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Exclusive! C8.R Corvette 5.5L DOHC V-8 Pics and How the Flat-Plane Crank Alters Its Iconic Sound

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There’s A New Engine In The C8.R Corvette, And It Sounds Nothing Like Its Predecessor.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and although that’s true, it can also be in the ear of the listener.

Since the Corvette first hit the streets back in the 1950s, it was imbued with the beautiful and nearly magical sound of V-8 performance. It was a deep, bass-filled rumble that just oozed a feeling of power. Over the years, the sound emanating from Corvettes, both on the street and at the track, had a distinctive note that became synonymous with the car. When the Corvette moved to the LS1 in 1997, the firing order was tweaked a bit, and although the sound did change, it still had that deep rumble that we all love.

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Chevrolet is super secretive of its new mill for the C8.R, so much so that it covered up the back hatch to keep out prying eyes. About all the team will say is that it’s a 5.5L DOHC V-8 fitted with a flat-plane crank. Power numbers are limited to 500 hp and around 475ish lb-ft of twist, but that’s all it will say. In fact this picture is about as close as you’re going to get to seeing the new C8.R engine.

But the only thing constant in the world is change. For the C8.R, Chevrolet Racing really changed things up with its new mid-engine marvel, but it wasn’t the engine placement that ended the car’s iconic sound signature. It was the engine itself. Gone is the deep baritone exhaust note, replaced instead with a high-pitched Ferrari-like sound. Think puberty in reverse. And although we love the sound of a wound-out Ferrari or other Italian supercars, having that pitch emanate from the back of a Corvette is something that will be hard to get used to. We’re not saying the sound is bad—it’s actually pretty badass—but it’s not even close to the sound signature we’ve come to associate with Corvettes.

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The real culprit here isn’t the new 5.5L DOHC V-8 that Chevrolet moved to. Instead, it was the choice to go with a high-revving flat-plane crank. This drastically changed the firing order of the engine and eliminated the classic American V-8 sound that’s typical with the firing sequence of a traditional cross-plane crank. But we know what you’re thinking: “Well, this is just the race car, so I’m going to be able to get my V-8 rumble fix from the production car!” Well, yeah, for now. You see, for Chevrolet Racing to run this new DOHC flat-plane crank mill in the C8.R, it has to, according to the rules, run a similar engine in at least 300 production cars. So does this mean that an eventual C8 Z06 variant will lose its iconic exhaust note?

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Chevrolet Racing tried hard to give race fans a great-sounding engine. And although the new 5.5L engine in the C8.R does have a unique sound, it’s nothing like we’ve grown accustomed to.
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'Lost Corvettes' to be given away: Photos of all 36 rare Chevrolet Corvette sports cars


52 PHOTOS2:11 p.m. EST Jan. 26, 2020This 1953 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1953 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1953 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1953 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROES

This 1954 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation. This 1954 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1954 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1954 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThese 1954 (left) and 1955 Corvettes will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.These 1954 (left) and 1955 Corvettes will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1954 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1954 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROES

This 1955 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1955 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1955 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1955 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1956 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1956 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1956 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1956 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROES

This 1957 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1957 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1958 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1958 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1959 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1959 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1960 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1960 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROES

This 1960 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1960 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1961 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1961 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1962 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1962 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1963 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1963 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROES

This 1964 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1964 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1965 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1965 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1965 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1965 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1966 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1966 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROES

This 1967 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1967 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1968 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1968 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1968 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1968 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROESThis 1969 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1969 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE HEROES

This 1970 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1970 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1970 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1970 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1971 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1971 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1972 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1972 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE

This 1973 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1973 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1973 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1973 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1974 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1974 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1975 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1975 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE

This 1975Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1975 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1976 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1976 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1976 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1976 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1977 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1977 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE

This 1978 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1978 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1979 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation. 1979 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1980 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1980 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1981 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1981 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE

This 1982 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1982 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1984 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1984 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1985 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1985 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1985 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1985 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE

This 1985 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1985 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1986 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1986 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1987 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1987 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThis 1988 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1988 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTE

This 1989 Corvette will be given away as one of the "Lost Corvettes" in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.This 1989 Corvette will be given away as one of the “Lost Corvettes” in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.CORVETTEThese Corvettes, known as the "Lost Corvettes," will be given away in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.These Corvettes, known as the “Lost Corvettes,” will be given away in a promotion by the Corvette Heroes to benefit the National Guard Educational Foundation.


