General Motors decided to leave Europe in the aftermath of its decision to sell Opel and Vauxhall to PSA back in 2017. However, it hasn't been a complete departure because Chevrolet has been selling the Corvette C8 in both left- and right-hand-drive configurations for a couple of years. The mid-engined coupe and convertible officially went on sale on the Old Continent in 2021. Another GM product planned for Europe is the Cadillac Lyriq.
A new spy video might be a sign the company with the bowtie emblem intends to bring a future higher-performing version of the Corvette to Europe. No fewer than four prototypes of the ZR1 have been spotted undergoing testing at the Nürburgring for the second week in a row. Looking at their exhausts and wings will make you realize they're not identical, but they all have something in common – they're loud. In 2023 when it's all about noise and emissions restrictions in the heavily regulated European Union, it's refreshing to hear a V8 sign its tune.
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Nurburgring New Spy Photos
The sound you're hearing is believed to come from the same 5.5-liter flat-plane crank V8 mounted behind the Z06's seats. However, there's possibly a pair of turbochargers lifting output to a yet-to-be-confirmed 850 hp and 825 lb-ft. The good folks at Corvette Blogger report Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter and former Corvette Racing driver Oliver Gavin traveled to Germany this month together with the engineering team to fine-tune the ZR1.
The Corvette ZR1 is expected to land in 2024 but it won't remain the top dog for long since Chevy is believed to be working on a hybrid setup for the twin-turbo V8. Adding an electric motor would imply all-wheel drive as already implemented in the E-Ray. As for power, it could grow to 1,000 hp and 975 lb-ft, per a Hagerty report from 2020.
While there are many missing pieces of the puzzle regarding the ZR1 and the potential twin-turbo, all-wheel-drive, hybrid Zora, we do know from Chevy a fully electric Ultium-based Corvette is on the agenda.
It'll be interesting to see if any of these future versions will do away with the controversial "wall of buttons." Some say a new layout will be in place for 2025, although we don't know that for sure and it's also unclear whether it's the calendar year or model year.