Actually, a mule has been seen, but it wasn't the silver one of late...IMHO the fact that a mule hasn't yet been seen means one of two things:
1. Chevy has figured out how to outsmart the spy photographers.
2. The SS/Stingray/Blue Devil looks a whole lot like a C6 Z06 so camo isn't needed.
They could probably pull off the whole thing just changing out the Z06 hood with something a little lumpier, so why play with a design mule?
That's my guess, anyway.
Oh sure...sure! Everyone here is now going to say, "I knew it was fake all along blah blah blah." :L :L
I only believed the pics because I had no solid reasons not to believe them. The only thing that really stuck out to me was the lack of a MANUFACTURER branded license plate. I figured any test mule was going to have the usual plate as seen on the white test mule above posted by Rob.
Simply for the sake of friendly discussion... I'd answer your first question by saying that as long as the met the minimum requirements for being road-worthy, it would require MFG plates. I'm using the same reasoning that is used for people that build their own car from scratch, such as my mechanic, or any other 'shop' that builds one or two specialty cars.I'm not an attorney for the big three, but I'll stick my neck out on a limb, and say that I highly doubt an automotive manufacturer here in the States is allowed to drive a test mule, pre-production prototype, etc., on the streets without manufacturer plates.
If you really stop and think about it, GM can take a Corvette off the line any time they want to use for testing. Why would they take a privately owned Corvette (as evidenced by the license plates seen in those photos) and modify it for testing? What Corvette owner would allow them to do that regardless of whether or not he/she is a GM employee??
From now on, anything from Winding Road should be viewed with skepticism. (If, ever viewed at all.) They just sacrificed their credibility. Credibilty is what print media relies upon.