Dubai, United Arab Emirates - This, General Motors will lose no time in telling you, is the most powerful Chevrolet production car yet unleashed on the buying public. Shown in public for the first time at the weekend in Dubai, this is the 2019 Corvette ZR1.

Yes, that’s not a misprint; the eighth-generation Corvette ZR1 will go on sale in the US late next year, but how is GM backing up its ‘most powerful’ claim?

With the 6.2-litre LT5 supercharged V8, available only in the ZR1 and wielding a Society of Automotive Engineers-certified 563kW and 969Nm, is how, thanks to a new, more-efficient intercooled supercharger system that moves 52 percent more charge air than the Z06’s LT4 supercharger, and GM’s first dual-fuel-injection system with primary direct injection as well as supplemental port injection.

It drives the rear wheels via either a seven-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic transmission - the first time that an auto has been offered in a ZR1 - to a top speed of “more than 340km/h'.

Two aero packages

A special new front apron houses four additional new radiators for the car’s various cooling systems - bringing the total to 13! - and the special carbon-fibre ‘halo’ bonnet has a big opening in the middle to allow space for the blower and intake plumbing.

The available aero packages include the standard low wing for the highest top speed and an optional, two-way adjustable High Wing Package, producing 432kg of downforce for maximum traction and acceleration on track days. And, since the ’Vette has a composite body, both wings are mounted on brackets that extend through the body, to mount on the tubular steel chassis, as on the Corvette Racing C7.R race car, for strength and stability

The adjustable High Wing Package also includes a front splitter with carbon-fibre end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer-only tyres, and specific chassis and magnetic ride control tuning for greater cornering grip.

The signature Sebring Orange design package seen here is based on a custom metallic orange paint finish and includes orange brake calipers, orange rocker and front splitter accent stripes, orange seat belts, orange interior stitching and special bronze aluminium interior trim.

Heated and vented nappa leather-trimmed seating is also available, as are a carbon fibre-rimmed steering wheel, competition sport seats with optional suede insets, performance data recorder and a Bose premium audio system.

IOL Motoring