Spied! 2018 Corvette ZR1 Caught With an Automatic Transmission


And barely camouflaged, almost ready for its big reveal

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Last time we caught the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 out testing, it was being flogged on the Nürburgring. A few days later, we caught it out on the ‘Ring again, this time with extra piping out back to keep its exhaust noise below the 100-decibel limit. This time around, the ZR1 was seen testing in much more pedestrian circumstances and wearing way less camouflage.

As you can see, the camouflage that is still there doesn’t hide much. You can clearly see the aggressive splitter up front, as well as that massive wing out back. Of course, with a wing that large, no amount of camouflage could effectively keep it hidden. It also gets a powerdome hood like we saw on the last-generation Corvette ZR1.

Our spy photographer was able to get a few shots of the interior, as well, and what he saw might anger the three-pedal enthusiasts. That’s clearly an automatic transmission in the photo, presumably the 10-speed auto jointly developed by GM and Ford that’s found in the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Ford F-150 Raptor. Like with the ZL1, a manual may still be available, but these photos pretty much confirm that the auto will at least be an option. The rest of the interior is standard C7 fare, but there’s a lot more carbon fiber in the dash.

This is also the first time we’ve seen a convertible version of the ZR1 out in the wild. Chevy now sells a drop-top Z06, so a high-performance Corvette convertible isn’t completely unheard of, but it’s still a little surprising to see.

We also still don’t know what engine the ZR1 will get. Our photographer has heard two different rumors. First, it could get an even hotter version of the LT4 V-8 found in the Corvette Z06. But other rumors suggest the ZR1 will get some version of the dual-overhead-cam LT5 that will go in the 2018 Corvette. Either way, expect the new ZR1 to make a humongous amount of power and some very loud noises.

Photo source: Brian Williams Photography

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