We saw the upcoming, big-winged Corvette ZR1 spotted testing on the road last year, but now, Chevy's taking it to the track. Specifically, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in California–one of the greatest, most challenging tracks in the US. Based on video and images sent to us by Road & Track readers Chris Carver and Ben Hsu and used with permission, the car looks amazing.
The reader who snapped the shot at the top and the video below said he was told by GM sources that the ZR1 would be testing at Mazda Raceway, and clearly, his sources were right. Four ZR1s were at the track–two with small rear wings, and two with larger, more aggressive rear wings. Another tipster sent us images of the two different ZR1s testing.
Chevy also had a Z06 and the new Camaro ZL1 1LE at the track for testing.
"The ZR1 sound & speed was in a different class than the Z06 & the Camaro," Hsu told us in a Facebook message.
The comment about the ZR1 having a different sound than the Z06 and ZL1 1LE is particularly interesting. Why? Well, Chevrolet is rumored to be putting a new 6.2-liter DOHC V8 in the Corvette sometime next year. This engine, apparently dubbed LT5, would be a throwback to the original ZR1, which eschewed the Corvette's traditional pushrod V8 for a Lotus-designed DOHC unit, also called LT5.
Also look at the aero and cooling tweaks on this new Corvette. The front end appears to be totally different, with the wings out back varying based on what options are fitted. There might also be the possibility that this car is a mid-cycle update to the Z06 and not necessarily a ZR1.
We're still not sure when we'll see the ZR1 make its official debut. Next month at the New York Auto Show is a possibility, but we've also heard rumors that it'll premiere at an IMSA race this year. In any case, it shouldn't be long.