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AMG Reveals Its New Six-Engine, 2700-HP Cigarette Boat

The 12th Mercedes-AMG collaboration with Cigarette Racing goes big: it’s a 59-footer that does 80 mph.

Mercedes-Benz

  • Mercedes-AMG has revealed its latest in a long series of Cigarette Racing boat projects in Miami, site of the annual Miami boat show.
  • The AMG boat has six (count ’em) engines, all 450-hp supercharged V-8s sourced from Mercury Racing.
  • Oh, and there’s a matching Mercedes-AMG G63 Cigarette Edition SUV.

The overly pedantic might get hung up on the fact that the latest AMG-branded Cigarette Racing boat doesn’t have Mercedes-AMG engines. Listen: that’s okay. The Affalterbach crew doesn’t make outboards. But if they did, they’d probably be 4.6-liter supercharged V-8s that make 450 horsepower each. Fortunately, Mercury Racing builds just such a powerplant, the 450R, and it’s narrow enough that six of them—six!—will fit on the 14-foot-wide stern of a Cigarette Racing Tirranna, a 59-foot-long center console.

So equipped, you have a 20-ton boat that does more than 80 mph. It doesn’t require very strenuous mental gymnastics to connect this vessel to its AMG muse, the G-wagen. Let’s see: a huge, overpowered machine that’s way quicker than you’d expect? It checks out.

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Collect the complete set! Mercedes-BenzMercedes-AMG Boat ProjectsThere’s A New AMG Boat on the WayMercedes-AMG Reveals 515 Project One SpeedboatMarauder of the Waves

For the first time, this AMG-branded boat was designed in tandem with a matching car. Thus the G63 Cigarette Edition, which was specced out at the AMG Performance Studio in Germany, has a Macchiato Beige and dark-blue interior that matches the cabin of the boat. While the AMG logo adorns the flanks (and upholstery) of the boat, there are also Cigarette logos inside the G-wagen on the grab rail and the floor mats. Okay, so maybe branded floor mats don’t seem like the news of the decade, but Mercedes-AMG doesn’t go wantonly applying other companies’ logos to its vehicles. Not unless they’re legit. 

The Tirranna isn’t the quickest AMG boat to date—some of the prior creations have topped 130 mph—but it definitely has the most presence. It’s huge. There’s a spacious cabin below decks with a king bed and a separate bathroom. Above deck, there’s room for 26 passengers. The transom includes a kitchen with a sink and a grille. And all of that will haul along at 82 mph. The Tirranna is like a really fast condo.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

We didn’t quite hit the 80s out on Key Biscayne, thanks to sloppy chop, but the leviathan Cigarette was happy bulling through the wakes and chop at more than 70 mph. Go ahead, hit that ferry wake at 50. It doesn’t care. And that stability extends to drifting, too, thanks to the Seakeeper gyro stabilizer spinning at 9000 rpm down in the bilge. Power that thing up, and the boat magically stops rolling (at least, not so you’d notice). Think of the money you’d save on Dramamine. And the bow thrusters fore and aft might help save money on Xanax, too. It sure seems to take the stress out of docking when you can just command the boat to slide sideways, like using the Force.

So, fuel economy: It’s about a half a mile per gallon when you’re at or near top speed. But if you wanted to save some fuel, you could just shut down one of the six engines. It’ll still do 78 mph.

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Source: Ezra Dyer Car and Driver

10 Essential Options For The C8 Corvette Stingray

If you’re going to tick option boxes, then these are the ones to concentrate on.

The C8 Corvette is finally in production, which means people can start getting excited about their orders. The new Chevrolet Corvette comes well-stocked from the factory before you hit the options list, and the mid-mounted 6.2-liter V8 engine with a dry-sump oil system making 490 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque is just the beginning. It also comes with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, a limited-slip rear differential, Brembo brakes, a 10-speaker Bose sound system, 8-way power seats, keyless entry, and remote start, and a starting price of $59,995.

That’s one hell of a lot of car for five bucks shy of $60,000, and we would not turn our nose up at a base model. A lot of people are going to tick options though, so for those that are going to go beyond the base model goodness, these are the must-haves, and how we would go about speccing out a C8 Corvette.

