• May 26, 2009
Click above for high-res gallery of the Pratt & Miller LMP1 Corvette that never was

Autoblog friend and sports car racing junkie, Mike Laney, recently got the chance to tour Pratt & Miller (a.k.a. Corvette Racing HQ), and besides building the Speed GT Cadillac CTS-V, Pontiac GTO.R & GXP.R, C5-R and C6.R ALMS GT1 Corvettes, the company also makes the ZR1-rivaling C6RS road car. During his tour of the facilities, Mike spotted a wind tunnel model of an unfamiliar race car. As it turns out, the model was the car that P&M had envisioned for Corvette's attack on Le Mans, or rather, a scale model version of that car. As Mike puts it:
"Pratt & Miller had been working on an LMP1 Corvette, due to race in the American Le Mans Series and at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans. The ACO's proposed LMP1 EVO regulations (then due to go into effect in 2010 or 2011) looked very appealing to GM as it'd give them a way to fight for overall victories and do it with a car that looked decidedly like a Corvette... Due to the economy, regulation changes, and the struggles at GM, this car will unfortunately probably never be anything more than a wind tunnel model."
It's really a stunning model, with just enough Corvette DNA in the styling to make it recognizable as America's preeminent sports car. To think that this might have mounted an assault on Le Mans makes us long for a time not so long ago when the global economic condition was a lot more favorable to racing and the auto industry in general. Heck, we hope General Motors keeps the model around when plans for the C7 get into high gear. Thanks for the inside scoop, Mike!



[Source: Mike Laney]


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  • 26 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Made me think of the CERVIII I used to "drive" in Test Drive 3 The Passion.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Who cares what "might have been" and other bullsh1t nostalgia for a poorly run division that never was. 2-doors are about 9% of the automotive market, and high-end performance vehicles like this one comprise approx 5% of that 9% group. So, at the end of the day, you have - yet again - GM design resources poured into a car that would have competing for part of *one half of 1%* of the market.

      It just goes to show you how poorly managed GM was when design resources WEREN'T poured into vehicle segments that actually MAKE MONEY like small cars where it's getting its ass handed to it (G5, Cobalt, Vibe, Aveo, etc). If you nail those segments down with competitive, quality vehicles, you generate contribution margin to finance "pie in the sky" projects like this vehicle.

      Or, if you're GM, you try to do it the other way around. No wonder GM is bust!
        • 5 Years Ago
        your a tool bag. The R&D is done by pratt and miller (P&R have there own designers and engineers) . and this development is not done for a production car its for a race car. so your whole little number crunching segment is a waist.

        so lets take your advise stop making the corvette and another cars that have a personality, (enjoy your appliance)

        and if i remember correctly before the economy collapsed it was quite hard to find a c6 for msrp. in fact around me markups were about 10k.

        why dont you go post something on GM's HCCI on how its stupid or something.

      • 5 Years Ago
      The 80's IMSA Corvette GTP was awesome! Second best looking protoytpe on the track (behind the Jaguar, 80's or 90's edition).
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Corvette_GTP

      I remember the rules allowed them to run more boost through the production based block, making for great qualifying times and fantastic clouds of smoke when the engine blew-up half way through the race.

      This model would have looked great in black and silver Mr. Goodwrench colors.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Far, far better than that "centennial" concept from earlier this year. In fact, this is just about stunning.

      They out to handmake 10 or so of these. I'm sure there's some One-77 intenders or Mac F1 LM owners who would love this in their garage suite.
      • 5 Years Ago
      oh GM... it makes me so sad to see you like this, even as i drive in my honda's nissan's and toyota's. The corvette is basically the only good vehicle you make, and despite it already having a fairly solid reputation in europe, this LMP1 car would be icing on the cake, and knowing how the corvette dominates in the subclasses, i have a feeling this car would be something special...

      Automakers i want in the LMP1 class:
      Toyota (the GT-one makes me drool, please make a new one)
      GM (this badass corvette design needs to be made)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Actually I am sure a large majority of Corvette fans know about the 24 hrs of lemans and the 12 hours of sebring (the big 2 races for sports car endurance). Corvette's racing heritage/lineage is one of the defining elements that has allowed the R&D that has resulted in the world-class supercar that is today's Corvette in comparision to what it was at the beginning.

      And Audi's R15 does share family traits with the road cars in its headlight design (utilizing their trademark LED eyebrows). I will give you that this looks WAY more like a corvette road car than the R15 obviously but this was a design study.

