Breaking News: Is this the C7 ZR1’s Supercharged Powerplant?

blown lt1-2blown lt1-1While there has been speculation about a C7 Corvette successor to the outgoing Z06 using a small-displacement twin turbo V8, as seen in the Cadillac Elmiraj concept, we haven’t heard much about what will power the Corvette that will eventually replace the 638 horsepower C6 ZR1 lately.

And then, one of our Power Automedia fans slipped the photos you see here over the transom (if you’re under 40, there’s pretty much no chance you’ll understand that reference, but we’re keeping it) and we’re ready to fire up the rumormill once again.

The engine in the photos is definitely an LT1-style, Gen V Chevy small block, as evidenced by the injector cover shape and the fact that the throttle body is consistent with the ones used on the C7’s LT1.

And it’s clearly a twin-rotor supercharged engine with the LSA/LS9 style pulley mounted high on the front, and intercooler plumbing also bearing a resemblance to previous heat exchanger setups. Our contact says this came from a “friend of a friend” inside GM’s prototype center, and that it’s a 6.2 liter engine. Don’t get too hung up on the fact it has a conventional engine-mounted transmission instead of a torque tube and transaxle – for testing purposes it’s a lot simpler to use a conventional transmission.

Could it be a clever fake? Possibly, but take a close look at the shape of the back of the top cover, and compare it to the CAD rendering leaked what seems a lifetime ago:


We’re betting this is the real deal, and we have reached out to our contacts at GM to get their response. While it’s unlikely we will get a confirmation, this could very well be your first look at the engine that will power the next King of the Hill Corvette.

About the author

Paul Huizenga

After some close calls on the street in his late teens and early twenties, Paul Huizenga discovered organized drag racing and never looked back, becoming a SFI-Certified tech inspector and avid bracket racer. Formerly the editor of OverRev and Race Pages magazines, Huizenga set out on his own in 2009 to become a freelance writer and editor.
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