Former NASA Scientist Claims ZR1 Test Mule Shifting at 9,000 RPMs

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Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Spy Shot 2

There’s a whole bunch of science behind this high-revving claim.

The upcoming 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is causing a storm for a few reasons. One of which is the fact that it’s a new freaking Corvette ZR1! The second is the rumors that the supercar is going to be an insanely-powered beast capable of destroying anything in its path. Now we can add yet another reason, which just came from a former NASA scientist.

According to Corvette Blogger, Gary Jones, who goes by @mytexel on Twitter, claims that the Corvette ZR1 that’s been testing at the Nurburgring has been shifting at 9,000 rpms. For some context, Jones’ Twitter bio states, “Worked at NASA a long time; STR. Analysis/Modeling, CAD, IT.. MMS, Cobe, Hubble Repair.. At a UM bio tech now..Did a few reviews for Anaandtech a long time ago.”

Jones reportedly analyzed the soundtrack from the Corvette ZR1 that was testing around the Green Hell. Using a spectrum analyzer, he found the shift point to be at 9,000 rpm.

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Corvette Blogger reached out to Jones to for some clarification on his tweet and received the following bullet points as a reply.

  • “9,000 rpm (rev per min) = 18000 strokes/min = 300 strokes/sec.”
  • “on normal crank get even firing of 2 cylinders simultaneously (one on each bank) so 300 bangs out the exhaust per second…”
  • “on flat plane crank it would be half that freq I would think…”
  • “to analyze the sound signature one really needs a good spectrum analyzer…50 Hz to 400 Hz with good resolution … 9000 rpm = 300 Hz; 6000 rpm = 200 Hz; 3000 rpm = 100 Hz on normal crank.”
  • “but lots of associated noise in an internal combustion engine has to be accounted for…”

As Corvette Blogger points out, to get that sound at the associated revs, it would have to be powered by a DOHC engine. Jones, though, cautioned the outlet to not get carried away, as one would have to listen to nothing but pure exhaust note for the method to work perfectly. And the spectrum analyzer that he used picked up exhaust note, wind noise, and tire noise. Not to mention, it was the one from his Android phone.


There you have it. A former NASA employee has hinted towards the Corvette ZR1 having a 9,000 rpm. That’s a lot more than the 6,600 redline from the previous iteration, and a DOHC engine. If Jones is right, good things are in store for the next Corvette ZR1.

Via [Corvette Blogger]

Photos [Chris Doane Automotive, autoevolution]

Joel Patel contributes to Corvette Forum, Rennlist, Club Lexus, Harley-Davidson Forums, and YotaTech, among other auto sites. Check out his blog Man, Adventure, Wheels.

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