Unleash the Power of the 2012 Chevy Corvette ZR1: Specs, Performance, and Technology

2012 Chevy Corvette ZR1 overview, press release and specifications. The ZR1 is the ultimate in Corvette’s technology-driven performance legacy with a supercharged 6.2L LS9 engine.

Brace yourself for a remarkable adventure as we uncover the rush and thrill that the 2012 Chevy Corvette ZR1 has to offer. Behold its phenomenal capabilities and eye-catching exterior that will surely dazzle any car fanatic. Delve into the power of the 2012 Chevy Corvette ZR1 and discover its prodigious horsepower, mind-blowing torque, rapid acceleration, and extreme top speed that reshape the standards of performance. Enjoy a composition of the latest technologies and extraordinary features that are cleverly incorporated in the 2012 Chevy Corvette ZR1. Explore its modern suspension system, expertly crafted aerodynamic augmentations, and revolutionary performance systems that elevate this machine to greater heights. Get magnetized by the splendor of the 2012 Chevy Corvette ZR1, as we unravel its remarkable design elements. Savor its imposing look, curvaceous aerodynamic lines, and unmistakable styling cues that invite admiration and exude an unequaled sense of power.


2012 Chevy Corvette ZR1 - Photo Credit Mecum Auction
2012 Chevy Corvette ZR1 – Photo Credit Mecum Auction
  • Chevrolet Centennial Edition, featuring Carbon Flash Metallic paint, satin-black graphics, satin-black wheels, unique badges, special-trimmed interior, and Magnetic Selective Ride Control
  • New PDE performance package, including new Michelin® Pilot® Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires, lighter-weight wheels, and full-width rear spoiler
  • New seat design, with optional microfiber inserts on 3ZR trim
  • New steering wheel with model-specific badges, streamlined switch trim, and wrapped spokes
  • Padded center console and armrests are standard on all trim levels
  • Contrasting color stitching in red, blue, and yellow offered with the custom leather-wrapped interior
  • Available Bose Premium audio system with nine speakers
  • Customer-selectable brake caliper color choices in red, yellow, silver, or gray (blue calipers are standard)
  • New Carlisle Blue Metallic and Carbon Flash Metallic exterior colors

2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1: Highlights

The ZR1 is the ultimate expression of Corvette’s technology-driven performance legacy. A supercharged 6.2L LS9 engine and a suite of advanced performance technologies, including Performance Traction Management and Magnetic Selective Ride Control, are the elements of the highest-performing Corvette in history, with changes for 2012 designed to make it more comfortable to drive.

Corvette ZR1 is the fastest production model ever offered by General Motors, with a top speed of 205 mph.

The capability of the ZR1 is enhanced for 2012 with the new PDE performance package, which is highlighted by new Michelin® Pilot® Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires. When combined with new-for-2012 Performance Traction Management (PTM) technology – which manages torque delivery for maximum performance – the tires are expected to help set new benchmarks for Corvette performance. Engineers estimate an 8-percent gain in maximum lateral acceleration to more than 1.1g and improved braking distance.

The PDE package’s effectiveness was demonstrated with a new lap time of 7:19.63 around Germany’s legendary Nürburgring, which improved on the ZR1’s previous benchmark, thereby more than six seconds.

Corvette ZR1 also celebrates Chevrolet’s performance heritage with the 2012 Chevrolet Centennial Edition Corvette, which features a sleek black color scheme, unique design elements, and Corvette’s sports car technology. The special package is inspired by Chevrolet’s racing-bred foundation and is offered on all Corvette models for 2012.

Corvette ZR1 for 2012 includes interior improvements shared with all Corvette models, including new seats, a new steering wheel design, and a new Bose Premium audio system.

Customers who opt for the Corvette Engine Build Experience (option code PBC) can participate in the assembly of their engine at the General Motors Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich.

