What On Earth Is This Strange ZR1 Doing At The Nurburgring?

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The “sound direction” exhaust may be strange enough, but look a little closer…

Since the ZR1 has already broken cover, you might expect that R&D is over and done, right? Well, it seems that isn’t the case. This Torch Red ZR1 was seen testing at the Nurburgring, and we know what you’ll notice first. “What is up with that exhaust?” Well, it’s simple to explain: it’s to suppress sound. Those pipes are added on to “aim” the noise away from a decibel meter at the track. Now that we have that cleared, lets speculate on other reasons it may be there.

Our speculations is that the ZR1 is there to take the title away from the Dodge Viper ACR. With Dodge out of the game and having no way to fight back, the only competition from this side of the globe would be from the Ford GT.

Nurburgring has many variables across its vast length, including weather that can affect one half of the track and not the other, so picking an ideal day and ideal conditions for a fast lap are not easy. However, testing as seen here can prepare a ZR1 and driver for that magic lap. At the very least, that’s all we can come up with for now. That is, unless there’s a hotter ZR1 coming out.

Strange ZR1 Testing Nurburgring

One thing that we did notice however is related to those unusual sound suppressors on the exhaust. If you didn’t know about the baffles in the exhaust, you’d almost think the inner exhaust tips were fake. For a ZR1, that would be blasphemy. Obviously the outermost tips are open under load, with the inner most tips flowing through the rest of the muffler, and not violating any sound limits. Still, this strange ZR1 raises more questions than it answers. Mufflers or not, we look forward to seeing what GM and the boys at Chevrolet can pull off at the Green Hell.

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Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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