1. 2LT Package

If you want more creature comforts for daily driving duties, the 2LT Package adds heated and ventilated seats, a head-up display, wireless phone charging, memory seats, upgraded digital rear-view mirror, forward-facing camera, power-folding mirrors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear-cross-traffic alert. For track days, it also includes a performance data recorder. It adds $7,300 to the price, but if it’s not going to be stored in the garage for weekends, this is the way to go.

The 3LT trim adds even more luxury to the Corvette but also pushes it over the $70,000 price point before anything else is added.

2. Z51 Performance Package

Whether you want the added convenience of the 2LT Package or not, any enthusiast will want the performance package for $5,000. It adds a performance exhaust, electronic limited-slip differential, a different rear axle ratio, upgraded Brembo brakes, improved engine cooling, front brake cooling inlets, Z51-specific front splitter and rear spoiler, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.

It also adds an extra spoonful of power, taking the 490 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque up to 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. However, that’s purely from the performance exhaust which can be added without the Z51 package for $1,195.

3. Paint

Let’s face it, everyone and their neighbors will be ordering their C8 Corvette with red, white, yellow, or black paint. Which is a shame as there are some seriously cool colors available. We are partial to the Zeus Bronze Metallic, but we know that’s not going to be bold enough for many. Thankfully, the Elkhart Lake Blue Metallic is available and looks stunning. Rapid Blue is the lighter shade, but the darker hue of the Elkhart Lake Blue is sophisticated, accentuates the lines of the Corvette’s bodywork, and with the black accents, gives it a little extra menace without being too dark.

4. Visible Carbon Fiber

This is an easy way to ramp up the price of the C8 Corvette, so the key is to be judicious here. The $2,095 Visible Carbon Fiber grille insert is a bit much, as is the $1,145 carbon-fiber door mirror option. However, we would go for the visible carbon-fiber roof panel with a body-color surround that is not just lightweight, but can also be stored away in the rear trunk. For $3,495, you could go with the Carbon-Fiber Dual Roof Package that includes a transparent roof panel. That’s what we would opt for if the climate where you live doesn’t provide for long warm summers.

5. High Wing Spoiler

You don’t have to spec the High Wing Spoiler in Carbon Flash Metallic, but it’s the only way to get it with some paint schemes and will replace the Z51 spoiler if the package is added already. How much difference to the aerodynamics the higher spoiler makes isn’t clear, but it gives the C8 Corvette a different look. If you don’t want the optional spoiler in Carbon Flash metallic, then your paint is limited to Arctic White, Black, Shadow Gray Metallic, and Torch Red.

6. Engine Appearance Package

It’s frivolous and costs $995, but the carbon-fiber closeout panels on each side of the engine and LED lighting illuminating the engine compartment is a nice touch for the mid-engined sports car. You can get engine covers with different color accents, but in plain black with the bare carbon-fiber being lit up keeps things tasteful when looking through the rear window.C

7. Upgraded Seats

If you’re reading this and want a C8 Corvette, you’re probably planning on driving hard. They’re expensive at $1,995, but the Competition Sport Bucket Seats increase lateral support when cornering at speed on the track, and the high-wear areas are bolstered with harder wearing textiles.

The less hardcore option is the GT2 bucket seats, which look cool, but are more about comfort than holding you in place. For around the same price as the Competition Sport Bucket Seats, you can also get the GT2 seats in two-tone with Sky Cool Gray, Adrenaline Red, and Natural seat colors.

8. Carbon-Fiber Interior Trim

Carbon-fiber trim is played out on cars that don’t deserve it, but we think the C8 Corvette is worthy. The carbon-fiber material replaces the plastic black that holds the instrument cluster with a carbon-fiber frame. It also adds carbon-fiber to the center console below the infotainment screen and to the door switch plates. It’s costly at $1,500, but we think its a must-have if you’re splashing out on the new Corvette.

9. Wheels

The $1,495 Trident Spoke wheels with their Y-shaped elements are going to be a popular box to tick in one of the two finishes available, but we also like the more low-key but stylish 5-open-spoke Carbon Flash-painted aluminum wheels. The Carbon Flash takes the shine off the wheels and helps keep the Corvette looking sleek. A lot of people will be going after-market, but this is a great option for staying stock. There’s no option for size, though, and all styles and colors are for the staggered setup featuring 19-inch wheels on the front and 20-inch discs on the back.

