SIM compatriot Hot Rod magazine managed to get a hold of these pictures of 2014 Corvette Stingrays while driving through Flagstaff, Arizona, on a rainy day. Since the appearance of the new Stingray is obviously known to just about everyone by now, we figure the camo can mean only one thing – these have to be the first pictures of the Z06 or maybe the ZR1. There were five of these bad boys outside of the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort (approximately 11,500 feet above sea level), each sporting a matte black protective vinyl and individual number. The location suggests the possibility that the C7s were undergoing some kind of high-altitude powertrain or engine calibration.
Appearance-wise, the rear spoiler on the camouflaged C7s appears smaller and shorter, like the convertible C7 spoiler, while the C6 ZR1 featured a longer rear spoiler that ran across the entire rear end of the car. It’s kind of hard to notice any other super obvious changes in appearance – so it seems the camo wrap is doing its job. In the past, ZR1 test cars only had black vinyl covering certain exterior areas such as air ducts and the glass hood. This year, Chevy is hiding quite a bit more.
So far, not much is known about the mysterious Corvettes. The Hot Rod staff says that they couldn’t decipher any signs of turbo or supercharger from the video or the pictures, but as is always the case, everyone on the internet has their own guesses. Motor Authority and Auto Blog piggyback on the rumor of a supercharged Z06 and turbocharged ZR1, while our friends at Motor Trend think that maybe the Z06 will come equipped with a naturally-aspirated and direct-injected form of the LS7 producing about 600 horsepower. Meanwhile, (according to Hot Rod) Chevrolet has come out and said that the “ZR1’s engine will be an evolution of that LS7-like engine, which we’re supposing means the addition some kind of power adder and 700 horses.”
Then there is the rumor around town that the 2014 ZR1 is going to be a supercharged version of the direct-injection LT1 – the LT5. On a Motor Trend forum, it was suggested that Chevy recently applied for trademarks on quite a few engine names, including LT5. But as the Hot Rod staff pointed out, maybe Chevy will decide to choose the twin-turbo 4.5L V8 Elmiraj concept engine to share with the C7 ZR1.
We’re not buying the Z07 name-change rumor. We’ve heard that one before and it never materialized. Some are claiming that because the new Corvette is a C7, “Z06” would be left behind with the C6, however the Z06 name has been around since the ‘60s.
Anything is possible at this point, although a naturally-aspirated Z06 with 600 horsepower and an LT5 direct-injected supercharged or turbocharged V-8 in the ZR1 seem most plausible. Rumor has it production of both packages will start as early as this coming spring, so one can only dream.