Living near GM’s Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan, few days go by where we don’t see at least a half dozen heavily camouflaged test cars cruise past our house, including the aero-heavy mystery car which we all assume is the next generation (C7) Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. On a quiet day, we can hear high performance cars in action on the sprawling test track, but today was unusual.
Early Morning Music from the GM Test Track
Starting early this morning, we could hear something at the GM test track accelerating hard through the gears over and over for hours on end and while we couldn’t get a look at what was making this sweet sound, it was clearly a high performance V8 engine. Each time, it sounded as though the car started at a low roll and climbed hard into the throttle, going through the gears at what sounded like wide open throttle – often getting up into 4th or 5th gear.
This went on over and over for the better part of 4 hours, stopping only when it began to rain later in the morning, and the strangest aspect was how closely together each “run” seemed to come. It sounded as though they were testing a collection of cars, running each of them up through the gears under hard throttle and then letting off…only to have another go a short time later. The exhaust tone never seemed to changed, so it was as though they were testing hard acceleration of a bunch of the same cars for several straight hours.
Whatever General Motors was testing was loud enough to echo through the small town of Milford, sending the roar of a V8 engine several miles out, but what could it have been?
My guess is that it is either the upcoming Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 or the rumored mid-engine Corvette which may or may not be called the Zora.
Could Be a Corvette
While the loud cars being tested today at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds could be just about anything – including vehicles from other automakers – the odds are strong that the roaring V8 was under the hood of a future Corvette. It has long been expected that Chevrolet will eventually roll out a new version of the ZR1 for the C7 Corvette and a mid-engine Corvette which might usher in the C8 era, both of which would likely be loud enough to fill the town of Milford with the sweet sound of a high performance V8.
Keep in mind that while testing at the Nurburgring, what we believe to be the C7 Corvette ZR1 was wearing extra exhaust silencers, suggesting that it is extremely loud, so the cars working out at the GM Proving Grounds this morning could be the next step in Corvette performance.
Of course, there have been plenty of spy shots showing what is believed to be the long-rumored mid-engine Corvette and when that car arrives (if it arrives, for those skeptics out there), it seems likely that it would be very loud, so there is a chance that the locals spent the morning listening to the next era of Corvette performance.
Finally, a friend suggested that it could be a Corvette race car, which would not be unusual, but having experienced all of the modern Corvette and Cadillac endurance racers in person, I do not believe that what I was hearing was an open exhaust race car. Whatever we were listening to this morning didn’t quite have the crack of those championship race cars, leading me to believe that it was some variety of road car – presumably the ZR1, the mid-engine Zora or even some more-extreme Camaro.
With rumors that there will be some kind of high performance Chevrolet Corvette debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January, I believe that GM was testing some kind of Corvette road car which is louder and likely more powerful than the current Z06. This is important because this morning, GM clearly wasn’t worried about anyone hearing these mysterious cars in action, so if those were production road cars being exercised this morning without any concern of the public taking notice – it could be a production car which will soon meet the world.