“Here There Be Dragons”

That’s what early cartographers wrote on the margins of maps of the New World, accompanied by fanciful drawings of sea monsters and cherubs. In the absence of concrete firsthand experience, these artists had done their best to fill in the gaps with their own imaginations, turning ordinary animals described by explorers into creatures of myth.

We showed these images to three different sources at General Motors — and all three confirmed that the images you see here accurately portray the ZR1 trim level for the seventh-generation Corvette.

That’s what we’ve been experiencing with the forthcoming next-generation C7 Corvette – it exists, people have seen it, but no photos have leaked, and those who know it intimately are forbidden to reveal what they have seen. So instead of long rows of sharp teeth, fiery breath, and leathery wings, we get rumors of sharp creases, twin turbo V6 power, and split rear windows.

Now, Jalopnik has come up with a pair of renderings of what they believe the 2014 C7 ZR1 will look like. Per editor Ray Wert, “We showed these images to three different sources at General Motors — and all three confirmed that the images you see here accurately portray the ZR1 trim level for the seventh-generation Corvette. A fourth source — a non-GM employee — confirmed that the vehicle we show here is one of two Initial Vehicle Engineering Release (IVER) vehicles that’s been making the rounds at the Milford Proving Grounds.”

Details worth noting are the retention of exposed headlights, the loss of the Corvette’s trademark round/oval taillights in favor of ones that would look right at home on the 5th gen Camaro, and quad tailpipes, which are interesting in light of the odd “dummy” exhaust on the engineering mules we’ve seen previously.

It might just be us, but we see a lot of the Nissan GT-R in this rendering, from the A-pillar back, and the loss of the C5/C6′ trademark “roll hoop,” unless of course it’s simply concealed beneath the rear quarter glass. We are also somewhat concerned about the “channeled” back glass – the current Corvette has great rearward visibility thanks to the hatch, and if this is the C7, then the C7 will have very large blind spots in the rear quarters.

Of course, our opinion isn’t all that important – it’s the general Corvette-buying public that will determine whether this design is a success or failure (if this is indeed the C7), so tell us what you think.

UPDATE:

Here’s what the official Corvette Facebook page had to say:

Today Jalopnik posted renderings of what they think the next-gen Corvette will look like. We appreciate their enthusiasm but you’ll have to wait a little longer to see what the next Corvette will actually look like.

Swing and a miss for Jalop, or is GM mounting a little disinformation campaign?