By this point we’ve heard any number of rumors about a new Corvette model or two. Here is a quick summary of what we’ve heard, and what seems most likely given our knowledge and experience.
Some say there will be a big cubic-inch, LS7 equivalent with all the bells and whistles of the new Gen V architecture (making nearly 600hp), which will power the next Z06 or Z07 model. The strongest evidence to support this claim is that there were no telltale signs of boost on any of the spied prototypes.
Verdict: unlikely, but definitely possible. It is hard to imagine that CAFÉ standards being what they are, GM could pull off another big cube Corvette. On the other hand, it is a low production vehicle that doesn’t offset the average fuel economy of GM’s line very much, and it doesn’t seem to have an effect on the SRT Viper or any number of foreign supercars.
With the unveiling of the El Miraj concept sporting a 4.5L twin-turbo V-8, keyboards were pounded furiously in proclamation that this would be the powerplant for the new Z07, as well as the upcoming Cadillac flagship sedan, and would put out over 600hp.
Verdict: not buying it. It is certainly possibly that a twin-turbo 4.5L V-8 could find its way into the Cadillac lineup, but seems an unlikely fit for the top of the line C7 and an odd combo for the middle model.
Following recent history, yet another rumor is that the ZR1 will sport a supercharged 6.2L just like its predecessor. The motor will have most, if not all, of the features of the naturally aspirated LT1, but with a few upgrades to support the boost and no Active Fuel Management. And power is expected to be in the 650-700hp range.
Verdict: very possible. It is a proven formula and would easily exceed the LS9’s output and achieve the design goals.
The Vsport’s LF3 V-6 was a precursor to GM’s crowning jewel – the engineering marvel, which will be dubbed “LT5.” Engineers will be pulling out all of the stops to create the most powerful V-8 on the market. A technologically advanced twin-turbo system will be designed to eliminate lag, and provide seamless power delivery to over 700hp. The engine itself is likely to be a Gen V with either 6.2L or a destroked 5.5L, similar to the C6R.
Verdict: also possible. GM needs to take back the glory that Ford stole with the GT500, and put the ZR1 back on top. The smaller cube turbo engine is much more CAFÉ friendly, too.
OK, admittedly, I just made this one up. But here we go. The next Z06 or Z07 will be a high-revving, naturally aspirated version of the LT1 that is devoid of AFM. It will be a low-production car that makes 480-510hp with just 6.2-liters, and will be lightened wherever possible to bring the beltline closer to 3,200-pounds – including the use of a bubble-top fixed roof like the C5.
Verdict: this is supported by the spy shots, and is not completely out of the question.