were racing seats, racing harness and a harness bar on which to anchor them. For those of you who were sleeping during our coverage of the ZR1 during the LA Auto Show , it slots in above the already bonkers Z06 and features a new supercharged pushrod V8, dubbed LT5, that produces 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque.

In case you don't know, validation testing ensures that the finished product for a car lives up to the design specifications and engineering expectations. The Corvette ZR1's validation testing included 24 hours of at-the-limit-of-performance-and-likely-sanity track testing at VIR, aka the Nurburgring of America. This kind of testing is good considering all the trouble that Chevrolet had with the less-powerful Corvette Z06's cooling system when subjected to racetrack conditions.

The 2019 Corvette ZR1 is expected to retail for around $120,000 before inevitable and insane dealer markups and will hit showrooms this spring.