New Corvette Had ‘Reason to Go Back Out’ After Long Delay

Corvette “had reason” to take its No. 4 car back out on track after lengthy repair…

The “tough lessons” of the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R’s tumultuous Rolex 24 at Daytona debut gave Corvette Racing confidence going forward with its new car, according to team manager Ben Johnson.

The silver No. 4 Corvette spent eight hours in its garage during the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener after a cracked bell housing resulted in an oil leak.

Having pitted at around 11 p.m. the car eventually returned to the track close to 8 a.m. but it still managed to be classified as a finisher, albeit 327 laps behind the GTLM class winner.

While not divulging the extent of the oil leak and associated damage, Johnson explained why the team kept its car in the garage for so long.

“To fix the problem we had to move the engine back,” he told Sportscar365.

“We tried to do it with the engine installed to expedite it but then we realized that if we wanted to get it back on track, we had to take time to take the engine out and put it back in.

“We just took our time to make sure that there was nothing else. At that point, we were no longer in contention, but we had reason to go out and just understand where else the car may have issues.

“It was just kind of a test session after that.

“I think we will go back and disassemble the whole car. We have some issues to address with the oil leak.”

Oliver Gavin, who shared driving duties in the No. 4 with Tommy Milner and Marcel Fassler, said the Corvette crew “wanted to be methodical” about its repairs which added to the length of time it spent in the garage.

The Englishman suggested that the car was starting to show signs of promising pace that it could have taken through the night had the leak not occurred.

“It was really tough on the guys, eight hours of working from midnight until eight in the morning, it was crazy,” Gavin told Sportscar365.

“As soon as that happened, we knew that our day was done and that we wouldn’t be challenging. It was a shame because up to that point, our car had just started to come along.

“It wasn’t super strong right at the start, but we were gaining on it as we went through the race. Could we have been in the mix at the end? Who knows. But there was a lot that we’ve learned from this.

“As a team, we figured a lot of stuff out today. Testing is great but you really see exactly where you are when you come to a race and see where your competition is.

“We’ll take that away and process the data to see how we can make ourselves and the car better for Sebring.”

The No. 3 Corvette fared better than its sister car with Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg bringing home a fourth-place class finish on the lead lap.

Johnson said that this car’s run wasn’t entirely straightforward, but it held up well enough to remain in contention for a podium heading into the final two hours.

“We had a slight clutch issue at one point, but we had fixed it after the first stop that we witnessed it, so it wasn’t a time loss,” he explained.

“But nothing held up that car specifically again.  We were really happy that all the execution, pit stops, driver changes… all things that you don’t get to test in anger until you reach the race, all went super well.”

Johnson added that the Rolex 24 has given the Corvette team confidence ahead of its next race outing at the ‘Super Sebring’ endurance racing double-header weekend in March.

“Coming away from our first race with one car on the lead lap… the issue with the oil leak is obviously very apparent, but when we looked at it we realized it’s a pretty simple fix,” he said.

“I think it raises everyone’s confidence that we can get through some of these early tough lessons and move on to Sebring in a much better spot.”

Source: Daniel Llyod for Sportscar365


Corvette C8.R vs C7.R sound comparison

DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – JANUARY 03: #3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor, Nicky Catsburg during the Daytona January testing at Daytona International Speedway on January 03, 2020 in Daytona International Speedway, United States of America. (Photo by Richard Dole / LAT Images)

Sports car racing fans have come to know the sound of Corvette Racing’s menacing V8 engines as one of IMSA’s most unmistakable soundtracks. The punch to the chest delivered by the Corvette C7.R through the 2019 season, and all of its predecessors dating back to the program’s debut in 1999, was as unique as it was thrilling.

