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Although the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 has garnered much of the attention at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the new C7R Corvette race car made its formal debut alongside the new Z06 – with the first planned track appearance coming later this month at the Rolex 24 hour race at Daytona International Speedway.
Originally published at TorqueNews.com where you can see more images of C7R Chevy Corvette from NAIAS.
Like the rest of the C7 Corvettes, the new C7R Chevrolet Corvette race car is almost entirely new for the 2014 racing season and unlike the previous C6R, this new Corvette racer is based on the new Z06 that debuted on the same Detroit stage. The C6R race car which Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia drove to the 2013 American LeMans Series GT class driver’s championship had a design based on the C6 ZR1 but with the ZR1 absent from the C7 lineup – the new Corvette race car is based on the striking new Z06. Of course, the C7R is only loosely based on the 2015 Corvette Z06 with a great many body panels that are clearly intended for racing purposes only but when looking at the 2015 Z06 and the new C7R race car side by side, you can certainly see the influences of the new Z06. It doesn’t hurt that the new C7R has Z06 badges on the front fenders but even without those badges this new Corvette race car looks far more like the Z06 than it does the 2015 Stingray. It is, in my opinion, the coolest looking Corvette race car to date.
The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette C7R race car that was introduced earlier this week at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit’s Cobo Hall was dressed in the race livery that has been found on the past few generations of factory-backed Corvette racers. This includes a predominantly yellow paint scheme with black trim and a collection of sponsor decals front to back and top to bottom. This car wears the #3 placard on the door and the names of 2013 driver championship winners Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia but while this car looks nearly identical in its décor to the C5R and C6R race cars that the Corvette Racing team have driven to so much success, this car doesn’t wear the Compuware name that has served as the title sponsor of these cars for years. It will be interesting to see if there is a new sponsor for the 2014 racing season or if the team just hasn’t gotten around to adding the Compuware logos before the Detroit auto show.
Under the hood of the Corvette C7R race car is a similar 5.5L V8 to the one that powered the C6R Corvette but new for the 2014 racing season is a direct injection system that is promised to deliver more power, sharper throttle response and 3% better fuel economy. You might be wondering why 3% better fuel economy matters on a Corvette race car but keep in mind that when you are racing for 24 straight hours – making one less pit stop than your competitors can be the difference between winning and losing. Official power numbers haven’t been announced but General Motors estimates that the 5.5L V8 under the hood of the C7R Corvette will make somewhere in the ballpark of 488 horsepower.
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7R race car will hit the track for the first time on January 23rd with the start of the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. We can expect the #3 Corvette shown here to be piloted by Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe while the #4 Corvette will be driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Robin Liddell. The Corvette teams were among the fastest in early practice for the 24 race so there is no question that the C7R is among the favorites to win in Daytona. To do so, they will have to outrun the best from Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche and SRT but considering the history of success, it might be safe money to bet on the C7R in its first piece of racing action. In the meantime, check out the walkaround video of the new C7R Corvette below or click any thumbnail on this page to check out our gallery from the Detroit Auto Show debut!