This certainly doesn't sound like any pushrod V8 we've ever heard.
Chevrolet is thought to have something tremendous in store for the next Corvette Z06 - and we don't just mean its rear-mid-engine layout.
No, in addition, it is believed that the high-performance C8 Z06 will take a page from the book of Ferrari, employing a new dual overhead-cam V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft, much like the 5.2L unit that Ford Performance shoved in the Shelby GT350 Mustang. Chevy's Corvette C8.R race car was revealed with such an engine back in October - a 5.5L mill capable of putting out up to 500 naturally aspirated horsepower - and an engineer confirmed then that the motor would make its way into a production Corvette.
Why does this matter? Primarily, the design affects breathability. At high rpm, an engine gulps down massive amounts of air, exhaling equally impressive quantities of exhaust gases. A DOHC V8 has twice as many valves per cylinder - and thus, a greater total valve surface area as your typical pushrod small-block - allowing it to inhale and exhale more easily. The firing order of the flat-plane crankshaft, meanwhile, evens out the intake and exhaust pulses so that air flows more freely through the runners. More freely equals more good.
In addition, flat-plane crankshafts are lighter in weight than their cross-plane counterparts, and less rotating mass means quicker response to changes in the throttle. More vroom equals more good, too!
In theory, all of this should equate to a greater practical power potential, as the engine's design makes a high-rpm redline more attainable.
In practice, it also equates to a delicious, fearsome exhaust note, utterly distinct from the uneven "American" V8 burble we've all become accustomed to. Just listen to the Corvette prototype in the video. Based on the sound and the timing of the camouflage-clad car's appearance, we believe this to be a prototype of the forthcoming C8 Corvette Z06, and its roaring exhaust lends credibility to our suspicions that the next Z06 will indeed have a flat-plane-crank V8.
Of course, Chevrolet will have to do much better than the race car's 500 horsepower to make the Z06 worth it, but given that the road car won't be subjected to all sorts of IMSA restrictions, that ought to be more than doable.