Thank the car gods.
Ever since the Chevrolet C8 Corvette made its debut back in 2019, fans of the mid-engined American exotic have been patiently waiting for Chevrolet to introduce more hardcore models. Recent updates of the Corvette include three new exterior paint colors for 2022, namely Hypersonic Gray Metallic, Amplify Orange Tintcoat, and Caffeine Metallic, and details are slowly being revealed about the electrified Corvette 'E-Ray.' But the latest news is much more tangible.
According to midenginecorvetteforum user John, the forum co-founder and admin, Chevy will be rolling Z06 N50 prototypes down the assembly line this month. According to forum users, N stands for the 2022 model year, and the number 50 signifies pre-production models.
So why is this such big news? Well these N50 pre-production models will be a test run to see how the Michigan hand-built Alpha versions translate into the production line process. The reason why the N50 might cause some teething problems is that they will be wide-bodied versions of the standard car. How wide you ask?
According to John, these Vettes will have "about 5/8" wider scoops, e.g. 1 1/4" wider in total." The widebody Z06 N50 Corvettes will be delivered to top members of the Corvette team who specialize in critical departments such as steering, chassis setup, and other calibration components.
There are some who worry that possible teething problems with the N50 will slow down production for the standard C8. Currently GM produces 180 C8 Corvettes per day (over the last six weeks). The upcoming Z06 will apparently make use of a 5.5-liter flat-plane crank naturally-aspirated V8 that will produce in the region of 615 to 625 horsepower which is less than the 650 hp and 650 lb-ft produced by the previous supercharged Corvette Z06. But as we've seen before, the C8 does more with less.