The 2022 Corvette Z06 is the next big performance vehicle debut coming from Chevrolet, and its development is currently continuing out west. Recently spotted in rural California mountain roads, a group of C8 Corvette widebody prototypes were caught in their familiar black camo cladding, albeit there’s something peculiar about them. Accompanying them is a lone C8 Stingray, which is visibly narrower in the rear. We here at MC&T first brought news that the C8 Corvette Z06 would feature a center-exit exhaust. This was further corroborated by C8 Z06 prototypes being spied testing with exactly that. However, these Corvette prototypes in the video below are absent of the feature.
Spotted by a CorvetteForum user, these C8 Corvette widebody prototypes are otherwise identical to what we’ve seen with earlier 2022 Z06 mules: a thicker, more planted stance; plating covering both the brakes and wheel design; black cladding over the engine bay; and big Michelin steamrollers that can legally be described as tires.
Sources tell MC&T that early C8 Corvette Z06 prototype builds were all assembled with the same exhaust setup as the Stingray and are kept that way, as a result of the difficulties associated with retrofitting them with a center-exit exhaust.
But while these could very well be a convoy of Z06 prototypes, they could also be the upcoming Corvette E-Ray.
It’s anticipated that the C8 Corvette E-Ray hybrid will arrive after the launch of the Z06, and we can’t rule out the possibility of these vehicles being early examples of the upcoming electrified supercar. After all, spy photos of IVER C8 prototypes hit the internet a full two calendar years before the 2019 debut of the 2020 Corvette Stingray, so the possibility of these mules being 2023 Corvette E-Ray variants checks out with the typical timeline.
The second possibility is that the C8 Corvette Z06 won’t offer a standard center-exit exhaust. Rather, it could be part of what’s likely to be the Z07 performance package. The center-exit exhaust will likely come with a uniquely shaped high-wing spoiler, carbon fiber wheels, and even more aggressive Michelin tires than standard, to round out the package. Electronically adjustable aerodynamics will eventually be offered, as well.
The 2022 Corvette Z06 will be powered by a unique DOHC flat-plane crank naturally aspirated V8 engine. This engine’s codename is LT6, and is expected to push out around 600 horsepower. The 2023 Corvette E-Ray will utilize the same widebody design of the Z06, but will instead feature the Stingray’s small block LT2 V8 powering the rear wheels, with Ultium batteries and electric motors powering the front wheels. Yes, an all-wheel drive hybrid Corvette is soon upon us. As is an 8,000+ RPM V8 screamer that will be the Z06. Stay tuned for more.