GM is readying the new C7 Corvette - and these fresh spy photos reveal the new 2013 'Vette on test in the snow ahead of its planned debut in a year's time, at the 2013 Detroit auto show.
This is what engineers at the General call an IVER prototype; that stands for Initial Vehicle Engineering Release. It's been doing the rounds of cold-weather testing in the US.
Corvette C7: the lowdown
This is the seventh-generation Corvette (hence the C7 tag). You won't find a more American take on the sueprcar, now in its sixth decade.
A go-faster ZR1 version will be launched alonside a regular Corvette. With the quad pipes on this prototype, we can only imagine the sound this V8 will muster.
Underpinning the C7 is GM's rear-wheel sports car architecture, dubbed Y platform. It is an upgraded version of what underpinned the C6 Corvette, and packs a transaxle for more balanced weight distribution.
Insiders report that the C8 may still be mid-engined, but for now the C7 remains front-engined, although dimensions, weight and engine displacement will all shrink.
Yes - the C7 Corvette sticks with a V8
GM hasn't given up on V8 power, thank goodness. With all those Volts it's (not) selling, it can afford to develop its small-block V8.
The latest iteration will benefit from substantial investment: US reports suggest it will have an aluminium block, direct fuel injection and a higher compression ratio - complete with cylinder deactivation to trim emissions and consumption.
Downsizing is the name of the game, however, and we expect the V8 to shrink a little in the greenwash: capacity will stand at 5.5 litres - down from 6.2 - but insiders tell CAR output will remain very close to the current car's 440bhp.
>> Can the new C7 Corvette challenge Europe's best? Click 'Add your comment' and let us know