It makes the brand’s greatest shift with its mid-engine C8.R (pictured above) — which debuts in competition this week at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, featuring a fresh V8 motor with an entirely different voice — a new experience for Corvette fans. Thanks to the move to a flat-plane crankshaft in the 5.5-liter naturally-aspirated powerplants, the C8.Rs strike the ears with a higher pitch that, in typical Corvette Racing fashion, is unlike anything else in the field.

Which exhaust note sounds better? Take a listen to the C8.R from testing at the Roar Before The 24, and from a C7.R during December Daytona testing in 2016, and you decide.

C8.R
C7.R

Original Source: Marshall Pruett for Racer.com


Garcia, Gavin uncertain of Corvette C8.R’s Daytona prospects

Corvette Racing’s veteran stars, Oliver Gavin and Antonio Garcia, are positive about the new mid-engined C8.R’s progress but are uncertain how it will perform relative to its GT Le Mans class opposition at this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Gavin’s full-time partner Tommy Milner set Corvette Racing’s fastest time in Roar Before the 24 qualifying  which decides garages and pit stalls, and he was encouragingly just 0.108sec off the top time in class, set by James Calado in the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE.

However, Gavin warned that the race will be several hours old before everyone gets an accurate picture of how the GTLM contenders match up.

“The C8.R is a brand new car and this is its first race outing,” said the 2016 Rolex 24 winner. “We won’t know where we are in respect to the competition, and they will be looking at us and figuring out where we’re strong and where we’re weak.

“You can pick up little bits and pieces during the Roar and even in the two or three practice sessions before the Rolex 24, but you never really get a great idea of where you’re at until you get five hours or so into the race.

“But it always comes down to the last two hours. It would be quite remarkable if we could come right out of the box and be super-fast, super-reliable and have a successful weekend the first time out.”

Two-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans title winner and 2015 Rolex 24 winner Garcia also sounded a note of caution.

“So far, the new Corvette has been quite decent in testing,” said the Spaniard who is entering his seventh season with the legendary team. “It is still very early stages for this car.

“Even though we think we are ready, there are things that can come up. We must do everything we can to make sure we are as prepared as possible. Then we can see what we really have.

“Our testing has been a consistent evolution between track days and simulator work. We’ve been able to develop a plan to develop the car even though we weren’t testing on the track. The correlation of data has been good. Everything that we have tested virtually is working in real life. That makes life a lot easier when you can use all your tools to improve.

“We continue to validate all the work we’ve done and what we find on the racetrack. We are on the right track.”

While Gavin and Milner continue to be partnered by Marcel Fassler for the endurance races, Garcia not only is working with a new enduro extra – Nicky Catsburg – he also has a new full-time partner.

Jordan Taylor, who in 2017 won the IMSA Prototype title with the team owned by his father Wayne Taylor, and has two Rolex 24 wins to his credit, has moved to the GTLM class with Corvette, replacing Jan Magnussen.

This continues a relationship with the Doug Fehan-run team that stretches back to 2012, the first of six years in which Taylor raced a Corvette in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Partnering Gavin and Milner, he won the GTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2015.

“I’m excited to go back into GT racing with Corvette in GTLM with all-manufacturer teams and all-professional drivers,” he said. “The class will get a lot of eyes on it with the first race for the C8.R.

“The race itself will be extremely difficult. I’ll have to get used to looking in my mirrors again! In testing, I was reminding myself to check the mirrors leaving certain corners so I could get in the habit of doing it for the race.

“So I’m looking forward to it. Overall wins are fantastic, but a win is a win; you still get a Rolex watch no matter what class you’re in! But for us in GTLM, the competition will be the same if not more difficult than in prototypes.”

Source: David Malsher-Lopez


2020 Corvette Convertible Order Banks Are Officially Open

Expect to see them on dealership lots by summer.