10. Corvette Museum Delivery

Buying a new car, let alone a new Corvette, is not something people often do. That’s why we like the idea of the National Corvette Museum delivery program. You can take a few days and go to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where your car is built and take a tour of the museum where your Corvette will be displayed. Then you’ll have a delivery presentation, followed by a drive-off ceremony. As you road trip home, you’ll be able to admire the personalized interior plaque on the dashboard with your name, VIN, and the NCM logo engraved upon it.

We knew by the time we loaded one up it would get much more expensive than the $59,995 entry level, and optioned out with everything we talk about here, you’re looking at $83,610 before delivery.

 Ian Wright CarBuzz

Sigulda to host World Cup season finale this weekend

SIGULDA, Latvia (Feb. 12, 2020)– The 2019-2020 World Cup season will come to a close this weekend in Sigulda, Latvia. USA Skeleton will field three women’s and three men’s athletes in the finale. USA Bobsled athletes will not be racing this weekend, opting instead to spend time in Altenberg, Germany to prepare for the upcoming 2020 World Championships.

The competition schedule for the skeleton races is as follows, with all times listed in local time:

Saturday, Feb. 15

12 p.m.: Men’s skeleton run #1

1:45 p.m.: Men’s skeleton run #2

Sunday, Feb. 16

10 a.m.: Women’s skeleton run #1

11:30 a.m.: Women’s skeleton run #2

Fans can watch the action live and on demand. NBC Sports and Olympic Channel will have broadcast and digital streaming coverage of the IBSF Bobsled & Skeleton World Cup in Sigulda. Fans can catch all the action in spectacular high definition via NBC Sports online at NBCSports.com/Live, or through the NBC Sports app, which is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. Additional coverage will be available on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

Savannah Graybill (Denver, Pa.), Megan Henry (Roxbury, Conn.) and Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) will compete for Team USA in the women’s field, while Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho), Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) and Alex Ivanov (Carlisle, Mass.) will represent the red, white, and blue in the men’s race.

Henry, Blaser, and Ivanov will be racing on the Latvian track for the first time in their young careers. Wesenberg and Graybill competed in the December 2018 World Cup in Sigulda, finishing 11th and 14th, respectively. Florian has also raced in Sigulda once before when he competed in the 2017 Junior World Championships.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.

About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, Snap Fitness, BiPro, Boomerang Carnets, Qwixskinz, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.

Source: TeamUSA

Official C8 Corvette Driving School at Spring Mountain To Start Classes this April

The Corvette Owner’s School at the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School will officially kick off its new program for the mid-engine 2020 Corvette with the first classes to start in April. And once again, Chevrolet is offering huge savings on the enhanced two-day program for just $1,000.

This announcement comes from Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club, home of the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue our relationship with Chevrolet and Ron Fellows here at our world-class facility. There has been an incredible buzz around the 8th generation Corvette, and what better way to kick off 2020 and our twelfth year of the school, with the all-new mid-engine Corvette,” said John Morris, CEO and co-owner of Spring Mountain.

The new C8 Corvette program features a two-day curriculum designed to provide drivers of all experience levels the skills and techniques of performance driving. You will experience both classroom and on-track driving instruction in a manner that builds upon your skills and increases your confidence with each session. You will come away from the Spring Mountain experience more knowledgeable and confident in the incredible capabilities of the 2020 Corvette.

Located just 55 miles from downtown Las Vegas, the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School offers some of the most fun you can have in a Corvette. Tuition for the two-day class is only $1,000 and includes a one-night stay in one of Spring Mountain’s luxurious condominiums. Enjoy access to the clubhouse for meals and drinks with breakfast and lunch prepared by Spring Mountain’s onsite chef.

“Our entire team here at Spring Mountain are incredibly excited about the 8th generation Corvette and cannot wait to get the new Owners School program started. I know that everyone responsible for the day-to-day operations of our school are really looking forward to providing our outstanding service and a great overall experience showcasing the next-level engineering of the new mid-engine Corvette,” said Ron Fellows, charter member of Corvette Racing and co-founder of his school at Spring Mountain.

To book your C8 Corvette Owners School, Call 800 391-6891 or view online at www.CorvetteOwnersSchool.com

Check out this photo gallery from Spring Mountain featuring the 2020 Corvette Stingray Z51 Coupes on the track!