Corvette ZR1 design

  • Fixed-roof body style optimizes body rigidity and mass; offered in two trim levels – 1ZR and 3ZR.
  • Wider, carbon-fiber front fenders with ZR1-specific dual ports.
  • Carbon-fiber hood with a raised, polycarbonate window – offering a view of the intercooler below it.
  • Carbon-fiber roof panel, roof bow, front fascia splitter, and rocker moldings with clear-coated, visible carbon-fiber weave.
  • ZR1-specific full-width rear spoiler with raised outboard sections
  • Four large stainless steel exhaust outlets.
  • Standard high-intensity discharge headlamps.
  • Two new exterior colors for ’12: Carlisle Blue Metallic and Carbon Flash Metallic (Chevrolet Centennial edition only). Also offered are Arctic White, Blade Silver Metallic, Inferno Orange Metallic, Velocity Yellow Tintcoat, Torch Red, Supersonic Blue Metallic, Cyber Gray, and Crystal Red Tintcoat
  • New customer-selectable brake caliper colors are offered in red, yellow, silver, and gray (blue calipers are standard).

Chevrolet Centennial Edition Special Edition

  • Offered exclusively in Carbon Flash Metallic with satin-black graphics.
  • Special badges that signify Chevrolet’s racing history, including a graphic logo featuring an image of Louis Chevrolet on the B-pillars, the wheel center caps, and the center of the steering wheel.
  • The historic Corvette, crossed flags badge, contains a small adaptation, with “100” in place of the traditional fleur-de-lis symbol in black, only for the Centennial Edition.
  • Unique Centennial Satin Black wheels with red stripe, sized specifically to the respective Corvette models, including 19-inch/20-inch for ZR1.  
  • Magnetic Selective Ride Control is standard.
  • Ebony leather-wrapped instrument panel and doors are complemented by red stitching also on the steering wheel, seats, console, and shifter.
  • The seats feature microfiber suede accents on the seats, steering wheel, shifter, and armrests.
  • Seat headrests carry an embossed centennial logo.
  • Available on all Corvette models via order code ZLC.

Corvette ZR1 interior

  • Corvette’s interior is inspired by the car’s dual-cockpit heritage.
  • New seats feature improved appearance and larger bolsters on the seat back and cushion areas to provide better driver support, especially in high-performance driving.
  • Microfiber seat inserts are optional.
  • New steering wheel with model-specific badges, streamlined switch trim, and wrapped spokes.
  • ZR1-logo sill plates.
  • ZR1-logo headrest embroidery.
  • An AM/FM/XM radio with a CD player and audio input jack is standard.
  • The New Bose Premium audio system includes nine speakers (vs. seven in 2011), including new tweeters located in the instrument panel, and improved Bose Nd’s next-generation bass performance. It is included with the 3ZR trim.
  • Steering-wheel-mounted audio controls are on all models.
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio, with a one-year subscription, is included with the Bose audio system.
  • An onboard navigation system with voice recognition is included with 3ZR. It is a DVD-based system that uses a 6.5-inch (165 mm) color touch-screen display.
  • Head-up display is standard and includes Track Mode with g-meter. 
  • Specific gauge cluster with boost gauge (also displayed on the head-up display) and 220-mph (370 km/h) speedometer readout.
  • A custom leather-wrapped interior package is standard on the 3ZR trim, featuring a leather-wrapped upper and lower instrument panel, door pads and seats; choice of exclusive colors: Dark Titanium, Ebony, Cashmere or Sienna, with unique color breakup; padded door panel armrests; “Corvette” embroidered on passenger-side dash pad and a unique center trim plate with a gunmetal pattern.