As the world prepares for the new Chevrolet Corvette to finally enter production, many people may not realize that it’s only part of the 2020 C8 story. Corvette Blogger reports that Chevrolet dealerships are now able to place orders for the 2020 Corvette Convertible. We’ve confirmed with a GM representative that order banks are indeed open.

The convertible debuted a few months after the official C8 launch, but in many ways it’s been overshadowed by another Corvette model that hasn’t been revealed just yet. The C8.R race car made a surprise appearance at the end of the convertible’s debut event in Florida, and while it’s not a production-ready machine, its high-revving, DOHC flat-plane-crank V8 is virtually guaranteed to appear in a future ‘Vette. The likely candidate is a new Z06, but we still aren’t sure when it will arrive. In the meantime, the irony of the C8.R stealing the show at the convertible’s own reveal isn’t lost on us.

We suspect Corvette buyers aren’t overlooking the convertible, however. Chevrolet has said that 2020 C8 preorders are all but filled, so the drop top could be the last chance for buyers to get in on the mid-engine Corvette’s first production year. Opting for the convertible is a $7,500 premium over the hardtop, and it’s available with all the same options and trim levels. That includes the Z51 performance package which bumps the 6.2-liter V8 to 495 horsepower, and since the Corvette was designed from the beginning to be a convertible, Chevrolet says there’s no loss in performance when going roofless.

According to Corvette Blogger, there are no restrictions on convertible orders save for the number of cars a dealer is allocated. Rumors says that convertible production will begin in April, which would have them on dealer lots just in time for summer.

Source: Corvette Blogger via CNET Roadshow


First Mid-Engine Chevy Corvette Sold for $3 Million at Auction

Barrett-Jackson sold the first C8 Corvette off the line for the Detroit Children’s Fund charity, and NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick snapped it up.

  • The Barrett-Jackson auction company got $3 million for the very first 2020 Chevrolet Corvette off the line at its January auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, with all proceeds going to a Detroit educational charity.
  • The mid-engine C8 Corvette with VIN 001 gets the Z51 Performance package and the 495-hp 6.2-liter LT2 V-8, and the winning bidder was NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick.
  • This same auction house sold the last C7 Corvette last spring and took in $2.7 million for a different charity.

UPDATE 1/19/20: NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick was the winning bidder, paying $3 million for C8 Corvette no. 1 at a high-spirited charity auction event on Saturday featuring GM CEO Mary Barra on the stage. Although the car present at the auction was red, Barrett-Jackson said the actual first car will be “a black-on-black Corvette 3LT loaded with every available option, scheduled to be built during the first quarter of 2020.”

We’ve seen this before: automakers offering the first example of a highly anticipated new model up for auction to benefit a charity. This time, General Motors will auction off the first mid-engine Corvette off the line at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale Auction in January. All proceeds will go to the Detroit Children’s Fund, which benefits underfunded Detroit public schools.

VIN 001 of the C8 Corvette Stingray is powered by a 495-hp 6.2-liter LT2 V-8 and is equipped with the Z51 performance package, which adds an electronically controlled limited-slip differential with a shorter final-drive ratio, Brembo brakes, a performance exhaust, heavy-duty cooling system, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires.

GM CEO Mary Barra and winning bidder Rick Hendrick pose during the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale on January 18.

There’s no doubt this example will go for well over the $59,995 starting price of the C8 Stingray. Only a few months ago, the final front-engine C7 Corvette sold for $2.7 million at the Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction in June, and the first Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 off the line sold for an insane $1.1 million at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction in January, both also for charity.

Source: Car and Driver; Conner Hoffman


Big C8 news!

And we literally mean “big.”

With production of the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray about to get underway next month, attention is now turning towards future variants. More specifically, the E-Ray, the first of two hybrids planned (the second likely named Zora), as well as the Z06, and, eventually, the ZR1. While we don’t have a precise timeframe as to when any of those will arrive, it goes without saying the Corvette engineering team led by Tadge Juechter is hard at work this very moment.