Official C8 Corvette Driving School at Spring Mountain To Start Classes this April

Source: Corvette Blogger

America's Cup: American Magic release video of Test Boat nosedive

New York Yacht Club’s America’s Cup team, American Magic have released a video of their test boat doing a spectacular nosedive while sailing off the team’s base in Newport.

The team is now in Pensacola, Florida their training base during the northern hemisphere winter.

They have taken their AC75 Defiant to Pensacola.

The video is shot from one of the team’s drones flying above and astern, whether the nosedive was intentional (to get test/simulator data) or accidental is not clear.

While splashdowns (where the bow enters the water with a spectacular splash) are commonplace on the larger AC75’s, only one boat (and maybe two) have capsized, most of the foiling mishaps have occurred on the test boats. American Magic’s test boat, named “The Mule” is designed (apart from the 38ft production M38 hull) to be as close to an AC75 as possible.

The reason for this nosedive is two-fold. First, the boat is flying very high on her foils, and second, the rudder wing breaks free of the water about midway through the low-resolution clip, and at that point the nosedive becomes inevitable. The “phenomenon” is common to all boats that have similar foiling physics such as the AC50, F50, AC72 and AC75. In the AC50 it was reckoned that a rudder wing contributed 500kg of downforce when immersed in the water, and if it breaks clear of the water then that 500kg of downforce is suddenly released triggering the nosedive.

It is not known if The Mule was flying under manual or automatic flight height control at the time.

Within the leadup to the nosedive The Mule is flying high and level, rather than going through a rear up, followed by a crash/splash which is the common routine on an AC75.

At the end of the video an on-board sequence shows the top of the rudder post being moved fore and aft – this controls the angle of attack of the wing rudder – and it is this movement coupled with the high flight height that triggered the incident causing The Mule to trip over her foils, nosedive and then capsize.

Source Sail Word

The B-21 Bomber Is the Coolest Plane We've Never Seen

The B-21 Raider will be the service’s first new bomber in more than 30 years.

imageNORTHROP GRUMMAN

  • The U.S. Air Force and Northrop Grumman released the first new images of the B-21 Raider in nearly four years.
  • The bomber is similar to the B-2A Spirit but subtle differences hint at some major changes.
  • The B-21 Raider is expected to fly for the first time sometime in 2022.

The U.S. Air Force and Northrop Grumman have released the first new image of the B-21 Raider bomber in nearly four years. The image, designed to show the plane in hangars at air bases across the country, shows a few more details of the stealthy bomber. According to aviation experts, the new plane looks like the B-2 bomber with some key differences.

The images were shared by Northrop Grumman, the prime contractor on the B-21 Raider program. The three images show the plane sitting in hangars at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, and Dyess Air Force Base in Texas. Ellsworth and Dyess are currently home to B-1B Lancer bombers while Whiteman is home to America’s fleet of B-2A Spirit bombers. The B-21 Raider will eventually replace both types.

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The first image of the B-21 Raider unveiled in 2016. Some details, such as the prominent nose or beak, were not as apparent as they are in the new images.U.S. AIR FORCE

The B-21 Raider is the first new Air Force bomber since 1988, the year the B-2A Spirit was unveiled. Named after “Doolittle’s Raiders,” the force of B-25 Mitchell bombers that bombed Tokyo in the Spring of 1942, the B-21 is designed to overcome modern air defense threats, including such systems as the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system and Chinese J-20 stealth fighter to penetrate enemy airspace. The B-21 will be capable of carrying precision-guided conventional missions and nuclear weapons.

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The B-21 will be a flying wing design, a specialty of Northrop Grumman’s since the end of World War II. The blending of the fuselage and wing, combined with the lack of horizontal and vertical stabilizers in the rear, is generally thought of as the best shape possible to avoid enemy radars from all directions. A bomber penetrating deeply into enemy territory will likely have radar waves bouncing off it from multiple angles, making all-around stealth a necessity.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW

The new images sparked some conversation, as reporters and aviation enthusiasts discussed the new plane’s features. Here’s a sketch of the B-21 with notes by reporters from Aviation Week & Space Technology:Guy Norris@AvWeekGuy

@TheDEWLine and I take a stab at likely design changes on B-21 v B-2 after @northropgrumman @usairforce release new rendition. https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/new-b-21a-renderings-reveal-diminutive-size-compared-b-2a … and here’s our 1st version…

View image on Twitter

The aviation blog The Aviationist also took a stab at analysis of the photos, which you can see here.