Corvette ZR1 performance

  • LS9 supercharged 6.2L V-8 rated at 638 horsepower (476 kW), and 604 lb.-ft. of torque (819 Nm).
  • The Roots-type supercharger uses a unique, four-lobe rotor design and is augmented with an integrated charge cooling system that reduces inlet air temperature for maximum performance.
  • Titanium connecting rods.
  • Cast iron cylinder liners are inserted in the aluminum block and are finish-bored and honed with a deck plate installed. The deck plate simulates the pressure and minute dimensional variances applied to the block when the cylinder heads are installed.
  • The LS9 is hand-assembled at GM’s Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich., and incorporates special processes typically seen in racing engines to produce a highly refined and precise product.
  • Six-speed, close-ratio manual transmission.
  • High-capacity dual-disc clutch, which spreads out the engine’s torque load over a wider area. This enables tremendous clamping power when the clutch is engaged while also helping to dissipate heat better and extend the life of the clutch.
  • The rear axle features asymmetrical axle-shaft diameters – 33 mm on the right side and 40 mm on the left – that provide optimal torque management. They are mounted on a more horizontal plane that correlates with the wider width of the ZR1’s rear wheels and tires.
  • Specific suspension tuning provides more than 1g cornering grip.
  • Twenty-spoke 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels.
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires – P285/30ZR19 in front and P335/25ZR20 in the rear – developed specifically for the ZR1.
  • Brembo carbon-ceramic, drilled disc brake rotors – 15.5-inch diameter (394 mm) in the front and 15-inch diameter (380 mm) in the rear.
  • Blue-painted brake calipers.
  • Magnetic Selective Ride Control with track-level suspension.
  • Launch Control system with Performance Traction Management (PTM) technology optimizes traction for greater and more consistent on-track performance. The PTM system holds a predetermined engine speed while the driver pushes the throttle to the floor. That allows the driver to release the clutch quickly, and the system modulates engine torque 100 times per second to maximize the available traction. The system is capable of approaching a skilled driver’s best effort and repeating it consistently. PTM also integrates the ZR1’s traction control, active handling, and selective ride control systems to enhance track driving consistency and overall performance. When full throttle is applied upon exiting a corner, it automatically manages acceleration dynamics.

Corvette ZR1 chassis and suspension

  • An aluminum body structure for optimum stiffness and light weight for the fixed-roof body style.
  • Perimeter rails are one-piece hydroformed aluminum members featuring cast suspension nodes, which replace many welded steel components on other Corvette models.
  • Advanced structural composites featuring carbon fiber are bonded to the aluminum structure. The wider front wheelhouses, for example, are carbon composites, and the passenger compartment floors combine carbon-fiber skins with an ultra-lightweight balsa wood core.
  • A magnesium cradle serves as the attachment point for the engine and some front suspension components. It is lighter than aluminum, yet incredibly strong, and helps improve the front-to-rear weight distribution, as do carbon-fiber front fenders and wheelhouses.
  • Battery relocated from underhood to a position in the rear cargo area, behind one of the rear wheels.
  • Large wheels, measuring 19 x 10 inches in diameter in the front and 20 x 12 inches in the rear. A Sterling Silver paint finish is standard; chrome and Competition Gray versions are optional.
  • ZR1-specific Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires measuring P285/30ZR19 in front and P335/25ZR20 in the rear.
  • Brembo carbon-ceramic brake rotors. Made of a carbon-fiber-reinforced ceramic silicon carbide material, these rotors are low mass and resistant to wear and heat. The rotors should never show corrosion or require replacement for the life of the vehicle when used in normal driving.
  • The vented and cross-drilled rotors on the ZR1 measure 15.5 inches (394 mm) in diameter in the front and 15 inches (380 mm) in diameter in the rear – making them among the largest carbon-ceramic rotors available on any production vehicle.
  • Six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers, each painted ZR1-specific blue.
  • A four-channel ABS system is standard, as is a very competent active handling system – complete with a Competitive Driving mode. 
  • Standard Magnetic Selective Ride Control helps the rear axle remain planted during launch for smooth, hop-free acceleration. It also helps suppress axle movement when cornering on broken or uneven pavement.

PDE Performance Package content

  • New Michelin® Pilot® Sport Cup Zero Pressure tires, developed by the same Michelin engineers who develop tires for Corvette Racing in the American Le Mans Series and are essentially street-legal versions of a racing tire.
  • The 285/30-19 (front) and 335/25-20 (rear) tires are matched with all-new aluminum Cup-style wheels in satin black or machined finishes. They are about five pounds lighter (2.2 kg) and stronger than the 20-spoke wheel offered in 2011.
  • A full-width racing-style spoiler for improved aerodynamics.
  • Close-ratio six-speed manual transmission.