Details remain mostly vague, but GM Authority has learned something very cool about the C8 Z06. An inside source familiar with the project is claiming the C8 Z06 will sport a massive rear wing, even bigger than what’s found on the outgoing C7 Corvette ZR1. What’s more, it’ll produce higher levels of downforce and create less drag.

Although the C8.R race car has a big rear wing of its own, the Z06’s will differ in both appearance and functionality. Think more along the lines of the rear wing on the Koenigsegg Agera RS. Another unknown is whether or not the C8 Z06 will come with the rear wing as standard or if it will be optional. Some sources are claiming the Corvette team is leaning towards making it standard.

Assuming all goes to plan, the next Z06 could arrive in about two years’ time. Instead of the naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 with 490 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, the C8 Z06 is expected to have a new NA 5.5-liter V8 with a flat-plane crank. Expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 hp.

Additional elements will include an improved suspension, brakes, and additional aerodynamic components aside from the rear wing. There shouldn’t be any mistaking the C8 Z06 for the C8 Stingray, even when the latter is equipped with the Z51 performance package. It should also go without saying the Z06 will command a significant price premium. A fully-loaded 2020 Corvette Stingray will surpass $100,000, so don’t expect the Z06 to cost any less.

Source; Jay Traugott; Carbuzz


Is the new midengine Corvette too good to be true?

“Wow — thank you so much, ma’am!” gushes a young parking attendant at the Jonathan Club in Santa Monica. “It made my day to see this car in person!”

That’s the contagious effect the all-new 2020 Corvette Stingray has on just about everyone. A toddler in a stroller pointed and squealed as I rolled by. A well-dressed businessman was studying the car with appreciation when I emerged from a store. “I’ve never been a Corvette guy, but I can actually see myself owning one of these,” he told me before jumping into his Audi R8.

Of course, $300,000-plus Lamborghinis and McLarens garner longing looks, but they don’t provoke the ear-to-ear grins that Chevy’s latest does. I have rarely seen a vehicle elicit so much joy, so consistently, as I did in the two days I had the eye-popping “Rapid Blue” version GM lent me for testing.

Chevy gave the world its first peek of the C8 (its internal name) last July, at an unveiling in a hangar in Tustin to a standing-room-only crowd of media, collectors and influencers. Chevy chose SoCal for the launch because it’s the most important market for the car — which is the first in the model’s 67-year history in which the engine sits behind, not in front of, the driver. At the event, journalists commented to me that it looked like a Ferrari, to which I replied, “Is looking like a Ferrari a bad thing?!”

Last month, I got the call: It was finally time to test-drive a pre-production version. When I slid behind the steering wheel, I entered a whole other world of aromatic leather, slick driver-centric controls and intuitive next-gen tech. I pushed the start button and the 6.2-liter V8’s 495 horses raucously screamed to life over my shoulder.

I headed to test-drive heaven — California 1. Almost immediately I was laughing at all the G-forces I could easily conjure with the steering wheel and my right foot. I played with the paddle shifters like a pinball machine (in automatic mode, the eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission is far faster than me—or you—but where’s the fun in that?).

From Malibu’s twistiest canyons to heavy 101 traffic, the Stingray ticked all the boxes. Cornering: tenacious grip without body roll. Steering: light and responsive. Brakes: grabbier than a pickpocket. Off-the-line acceleration: near-psychedelic pull with a dash of wheelspin, even with traction control on. Acceleration at speed: Just about terrifying, if it didn’t feel so darn capable and well-sorted.

I am not gushing. I’m merely reporting the delicious facts.

I am fortunate to have driven some of the best cars on the planet. So, when I say the new Vette exceeded my expectations, consider that a sizable understatement. And now perhaps the best news of all: The Corvette’s base price is $59,995. If you wanted to buy a midengine sports car with this level of capability from a European competitor, you’d have to spend five times as much, minimum.