Overall, the trend for the B-21 is a refinement of the B-2A’s original flying wing shape. The leading edge shape of the B-21 is simpler than the B-2A’s sawtooth trailing edge. The cleaner, simpler trailing edge is probably how the original stealth bomber was supposed to look, but in the 1980s a last-minute demand by the Air Force that the Spirit be capable of low-altitude flight necessitated an expensive design change. As a result, as Aviation Week’s analysts point out, the plane is likely optimized for medium- and high-altitude flight.

131st Rose Parade Presented By Honda

The B-2’s trailing edge is more pronounced than the B-21’s, as a result of a need to strengthen the plane against the stresses of low-altitude flight.JEROD HARRISGETTY IMAGES

Experts believe the B-21 will be smaller than the B-2A, running about two-thirds the size and weight of the older bomber. This is reflected in the fact that the B-21 rendering features fewer main landing gear wheels. The aircraft simply needs fewer landing wheels to support a lighter airplane. Aviation Week points out that the rendering displays a shorter fuselage and air inlets farther forward than the older bomber. This is all to increase internal volume for crew life support, fuel, sensors, and weapons. As a stealthy airplane, the B-21 must store all weapons, sensors, fuel, and other items internally, so space is at a premium.

The U.S. Air Force plans to buy at least 100 B-21 Raiders for $550 million each in 2012 dollars, or about $654 million in 2020 dollars. Ideally, the service would like 200 or more. The aircraft is currently under development at Northrop Grumman’s facilities in Palmdale, California, with the first demonstrator aircraft in the construction phase. The bomber was originally supposed to fly in late 2021, but that date will likely slide into early 2022.

Source:  Kyle Mizokami Aviation Week and The Aviationist

Rare drawings, documents reveal secret history of mid engine Corvette

From an acclaimed concept car John DeLorean reportedly dismissed because he wanted something “smaller and more European,” to the design that ended a feud between a pair of GM giants — but may have set the Corvette back decades — a trove of unique documents, sketches and models tells a secret history of the 60-year quest to build a mid engine Chevrolet Corvette.

The story begins in the late 1950s with legendary Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov and came to fruition when the first mid engine 2020 Corvette Stingray sold for $3 million at auction in January.

Titled “The Vision Realized: 60 Years of Mid engine Corvette Design” and created by GM Design Archive & Collections, the exhibit included 19 original sketches by designers including Larry Shinoda and Tom Peters, the massive 4-Rotor rotary engine from the 1973 Aerovette engineering, a wood wind-tunnel model, even letters from Arkus-Duntov’s personal files.

“The story of the mid engine Corvette is incredibly complicated, full of fits and starts,” said Christo Datini, manager of the GM Design Archive & Collections.  Cristo Datini at the General Motors Warren Technical Center in Warren, Michigan on Friday, January, 31, 2020

Cristo Datini at the General Motors Warren Technical Center in Warren, Michigan on Friday, January, 31, 2020 (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)

A mid engine Corvette was a dream shared by GM designers and engineers. The layout, in which the engine is behind the passenger compartment and immediately over the rear wheels, improves acceleration and handling. It’s been a mainstay at Ferrari for decades, and inspired repeated design and engineering projects at GM. None of them made it to production till now, largely because the Corvette’s original front-engine layout was so successful.

“Why would we change the Corvette?” GM chairman and CEO Richard Gerstenberg said to Arkus-Duntov before both men retired in the mid-1970s. “We sell every one we can make.”

‘Design without limit’

A generation of GM designers and engineers had already fought that attitude toward the sports car that debuted in 1953 model, and a couple more would before the midengine eighth-generation C8 Corvette Stingray debuted last year.

The exhibition included dozens of sketches, models, photos and documents.

“Our mission is to preserve the heritage of GM Design and educate our designers on GM’s prominence in the world of design,” Datini said. The archive also is working with the Detroit Institute of Arts on a massive exhibition dedicated to automotive design that opens this summer. 

