Spied: Chevrolet Preps Next ZR1 Corvette

Our spy photographers caught a fleet of supercars accompanying prototypes of the next-generation Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. The grouping, which is likely an opportunity for General Motors engineers to benchmark the supercars, hints at the performance level Chevrolet plans for its next ZR1.

Our shooter spotted the convoy leaving GM's Milford proving grounds and attacking winding back roads in southeastern Michigan. GM's contingent included two examples of the new, C7-generation Chevrolet Corvette, as well as an outgoing 2013 Corvette ZR1. The rivals comprise an Audi R8 V-10 Spyder, a Ferrari 458 Italia, a McLaren MP4-12C, and Porsche 911 Carrera S.

The European cars show that Chevrolet has serious performance benchmarks in mind for its top-dog Corvette: the R8 V-10 produces 525 hp normally or 550 hp in the V-10 Plus model, the 458 Italia offers 562 hp, the MP4-12C has 616 hp, and the 911 Carrera S has 400 hp. Both of the C7 cars appear totally unchanged from standard Corvette Stingray coupes we've seen on the auto-show circuit, although this is the first time we've seen the five-spoke wheels on the red car.

Earlier reports suggest the next Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 will produce anywhere from 675 to 700 hp, thanks to a supercharged version of the new Stingray's 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 engine. The standard 2014 Chevrolet Corvette extracts 450 hp from the LT1 mill. However, the Corvette ZR1 is likely still a few years out. Our information suggests a Z06 model with 550-600 hp will bow in 2014, and the ZR1 will follow in 2015.

A Chevrolet spokesman confirmed that the cars spotted here were part of a GM exercise, and said that, "A key goal for the Corvette Stingray was to develop a car that had world-class levels of performance, design, and technology… we want to ensure that it delivers one of the best driving experiences available."

YellowC4S
At the end of the day, it's still a POS corvette charging Porsche prices for chevrolet customer service
Maurice Miller
Porsche for me but I do respect the C7 and the R8 also!!
Johnny.5sp
Ever since the debut of the C6 I have looked at the Corvette as a hand grenade. Now I mean that in the most endearing fashion. It didn't have to hit the target it just has to get close. It didn't have to be as fast a Ferrari, it didn't have to handle like a Porsche, and it didn't have to be luxurious as an Audi. All it had to do was to be so reasonably close that one would ask oneself if it were prudent to spend an extra $40,000 or so to get any of those fine automobiles? Being a Cheapskate myself I thought not. Especially now. If they are using Ferraris, Porsches and, Audi R8’s as their bogies they just might turn the Corvette from a hand grenade into multiple warhead cruise missile able to hit several targets with pinpoint accuracy. But as others have suggested we will have to wait and see.
Robert Cossaboon
Porsche. There is no substitute
Craig Stishenko
R8. without question. The most well sorted car hands down. My .02c
Chris Story
The C7 is a phenomenal car, I can't wait to see all the performance numbers. I'm sure the standard car should take care of the Carrera S...no problem! For the money, there is nothing even close.
Jeferson Rodrigues
fantastic
Jack Gayle
Perhaps it's the perspective, but the new Vette looks much tidier than the other two cars. Can't wait to see the results of a comparison test!
Van K
@YellowC4S At the end of the day, you obviously know nothing about the car until it comes out. If you think that a $113k Zr1 costs the same as a roughly equivalent $148k 911 Turbo, then you obviously know nothing about arithmetic either. 
djetzel1940
@Robert Cossaboon Robert. you are so right, there is no substitute for a Porsche. You get sooo much bang for your buck as well as plenty of finesse and it won't be in the shop as much as the competition. I lived in Deutchland for over 11 years.
Johnny.5sp
@Robert Cossaboon It's not a substitute, it's an alternative, Ferrari, there's no substitue for them either.
Johnny.5sp
@Craig Stishenko Hmm. Depends on your driving style.

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