GM has been producing competent Corvettes since the 1950s — two-seaters long on under-the-hood oomph but short on the kind of snob appeal that Aston Martins, Porsches and the like command. For all the performance prowess over time, there has always been some defensiveness on the part of Vette owners, who often cite one of the model’s best stats — its dollar-to-horsepower ratio. Those numbers are indeed impressive, but sports cars are about sex appeal; not every buyer sees the desirability of a lower sticker price over, say, Italian sheet metal.

Ironically, Corvette’s spiritual father and first chief engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov, was himself European — Belgian-born and a successful endurance sports car racer. Duntov joined GM in 1953 after seeing the first Corvette concept earlier that year in New York City (constructed, under the skin, largely out of GM truck parts, including Chevy’s “Blue Flame” six-cylinder engine).

From the beginning, Duntov dreamed of a midengine version of the Corvette, where the engine’s weight would help to balance the car’s handling and allow for a clear view over a short hood. He constantly lobbied GM’s top brass to bring such a forward-leaning configuration to market.

But the costs and engineering required to shoehorn a powerful V8 engine into a small space without the benefit of a long hood were onerous. So were other technical challenges — cramped passenger space, little cargo room and no place to tuck a convertible roof, to name a few. Eventually, Duntov and his successors built several midengine concepts but never a production version.

Fast-forward to today. According to Tadge Juechter, Corvette’s chief engineer, his team had finally reached the limit of how much performance they could squeeze out of the Corvette’s front-engine architecture. Also, it was clear the car’s loyal buyers were aging. Those factors, along with huge strides in areas like materials science and production capabilities, gave Juechter and his team the moment they had been waiting for.

But would the car’s traditional owners feel abandoned? “On the marketing side, this was a huge endeavor. We did a heck of a lot of research,” says Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet cars and crossovers marketing. “Could we retain loyalists and also attract new buyers who appreciate the configuration but who don’t have the best perception of the Corvette brand?”

Apparently, yes. “Die-hard Corvette fans didn’t believe that Chevy would really do it, but now that they’ve seen the car, no one is complaining,” says Mike Vietro, the founder of Corvette Mike, an Anaheim-based specialty sales, service and restoration shop that has been around for 38 years.

Think about it: a $60,000 midengine V8, capable of a sub-three-second zero-to-60 time, with the looks of a European exotic and the reliability and affordability of an American-made car. Against the odds, Chevy has managed to achieve the best of both worlds.

“The C8 demonstrates GM’s technical capability to run with the big boys in performance but at Chevy prices — one of the brand’s key philosophies,” says Don Runkle, former chief engineer for Chevrolet. “Another is a focus on racing. The new Vette epitomizes both.”

To that point, the C8’s track version, the C8.R, will make its endurance racing debut at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 26. “With this new Corvette, there’s a direct linkage between the production-car and the racing programs,” says Majoros. “Working with the racing side is a great way to test new technologies that may find their way into production, and it’s also an internal training ground for engineering talent.”

From the epic expense of motorsports to the relatively low-volume nature of a sports car, it’s a small miracle, really, that the Corvette has survived at all, even putting aside where its pumping heart resides. Given economic downturns, gas price fluctuations, priority on new and greener powertrains, and the killing off of entire GM brands such as Pontiac, Saturn and Oldsmobile, the car‘s endurance is testament indeed to its accomplishments and fan base.

So thank you, Chevy, for finally doing what Duntov envisioned and for setting a new high-water mark for an irresistible, ultra-high-performance car that is also financially approachable as well as user-friendly. If that doesn’t have the Corvette’s far pricier competitors quaking, I’ll bet the sales numbers will. According to Chevy, already 45,000 consumers have preordered a car online; deliveries begin in February.

