- we've spied this prototype of an upcoming higher-performance c8 corvette testing in the snow.
- it could be the z06, the grand sport model, or the zr1 because we notice wider fender flares.
- we expect that the z06 will be powered by a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter flat-plane-crank v-8 that produces around 600 horsepower.
we expect that the c8 corvette z06 will be powered by a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter flat-plane-crank v-8 engine that will rev to 8600 rpm and develop upward of 600 or more horsepower. that's the gist of it. but now, we're getting a bit more information about the upcoming c8 z06 (or one of the vette's other high-performance variants) because we've spied it testing in the snow with some seriously thick rear fenders.
gm is trying mighty hard to cover up this c8 test car, and we expect that it's because of some major changes to the body. this could be either the z06, the grand sport, or the zr1; it's less likely that it's the hybrid model, because it's too early. however, given the wider fenders over the standard z51, we know this isn't an ordinary c8 vette. keep in mind that chevy typically releases the z06 prior to the grand sport, which uses the z06's styling.
these wider fenders help accommodate larger tires, and they are reminiscent of our long-term c7 corvette grand sport that wore 335s in the back. the c8 stingray z51 we tested wore 305-size rubber out back. wondering about that covered-up hood vent? it's a mid-engine car, so we can expect that it's hiding the air outlet for the center radiator that higher-performance versions require.
as for the engine, we know the 5.5-liter flat-plane-crank v-8 will produce a satisfying shriek (we know that from having heard the c8.r race car fire up) and will be used in three c8 variants. the z06's version of this engine will be naturally aspirated, producing around 600 horsepower; the zr1's version will be twin turbocharged, producing around 800 horsepower; and a hybrid model, likely to be called eray or zora, will use the twin-turbo version in conjunction with a front-mounted electric motor, a combination that could approach 1000 horsepower.
it's just the beginning for the c8 corvette, and we're more than excited to see what gm has in store for these higher-performance variants. we'll have all the information for you when we know it.