The Corvette exhibition closed at the end of January, but elements of it are likely to be displayed at other events and locations, possibly including the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which provided materials for the collection.Original magazines with drawings of what Corvettes could have looked like on display at the General Motors Warren Technical Center in Warren, Michigan on Friday, January, 31, 2020

Original magazines with drawings of what Corvettes could have looked like on display at the General Motors Warren Technical Center in Warren, Michigan on Friday, January, 31, 2020 (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)

Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle I, Also called SERV I and XP-708, was the beginning. A running model that debuted in 1960, the car had the looks of an Indy car and a chassis that tested what a midengine layout could do. It was “a design without limit” and an “admirable tool” to help Chevy figure out “what to put in Corvette,” said Duntov, himself a former driver in the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race.

CERV I was used as a test vehicle for years. Larry Shinoda, who would go on to be known as the father of the ’63 Corvette Stingray and the Mako Shark concept car, tweaked its design repeatedly as engineers tested it with seven different power trains.

GM eventually retired CERV I, selling it to the Briggs Cunningham Automotive Museum for $1. When the museum failed in the 1980s, GM bought it back for “somewhat more,” Datini said.A model of the 1968 Chevrolet mid-engine Corvette Roadster that is one of many items for General Motors workers to see at the Corvette design display at the General Motors Warren Technical Center in Warren, Michigan on Friday, January, 31, 2020

A model of the 1968 Chevrolet mid-engine Corvette Roadster that is one of many items for General Motors workers to see at the Corvette design display at the General Motors Warren Technical Center in Warren, Michigan on Friday, January, 31, 2020 (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)

Corvettes the world never saw

Shortly thereafter, Duntov heard rumors Ford was developing a Le Mans racer to challenge Ferrari and launched work on CERV II. GM decided not to race, Ford and Carroll Shelby built the GT40 that inspired “Ford vs. Ferrari,” and the CERV II was used as an engineering test bed at secret proving grounds and never seen by the public during its active lifetime. Built in 1964, CERV II had a 500-horsepower V8, 210-mph top speed and 2.8-second 0-60 mph time.

A picture of the CERV II Corvette. The sports car never went into production but it was influential in the design of the C5 production Corvette. (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)

“By that time, engineers and designers knew a midengine chassis was necessary” to get maximum performance from the ‘Vette, Datini said. Putting the engine behind the passenger compartment puts the car’s weight over the rear wheels to put down more power without spinning. Shifting balance from the production ‘Vette’s nose-heavy weight distribution would also improve handling.

Also in 1964, the XP-819 experimental car was being tested. Designed by Shinoda, it bore a strong resemblance to 1970 Corvettes, but Duntov hated it, calling it an “ugly duckling” at least in part because he wished his engineering team got some of the budget allotted to designing the car. It had a 327 cubic-inch V8 and pop-up headlights.

Like many concept and engineering vehicles, XP-819 was destroyed, chopped up. Years later, the pieces were found in NASCAR designer and mechanic Smokey Yunick’s garage.

Half Corvette, half Porsche

With a name GM would later recycle on a minivan, the Astro II XP-880 was never publicly identified as a Corvette, but it was one, intended for production in 1970, but never got there. It debuted at the New York auto show, featuring a nose, front fenders and Firefrost Blue paint that that foreshadowed 1970s production cars.

DeLorean, then Chevrolet general manager, asked for a rush program to create a different midengine design to match the midengine Pantera Ford was developing with Italian sports car maker De Tomaso to debut at the 1970 New York auto show. The XP-882 had a tapering body with dramatic fender flares and a louvered rear window like the Mako Shark II concept car. Like so many midengine ‘Vettes before and after, GM brass decided to stick with the tried and true front-engine layout.

Also in the 1970s GM president Ed Cole — another legendary engineer who led the development of the small block V8 and catalytic converter, among other achievements — became enamored with the Wankel rotary engine. Duntov built two midengine experimental ‘Vettes with rotary engines, glad for Cole’s support despite not sharing his enthusiasm for the engine.Sketching and notes about the Corvette, one of the many originals on display for workers to see at the General Motors Warren Technical Center in Warren, Michigan on Friday, January, 31, 2020

Sketching and notes about the Corvette, one of the many originals on display for workers to see at the General Motors Warren Technical Center in Warren, Michigan on Friday, January, 31, 2020 (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)

The 1973 Corvette 2-Rotor XP-987GT was a smaller, European-scale sports car with a rotary engine. The body was all Corvette, but its chassis came from a Porsche 914. Italian design house Pininfarina built its body. GM displayed the 2-Rotor at auto shows in Frankfurt and Paris before the car disappeared, probably sold to a collector.