2020 Chevrolet Stingray Coupe

Price: $59,995; $83,825 as tested

Engine: 6.2-liter V8

Horsepower: 490; 495 as tested with optional Z51 performance package

Torque: 465 lb.-ft. – 470 lb.-ft. as tested

0 to 60: 3 seconds; 2.8 seconds as tested

Original Source: Sue Calloway; LA times


Patience and understanding are more than necessary

If you’re waiting for an all new 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette, it’s only natural that you’re wondering when your allocation is going to come up. And, with production just now kicking off, it’s easy to wonder whether yours will be considered a 2020 or a 2021 model (and what pricing implications that will have on your bottom line.) I’m sure some of you have plenty of other questions too and now, thanks to Mike Furman – one of the most famous Corvette salesman in the world – we have some answers. Keep reading for a full update on the Chevy C8 Corvette and what’s going on behind the scenes.

CHEVY ISN’T PRODUCING C8’S SLATED FOR CUSTOMER DELIVERY YET

One of the most important things we’ve learned from Mr. Furman’s latest e-mail update is that Chevy’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant is exclusively producing C8 Corvettes, but none of them are going to make it into customer’s hands. According to Furman, all of the C8’s produced so far and those produced through the end of January, are all “captured test vehicles.” Now, no clarification beyond that was mentioned, but in most cases, these are the vehicles used to fine-tune the production process, make sure everything lines up the way it should, etc. Chevy could have other uses for these vehicles, but usually, they are destroyed or recycled once their purpose has passed.

IF YOUR ALLOCATION COMES AFTER THE 2021 MODEL YEAR SWITCH, YOU’LL PROBABLY PAY MORE

We all know that the initial 2020 models will be cheaper than subsequent model years, however, the difference in cost between the 2020 and 2021 models has yet to be revealed. In his latest E-mail, Mike Furman raised a very important point.

Pricing for 2021 models will probably go up, but historically GM has not raised the price by more than $2,500 year-to-year.

So, it won’t be outrageously more expensive if you receive a 2021 model over a 2020. And, as pointed out by Furman, the C8 Corvette landed at some $10,000 less than anyone expected anyway, so you’re getting one hell of a deal for a world-class sports car anyway.

C8 CORVETTE PRODUCTION FOR CUSTOMER CARS STARTS IN THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY

If you’re lucky enough to have one of the first customer car allocations (you’re probably not,) you could be riding around in your new Vette very soon.

The production of customer-bound cars starts in the first week of February and GM will begin delivery sometime after that.

And, if you were considering skipping the museum delivery because of not having paint film protection for the ride hone, you can now get XPEL applied at NCM Motorsports Park before you head our on your maiden voyage.

CHEVY IS LIMITED ENGINE TORQUE FOR 500 MILES BECAUSE YOU CAN’T FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS

When news about Chevy reducing torque in the C8 Corvette during the break-in period hit the net, some people lost their minds. Well, there’s a damn good reason that Chevy has to do it, and it boils down to the fact that people just don’t honor the break-in period as they should. As quoted on Mid-Engine Corvette Forum it has to do with ensuring that the break-in period is honored and, while torque will be reduced by 25-30 percent for around 500 miles, it doesn’t really affect performance that much:

“For the 8th generation Corvette, we have taken it a step farther. With more weight on the rear, the car has more traction and we take advantage of that with more aggressive gearing. That translates into more torque multiplication and more loads in the driveline. We decided for the first 500 miles to limit maximum torque in first and second gears. The torque reduction is roughly 25 to 30% depending on which transaxle (standard or Z51) and which gear. That may sound like a big reduction, but in reality the car is still really fast.”

The basic principle is that this is done to make sure the engine’s components wear properly during break-in and, ultimately, helps ensure the longevity of the engine. Apparently, Chevy is still going to ask customers to take it easy on the car during the break-in period too, so do yourself a favor and don’t get into it until you pass the golden 500-mile mark.

JAY LENO WAS THE FIRST NON-GM-EMPLOYEE TO DRIVE THE 2020 CHEVY C8 CROVETTE CONVERTIBLE Z51

ENJOY THE CHEVY C8 CORVETTE EXHAUST COMPILATION FROM DRIVE615

Source Robert Moore;Top Speed


Corvette C8.R impresses at Roar Before the 24, Daytona

The Corvette C8.R #4 driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fässler at the Daytona Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The C8.R is Corvette’s first mid-engine race car.

