If you’re a fan of the Chevrolet Corvette you may commence drooling right about now. Our spy photographer has snapped what are believed to be the first shots of the prototype of the extreme C7 ZR1 version. Although our intrepid snapper was only able to get rear three-quarter and rear shots before the test mule raced past the security gates at GM’s Proving Grounds, there is no mistaking the humungous fixed spoiler at the back of the car.

Given that the front is fully covered in camouflage, we expect substantial changes to the next ZR1’s mug, but overall it doesn’t look much different than the Grand Sport or the Z06. Power is expected to come courtesy of the standard 6.2-litre V8 supercharged to deliver anything north of the 700bhp-mark. As high as that may seem for a Corvette, it’s entirely feasible given the current Z06 already makes 650 horsepower.

The massive wing also points at the fact that General Motors is putting in a lot of effort to hone the handling dynamics of the next ZR1, likely making it a proper threat to much pricier European rivals such as the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. Also new on the prototype are the interesting ‘throwing star’ wheels, which are unlike anything available in the current Corvette line-up.

Performance specs are likely to be on a par with most old continent exotica as well. The benchmark zero to 100kph sprint is expected to be dispatched in under three seconds while top speed will almost definitely be in excess of 330kph — the claimed V-max of the C6 ZR1.

However, unlike its predecessor, the chances of a manual transmission option are slim and the upcoming ZR1 will almost certainly employ the same Eight-speed auto — recalibrated to handle the extra grunt — that’s found in the current Z06.

The C7 ZR1 should make its global debut at the 2017 Detroit motor show in January.