Bill Mitchell’s most beautiful car

At the same time, Duntov wanted to develop a bigger midengine Corvette. He and Cole hadn’t been on speaking terms since Duntov refused an annual bonus he thought was insultingly small. They made up, at least in part because Duntov wanted a budget to develop what would become the Corvette 4-Rotor Aerovette, an iconic, gull wing design. Duntov believed it was the most beautiful vehicle GM design chief Bill Mitchell oversaw in a career that included the ’57 Chevy Bel Air and ’66 Buick Riviera. 

Duntov recycled the XP-882’s chassis for the Aerovette, which featured silver leather interior trim.A picture of the Aerovette featuring bi-fold gulping doors in the sports car that was never made. It is one of many photographs, drawings and sketches on display on all things Corvette design inside the General Motors Warren Technical Center in Warren, Michigan on Friday, January, 31, 2020

A picture of the Aerovette featuring bi-fold gulping doors in the sports car that was never made. It is one of many photographs, drawings and sketches on display on all things Corvette design inside the General Motors Warren Technical Center in Warren, Michigan on Friday, January, 31, 2020 (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)

Despite the car’s striking appearance, Duntov would come to believe his agreement to use a rotary engine was a nail in the midengine ‘Vette’s coffin.

Despite that, another midengine engineering car arrived in 1974. The XP-895 began its life with a steel body. Intrigued by the idea of lightweight materials, DeLorean asked Reynolds Aluminum to create an aluminum body. That cut the car’s weight by nearly 40%, but DeLorean pulled the plug on the project because he wanted a smaller, more European design.

That never happened, and design work on midengine ‘Vettes came to a halt for more than a decade, as GM struggled meeting the challenge of higher fuel prices.

Closing the deal

By 1986, the quest for a midengine Corvette was ready to create another giant figure, and it got one when a young designer named Tom Peters began work on the Corvette Indy concept car. Peters went on to become the chief designer of the sixth- and seventh-generation C6 and C7 Corvettes and play a key role in starting work on the 2020 C8.

With a radically short hood compared to production ‘Vettes and cutting-edge technologies including four-wheel steering, traction control and active suspension, the Indy — so named because it used a 2.65L V8 Chevy developed for Indy Car racing —  kept dreams of the midengine ‘Vette alive

The 1990 CERV III — this time the C stood for “Corporate,” not Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle — was the next step. Datini’s research convinced him it was an attempt at a production version of the Indy.

CERV III had scissors doors and was built of Kevlar, carbon fiber and aluminum. With a 650-hp twin-turbo 5.7L  V8, GM predicted a top speed of 225 mph. It debuted at the 1990 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

After that, work on the midengine Corvette went undercover for two decades. Photos of disguised prototypes at test tracks surfaced from time to time, but the car seemed to be as much myth as metal. There are whispers the Great Recession halted work on one, setting development back years.A display of Zora Arkus-Duntov known as "The Godfather of  the Corvette" at the General Motors Warren Technical Center in Warren, Michigan on Friday, January, 31, 2020.

A display of Zora Arkus-Duntov known as “The Godfather of the Corvette” at the General Motors Warren Technical Center in Warren, Michigan on Friday, January, 31, 2020. (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)

Development of the 2020 Corvette Stingray began around eight years ago, a long time for most projects, but the blink of an eye when it’s the last chapter of a 60-year story.

Mark Phelan for Detroit Free Press

Chevy does a deep dive on mid-engine 2020 Corvette Stingray development in new documentary

Revolution, as the documentary is titled, will air in two parts and goes deep behind the scenes of the biggest ever change to the Corvette.

If there’s one word that describes the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray pretty darn well, it’s probably “Revolutionary.” It’s the first time in the nameplate’s history that the engine resides behind the driver, as Chevy elevates its long-running sports car to battle the world’s best.

Naturally, curious minds have to wonder what went on behind the scenes to make this car come together. Chevy has good news for you. Revolution, a two-part documentary detailing the C8-generation Corvette’s development, is set to air in the coming months, the brand said Monday.