Corvette safety and crash-avoidance features

The Corvette is designed to help drivers avoid crashes while protecting the occupants in the event a crash occurs.

  • Four standard airbags include side-impact airbags, which provide head protection for outboard passengers in the event of a side-impact or rollover crash.
  • Active Handling electronic stability control system helps reduce the risk of rollover crashes by keeping the vehicle in the driver’s intended path by applying throttle, braking, or a combination of both.
  • Standard four-wheel-disc brake system.
  • Pretensioners minimize forward movement during a collision and are standard on the front safety belts. Load-limiting retractors cinch the belt more tightly.
  • Tire pressure monitoring systems and run-flat tires are standard on all models.
  • Standard remote keyless entry with push-button starting.  
  • Strong body structure to absorb crash energy and provide a protective “safety cage” around occupants.

OnStar details

Corvette ZR1 is offered with OnStar as standard on all models. It uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of a crash. OnStar subscribers also can use the service to be Good Samaritans by sending help to other motorists and calling for help in other non-crash emergencies.

  • OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security, and information services in the United States and Canada.
  • Six months of complimentary OnStar Directions and Connections service with Turn-by-Turn Navigation for easier route guidance on all Corvette models. The feature is easy to use because all directions are sent to the car by an advisor without the need to stop.
  • Stolen Vehicle Assistance helps police track the vehicle.



Model:Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Body styles / driveline:2-door hatchback coupe with fixed roof; rear-wheel drive
Construction:composite and carbon-fiber body panels, hydroformed aluminum frame with aluminum and magnesium structural and chassis components
Manufacturing location:Bowling Green, Ky.


Displacement (cu in / cc):376 / 6162
Bore & stroke (in / mm):4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Block material:cast aluminum
Cylinder head material:cast aluminum
Valvetrain:overhead valve, two valves per cylinder
Fuel delivery:SFI (sequential fuel injection)
Compression ratio:9.1:1
Horsepower / kW:638 / 476 @ 6500*
Torque (lb-ft / Nm):604 / 819 @ 3800*
Recommended fuel:premium required
EPA-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy):14 / 21


 Tremec TR6060 close-ratio six-speed manual
Gear ratios (:1): 
Final drive ratio:3.42

Chassis / Suspension

Front:short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite leaf spring, monotube shock absorber
Rear:short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite leaf spring, monotube shock absorber
Traction control:electronic traction control; active handling (Magnetic Selective Ride Control)


Type:front and rear power-assisted carbon-ceramic disc with 6-piston front and four-piston rear calipers, cross-drilled rotors; ABS std. 
Rotor diameter (in / mm):front: 15.5 / 394
rear: 15 / 380
Brake swept area (sq in / mm):front: 355 / 2290 rear: 309 / 1994

Wheels / Tires

Wheel size:front: 19-inch x 10-inch rear: 20-inch x 12-inch
Tires:Michelin Pilot Sport 2
front: P285/30ZR19
rear: P335/25ZR20



Wheelbase (in / mm):105.7 / 2685
Overall length (in / mm):176.2 / 4476
Overall width (in / mm):75.9 / 1929
Overall height (in / mm):48.7 / 1236
Curb weight (lb / kg):3353 / 1521
Weight distribution (% front / rear):51 / 49
Seating capacity2
Interior volume (cu ft / L):52 / 1475
Headroom (in / mm):38 / 962
Legroom (in / mm):43 / 1092
Shoulder room (in / mm):55 / 1397
Hip room (in / mm):54 / 1371


Cargo volume (cu ft / L):22 / 634
Fuel tank (gal / L):18 / 68.1
Engine oil (qt / L):10.5 / 9.9

*SAE certified.

Note: The information shown is current at the time of publication.

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