Some concept cars are purely for show, but some are built to go. GM Europe took the latter a step further by putting their striking and exciting Chevrolet WTCC Ultra concept to the test on the track. The concept race car made its debut at the Paris Motor Show and is scheduled to make an appearance at the Beijing show later this month. So in between, the Chevy boys took the opportunity to put the car through the paces at Estoril in Portugal.

And it wasn't a private test, either. The event coincided with the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) race at the Estoril circuit on October 22, so the WTCC Ultra was enjoyed by the spectators at the race as well as the television audience on Eurosport as it made a publicity lap around the track in front of the field of ETCC race cars. GM hasn't released any performance stats from the track session, and we doubt they seriously risked braking what is sure to be a very expensive one-off.

Nicola Larini, a former F1 driver for Ferrari and currently a Chevrolet touring car racer, was one of the lucky drivers who got to pilot the show car around the track, and remarked, "I would have never expected a concept car to be that well executed and performing so nicely at such an early development phase".

Now if only Chevy would build the beast for public consumption.

(Follow the jump for a full gallery of hi-res images of the WTCC Ultra at Estoril)

[Source: GM]


Click on the images below for hi-resolution versions