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New Camouflaged ZR1 Photos Blasting Across The Internet Reignite Engine Debate

Today we revisit the 2025 ZR1 engine debate, with a full gallery of the fresh California sightings

New ZR1 test mule sightings in California/Photo Credit: Hatim Alami

As we approached the weekend, the internet blew up when new pictures of camouflaged ZR1s from San Diego, California, started circulating on popular social media pages like Facebook’s C8 Corvette Owners (And Friends). As these new ZR1 spottings made their way around social media, what I coined “The Great Engine Debate” gained more steam.

The San Diego ZR1s That Reignited The Speculations

Photo Credit: Kevin Bayerlein via Facebook

The Evolution of the Great Engine Debate/Summary of ZR1 Powerplant Theories:

This recent February exchange at the Corvette Forum illustrates the engine debate perfectly.

Key Takeaways From Rich’s First-Hand Perspective:

  • When the ZR1 started up, it “sounded like a C8 Z06 to me.”
  • It sounded so similar that Rich asked, “Why would they be showing us a Z06?”
  • Rich’s next thought was, “I bet it’s a ZR1, and it sure as hell sounds like a FPC engine to me.”
  • After a couple of quick revs, “it sounded like a slightly more muffled version of the LT6…[like the] exhaust was flowing through a couple turbochargers…”

Some interesting tidbits from a lively Facebook discussion on the San Diego ZR1 sightings

The Benchmarking Porsche 911, which had been spotted during ZR1 tests before, was there as well.

Notice the now-covered ZR1s in the background.

Photo Credit: Kevin Bayerlein

And to spice things up, one enthusiast noted a new inlet not seen in prior spy photos, causing more chatter and speculation.

Link to full Facebook discussion

Well, CorvSport enthusiasts, what do you think about these new photos, and do you have a theory for what engine this masterpiece will have? As I’ve said before, the only moment we will know for sure is at the official reveal, but all this speculation and chatter is what makes being a Corvette enthusiast so fun! We have the fastest-growing Corvette community on our Facebook page, with over 172,000 followers (53,000 since January 2023!). Come join other hardcore enthusiasts and say hello, Douglas B.

SPIED: ZR1 Photo Gallery

Photo Credit: Kevin Bayerlein via Facebook
Photo Credit: Kevin Bayerlein via Facebook
Photo Credit: Kevin Bayerlein via Facebook
Photo Credit: Kevin Bayerlein via Facebook
Photo Credit: Kevin Bayerlein via Facebook
Photo Credit: Hatim Alami via Facebook
Photo Credit: Hatim Alami via Facebook