You can't hide from our spy photographers!
Our spy photographers are torn as to whether or not these photos are of an all-new Corvette ZR1 or just an updated Z06. We think this camouflaged-covered 'Vette is in fact a ZR1. That's partially because we want it to be, but also because of a recent trademark filing by Chevrolet to protect the ZR1 name. Of course these photos could be unrelated to that move. The Z06 is due for a bit of an update to help solve its cooling issues, but we don't said update is extensive enough to require all-out camo like this.
Although the car is bundled up we can see larger vents up front as well as a sizable bulge on the hood. The vents would feed intercoolers which would power a twin-turbo V8. Wait, a twin-turbo V8? Yes, at least according to our spy photographers. They did a little digging and learned that the LT5 engine that recently leaked out could indeed be a twin-turbo V8 setup. If it was then there would need to be intercoolers positioned up front. The bit about the engine is of course a leap, but we wouldn't be shocked if Chevy got with the times and dropped the supercharger for a twin-turbo setup. While everything under the hood remains a mystery there's one thing that Chevrolet couldn't cover up.
Take a look at those brake calipers. Does that blue look familiar to you? To us it looks strikingly similar to the blue brake calipers of the C6 ZR1. Do you need more proof that this is a ZR1? Check out the two little pegs on the decklid. This is where a spoiler would be placed, although there isn't one mounted on the car in the photos. Is that because it'd be noticeably different from the one on the Z06? The positioning of the pegs seems to indicate just that. Now all the talk about the Corvette recently has centered on a possible mid-engine model. We don't doubt that may be in the cards for the C8, but it looks like the C7 will stay front-engined until it's phased out.
As we've said before, the biggest difficulty Chevy will have in developing a new ZR1 is finding a way to top the current Z06. That doesn't mean it can't be done, but it's hard to take down a car making 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, especially when said car starts at just $80,000. If Chevrolet does roll out a new ZR1 it'll probably have a price tag north of $100,000, just like the previous-gen did. Regardless, a C7 ZR1 would still be a value in terms of the price you pay and the performance you get. We don't expect any big news on the Corvette front until the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. But now that the ZR1 is on the radar of our spy photographers there's a good chance we'll have more photos of it to share soon.