There are a couple schools of thought regarding the future direction of the Corvette program. While we’ve been focused on the C8 Corvette and the mid-engine Zora that’s expected in 2018 and whether or not the program will continue as a mid-engine only or a dual model program, it does now appear that Chevrolet isn’t quite done with the C7 program yet.
When discussing the C8 Corvette, we’ve mentioned Don Sherman and his report in Car & Driver that suggested that the ZR1 will actually return in 2017 to close out the C7 program with a bang. That actually makes a lot of sense to us, and as a one-year only car, the return of the ZR1 will be sure to set the automotive world on fire.
The reason why we are discussing this now is due to new spy photos from Chris Doane on Autoblog that feature a C7 Corvette prototype in camoflague that looks a lot like the Z06 with the flared rear quarters and clear tail lights.
Feel free to jump over to Autoblog to view all the spy photos from various angles. We’ll be here when you are finished.
We know that the Z06 is on hiatus right now, with the reason being to give the 2017 Grand Sport launch time to churn out a good amount of cars before the Z06 starts production in September with its new supercharger design and other cooling bits added. So while this could be the 2017 Corvette Z06 testing its new cooling equipment, it doesn’t make much sense to camouflage the rear of an existing model for a possible hood change.
What we do see is a multi-colored Corvette that looks cobbled together with primer doors, a silver rear hatch and quarter panels, and a red top. Those primer doors may signal a change in materials from composite to carbon fiber. The front of the car appears to show new vents on each corner (or it could be just one extended opening under those covers). The swirling rear covering does reveal enough to show that there is no spoiler currently attached, but there does appear to be two struts on the top where a spoiler would be attached.
Autoblog also points out the blue brake calipers that are barely visible as proof this is a ZR1 prototype we are seeing. As a C6 model, the ZR1 shipped with blue brake calipers which acknowledged the internal working name of the “Blue Devil” during development.
One of the hallmarks of the new C7 Corvette ZR1 may be its overall top speed. The C7 Z06 is heavier than its predecessor and with all the aerodynamics designed to keep the Corvette flat footed while on the track, it doesn’t have the same overall top speed like the 205 mph that was capable in the LS9 powered Corvette ZR1.
We may get our first glimpse of the new C7 Corvette ZR1 at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. In the meantime, you can head over to Autoblog.com to view all the latest spy photos of this C7 Corvette ZR1 prototype.