click above for brand new images of the Corvette ZR1


General Motors invited Autoblog down to its design dome at the Warren, MI Tech Center to have a look at a couple of the vehicles that will be displayed at the Detroit Auto Show next week. Fortunately, it was one of those rare instances where they allowed us to bring in cameras and we took full advantage. One of the two vehicles on display was the recently-unveiled Corvette ZR1. At the time, there was some controversy in our comments about certain design elements of the ZR1, including the window in the hood, the side vents, the carbon fiber and the wheels. We had the opportunity to talk with Corvette Exterior Design Manager Kirk Bennian at the design dome and ask him about all of your concerns. Before you all get riled up, the car we were allowed to photograph was not mechanically correct, but rather a standard Z06 used by the design staff to test out exterior parts. That means it doesn't have the carbon brake disks and there's an LS7 under the plastic window instead of the new LS9. For all of you who thought the ZR1 badges on the previous press photos looked cheesy and tacked on, that's because they were. The proper badges weren't available yet when GM did its original photo shoot. This car does have the proper badges. View our video tour and interview with Kirk after the jump.

[Source: General Motors]

Related Gallery2009 Corvette ZR1 in the GM Design Center