        • 5 Years Ago
        It's not a design study, it's the wind tunnel model for what was an active program for the LMP1 EVO class (as mike noted). The program was pretty far along by the time politics (both internal to GM and in Yurrup) kiboshed the entire class.
      • 5 Years Ago
      2015 Corvette right there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      old news, i was there last year. The model was there. although, GT2 car is going to be cooler....
        • 5 Years Ago
        The existence of it is no news, but these are the first photos of the wind tunnel model seen in public.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Darn.

      I thought we might be getting a new mid-engined car for the market...

      Not only is it a figment, but it probably wouldn't be sold even if it were a real race car.

      And I doubt an american car company will field a real mid-engined sports car any time soon... Ford GT is gone, and was supposed to be a short run...

      I guess Lotus Evora and Porsche Cayman are the real deal contenders for now. (I don't fit in an elise, nor it's tesla toy alternative.)

      Kinda hard to "Buy 'murican!" when there is no option, and not going to be one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A CG image of that car surfaced 2 years ago at a ACO conference. Old news
      Check out the July 5 2007 news:
      http://www.mulsannescorner.com/newsjuly07.html
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nice Veyron.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It looks nothing like a veyron.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ???
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm just going to pretend that you didn't make that comment. About 6 or 7 years ago, I can't remember exactly, I worked at Château Élan as a banquet server. I'm sure most of you are familiar with the Petit LeMans held at Road Atlanta every year. After another class victory, the Pratt & Miller car was on display in our largest ballroom for an awards dinner. I was bartending that evening, and I had been chatting with the C6R team all night long about this and that and they had all gotten somewhat intoxicated. They needed to get the car back to the truck which was just a few hundred meters away, but the layout of the hotel would have made this almost impossible to push. Their judgement, I can only assume, being quite impaired, they decided that they would let me drive the car up to the trailer, under power! I never broke 3 miles per hour but I walked around with a boner for what must have been a week.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What's the point of making it look like a production car, it's LMP1, not nascar. The R15 looks nothing like Audi's production cars, same goes for the Peaguets, Acuras, etc. The purpose of LeMans is to build the absolute best team/car for 24 hours of driving at speeds greater than nascar, with left turns, for a day straight, even *gasp* at night.

      Model? Quite hot. Need to make it look like a north American production car for a race damn near none of GM’s customers even know about? Pointless.
        • 5 Years Ago
        LeMans for a decade? So you came into it about the time ALL of the brand identity had been washed away from the top classes. This concept was very similar to the GT1 (the then top class) of the late 90s which had cars like the CLK-GTR and 911 GT1.

        As you obviously don't know, LeMans is sportscar racing. Notice the title? "Sportscar." It started out with people racing production sports cars. It slowly developed into prototypes with cars like the 917 and P4. You don't know your history, apparently.

        As much as I love the contemporary sports prototypes, I'd still love to see a class like this back at LeMans (maybe in tandem with the LMP cars).
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Talisman

        On the contrary, a LMP1 car shaped like an production car IS a bad thing. As there is a reason that large automakers like Audi, Honda, etc shape their LMP1 and LMP2 cars differently as it produces more down-force for better cornering meanwhile still reducing drags where it is not needed. Since LeMans cars are not burdened with safety regulations such as bumper standards that production cars do, their shape would be decidedly different and can be shaped to be more aerodynamically efficient vs safer for low speed impacts.

        Take a look at F1 cars vs. Nascar, which corner/accelerate faster and how are they shaped?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @mike, yup, just like the current Peugeots are. Your tawdry slurs aside my critique was aimed more at the autoblog commentary than GM’s move to make it look like a vette. Having been an ardent fan of LeMans for a decade or so, there’s no new info in your post.
        • 5 Years Ago
        But if they could make it have the same aero features while keeping the Corvette look, why not do it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @fury604

        I didnt say "shaped like a production car", I said "resemble a production car". Those are two different things. I understand completely about aerodynamics and race cars. It's obvious since this is a wind tunnel model that aerodynamics is a top priority. Once again, it just happens to "resemble" a vette also and I fail to see how this is a bad thing if it still performs well as an LMP1 car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You act like its a negative thing that it actually resembles a production car. Perhaps the looks serve no purpose at all(although I think some vette enthusiasts do watch Lemans), but that doesnt mean it's not cool.

        I for one think a race cars outward personality counts for something and if it helps marketing the car at the track at all, thats huge given how much sponsors play a role in professional racing.
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