We know from spy photos and video sightings that Corvette engineers are busy developing future C8 Corvette models and based on history as well as recent sightings, it’s widely believed that it’s the high-performance Z06 that is next on the reveal list. And while we have these Z06s mules running around conducting tests on public roads, it was last June that something entirely different was spied for the time…a C8 widebody mule with a center-mounted exhaust.
We recently learned from a gent named Corvette_Ron_Himself that the widebody C8 prototype mules are testing with 345-sized Michelins as he was able to snag a photo of them during a recent encounter with an engineering team. Now, in a new video from Mike at the Brink of Speed YouTube Channel, Corvette_Ron_Himself shares a number of photos of that encounter with the Corvette engineering team and offers up a pretty darn good explanation on why he believes the mules with the center-mount exhaust are actually prototype twin-turbo C8 Corvette ZR1s.
Corvette_Ron_Himself notes that there is a dedicated team of engineers testing the ZR1s and that the group contains the same Porsche 911 GT2 RS as well as the same Yellow Corvette Stingray. This team was first spied back in June 2020 by both spy photographers and amateur enthusiasts alike.
The video showcases an encounter at a park with this team of engineers in June 2020 and the video of the C8 mule with the center-mounted exhaust sounds nothing like the other Corvettes in the group. As it’s leaving, it appears to be doing so under the least amount of throttle ever so as not to give a clue to its real identity. The engineering team was also captured by spy photographer Brian Williams that shows a close-up of the “four-pot” exhaust as its described by Corvette_Ron_Himself in Mike’s video:
The quad looking four-pot exhaust is not a quad exhaust at all. That four-pot system exhaust would appear to be a C8 ZR1 twin-turbo LT7 development engine. The four-pot exhaust that has fascinated everyone for eight months represents a pair of larger pipes in the center flanked on the outside by two smaller turbo wastegate dump pipes. The turbo overboost exhaust pressure under high pressure must be wasted during development. Separately exhausted wastegates may better allow engineers to hear evaluate control and tune engine boost even recalibrate turbos. The LT7 twin-turbo may end up with quad exhaust but maybe not. A pair of pipes one for each turbo would be simply perfect.
The second point that Corvette_Ron_Himself offers is that it makes no sense for the Corvette engineering team to be benchmarking the 700-hp twin-turbo Porche 911 GT2 RS against a naturally aspirated Z06 mule saying that “N/A torque vs turbo torque is not an equivalent match. ” He adds that is why we have seen the teams testing the Z06 mules with a Ferrari 458 along as well as that is more closely matched to the Z06. The main point being that the GT2 RS is a more sensible benchmark vehicle to test against the rumored 800-hp twin-turbo LT7 Corvette ZR1 than the 600-650 naturally-aspirated Corvette Z06.
Mike shares a couple of additional points from Corvette_Ron_Himself to conclude his theory and “the defense rests” on photos of other exotic turbo-charged sports cars with a four-pot exhaust set-up. It’s a fascinating take on what Chevy has been hiding in plain sight and we challenge anyone to come up with a better explanation as to why some of the C8 Corvettes testing in public have the center-mounted exhaust vs those that have the corner-mounted systems.
What are your thoughts on this hot take from Corvette_Ron_Himself? Could this be the C8 Corvette ZR1 twin-turbo testing in public? Let us know in the comments below!
Brink of Speed / YouTube
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