A caravan of heavily camouflaged high-performance Chevrolet Corvette prototypes was caught testing in public today, led by a Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. We suspect that may not be the only high-output V8 in this crowd of preproduction Corvettes, and that’s not even the most interesting mystery question raised by this test session. Let’s have a look at what we can see under all this cladding.
For starters, it appears we’re looking at two distinct flavors of Corvette here, bare minimum. While all four of them have the Z06-style center exhaust, only two have the crazy Batman-style wing from the Z07 package. All four are wearing Micheln Pilot Sport Cup 2 Rs — about as serious as DOT-legal trackday rubber gets. To make the whole thing even more complicated (and interesting!), we might be looking at matched pairs of AWD and RWD models.
The car pictured above and lower left here appears to have axle stubs visible through the hubs in its front wheels. Two cars in the convoy are rolling around like this, while the other pair (as seen in the lower right photo) have their center caps both in place and camouflaged; for whatever it’s worth, they appear to be covering up the Corvette flag emblem and nothing more.
In this case, AWD likely means hybrid, and so far there’s only one of those in the C8 lineup. As Chevy’s engineers have already made it clear that the E-Ray is meant more for cruising than lapping, it seems unlikely (though admittedly not impossible) that we’re looking at a package for that application. But if not E-Ray, then what? Could these be early streetgoing prototypes for the long-rumored, 1,000-plus-horsepower Corvette Zora?
If the two wearing their center caps are truly RWD and not AWD, that makes the puzzle more intriguing still. Given the rubber and aero visible here, anything less than Z06-level performance can safely be dismissed. If not Zora, then perhaps a returning nameplate. ZR1, anybody? It’s expected to return, perhaps as a RWD, supercharged counterpart to the Zora. Both are rumored to enter production as soon as 2025, so we shouldn’t have to wait too long for answers. Stay tuned.