Chevy told Roadshow the documentary will air on the Corvette’s homepage here, but for now, the quick trailer embedded above will give fans a taste of what the upcoming feature holds. There’s plenty of first-hand knowledge on display — the team that put the latest car together gets plenty of camera time. Numerous people in the mid-engine Corvette program spill how it felt to take an icon and reinvent it.

The documentary announcement comes just after Chevy announced that the production of the 2020 Corvette Stingray kicked off on Monday. With the C7-generation car in the rearview mirror, and all necessary retooling done for the mid-engine car, the workforce in Bowling Green, Kentucky is solely focused on the new Corvette.

Chevy didn’t have an exact timeline for when the first part of the documentary will air, but it should give fans eagerly awaiting their cars something to pass the time as deliveries begin in early March at the latest. Hopefully by this summer, we’ll see plenty of 2020 Corvettes on the road as the plant ships them out to their new homes.

Kaillie Humphries Wins Fourth Bobsled World Cup Of The Season In St. Moritz

Can anybody catch Kaillie Humphries? As the world cup season in bobsled approaches its end, the answer is a more and more definitive no. 

Humphries clocked her fourth victory of the world cup season in St. Moritz, Switzerland, further extending her lead in the overall IBSF World Cup standings. The two-time Olympic gold medalist and her 2018 Olympic silver medalist brakewoman Lauren Gibbs tied for the best push (5.5 seconds) on their first run on the Celerina Olympia Bobrun course to secure the lead halfway through the competition with a time of 1 minute. 8.24 seconds. 

Though they recorded only the fifth-best second run in 1:08.94, their overall time of 2:17.18 was enough for the win, edging Germany’s Mariana Jamanka and Kira Lipperheide by 0.16 seconds. The most consistent pair of the day, Germany’s Stephanie Schneider and Leonie Fiebig completed the podium 0.01 behind their teammates.

Download the Team USA app today to keep up with bobsled and all your favorite sports, plus access to videos, Olympic and Paralympic team bios, and more.

Thirty-four-year-old Humphries, who competed for Canada and has only been representing the United States since November, has already proven herself a valuable asset to Team USA. She and Gibbs began their 2020 season with a pair of wins in Lake Placid, New York, and Humphries drove with Sylvia Hoffman in last week’s victory in Koenigssee, Germany. Humphries also has a bronze medal from Innsbruck, Austria, to her name this season.

The U.S. will be absent from the final world cup competition over Valentine’s Day weekend in Sigulda, Latvia, in order to prepare for the world championships in Altenberg, Germany at the end of February.

With Saturday’s results taken into account, Humphries has accumulated 1,484 points in the world cup standings, extending her lead ahead of Stephanie Schneider, who holds second place with 1,411. 2019 world cup titlist Jamanka is currently third with 1,381.

Source: Blythe Lawrence, Team USA

A Le Mans Winner Ripped The C8 Corvette Around The Nürburgring In 7 Minutes 29.9 Seconds

When you’re Chevrolet and you have access to five-time Le Mans winner Oliver Gavin, it’s a smart idea to shove him behind the wheel of a new C8 Corvette with the Z51 performance package and point him out for a flying lap of the Nordschleife. These lap times are largely irrelevant as they absolutely do not correlate to driving enjoyment or real-world usable performance, but it’s a slightly abstract way to compare the relative abilities of sports cars.

With ideal conditions and an incredibly capable driver, Chevrolet managed a lap time of 7 minutes and 29.9 seconds. That’s quicker than a recent independent test Porsche 992 time, and Chevrolet’s own high-powered Camaro ZL1. That said, it’s 16 seconds off the pace of the C7-generation Corvette Z06. Interesting? Maybe. 

Chevrolet confirmed to RoadShow that this was the lap time, as hidden (below) in a teaser video for its upcoming documentary on the development of the C8.

Are you and I capable of this lap time? Hell no. But the car is capable of it in the right hands, and I guess that has bragging rights of some kind.

Obviously this is still just the base model Corvette with its 495 horsepower V8 mounted in the middle. The Z51 pack adds aero bits, better tires, better suspension, and better cooling for the entire car. There will be more powerful, better, and faster Corvettes coming, but for now you can rest assured knowing a C8 Corvette is slightly faster around the ‘ring than the big bad supercharged Camaro. That is, unless the ZL1 was of the 1LE variety (which ran a 7:16.04).

Bradley Brownell for Jalopnik

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