The Corvette C8.R #4 driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fässler at the Daytona Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The C8.R is Corvette’s first mid-engine race car.

The #3 Corvette C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg at Daytona’s Roar Before the 24. The C8.R uses a 5.5-liter flat-plane crank engine different than the 6.2-liter push-rod engine that will be in the first production C8.

Chevy debuted the Corvette C8.R with the #3 and #4 cars. The race car gets lights in the lower fascia corners – where the production car has oil coolers. The #3 C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg at Daytona’s Roar Before the 24.

At the Daytona Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, the #4 Corvette C8.R driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fässler set fast time of the ‘Vettes – the time was just a tenth of a second off the fastest Ferrari.

The Corvette race car is lighter with more down-force (see the big wing) than the 3,647-pound production C8. The #3 Corvette C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg at Daytona’s Roar Before the 24.

The Roar Before the 24 was the Corvette C8.R’s first outing in the IMSA Weathertech Series. The C8.R #4 driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fässler.

The #3 Corvette C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg negotiates the infield turns at Daytona’s Roar Before the 24. The C8.R hits speeds of 170 mph ion the oval.


The C8 Corvette and Other NACTOY Finalists Discussed on Autoline TV

The 2020 Corvette Stingray was named as one of the three finalists for the prestigious North American Car of the Year Award and the winner will be named Monday morning (Jan 13th) in Detroit. The all-new mid-engine Corvette does have some stiff competition as it’s facing off against the redesigned Toyota Supra and the Hyundai Sonata midsize sedan.

If you’re looking for a scouting report on the three finalists, you’ve come to the right place!

In this recent episode of Autoline This Week, host John McElroy is joined by panelists Gary Vasilash, Jeff Gilbert and Lindsay Brooke to discuss the contenders up for what is by far the most important vehicle award of the year. All four members of the panel are “NACTOY Jurors” who tested each of the cars and they all weigh in on the strengths and weaknesses of each vehicle.

After watching this episode, I am feeling pretty good about the Corvette Stingray’s chances, but that Sonata does have a ton of style and technology for a $30K vehicle so it won’t be a given. Check out the full conversation below:

From Autoline Network via YouTube:

The North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year (NACTOY) jury comprises roughly 50 automotive journalists from the U.S. and Canada. Every year they vote on the best new cars, trucks and utility vehicles that came out in North America. Three of the NACTOY jurors join us on Autoline This Week to discuss the three cars that made it to the finalists’ list, as well as some of the cars that did not make the list. They also predict which vehicles will win the awards for best car, truck and utility.

Panel: Garry Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production Jeff Gilbert, WWJ NewsRadio 950 Lindsay Brooke, SAE International John McElroy, Autoline.tv

Detroit Bureau Steve Burns will be live at the NACTOY award ceremony and will bring us any breaking news from the event. The North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle of the Year awards will be announced on January 13, 2020, at 8 a.m. in Detroit.

Keith Cornett; Corvette Blogger


Corvette Poised for Sebring WEC Return

#3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R, GTLM: Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor, Nicky Catsburg

Corvette Racing set for COTA-Sebring double FIA WEC run with C8.R

Corvette Racing looks set to contest the 1000 Miles of Sebring, in what would be the second consecutive FIA World Endurance Championship outing for the new Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.

Sportscar365 has learned that provisional plans are in place to run the Sebring WEC race alongside its two-car factory GT Le Mans class program in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring the following day.

It would come as one of the prerequisites from the ACO, which has stipulated that the Pratt & Miller-run team must run in at least two regular-season WEC races in order to be guaranteed a pair of GTE-Pro entries for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The team ran the Shanghai WEC race in 2018 in addition to Sebring last year with its previous-gen Corvette C7.R.

While declining to comment or confirm on any WEC plans beyond its COTA entry, Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan said that it’s been their intention to run two regular-season races in the 2019-20 WEC season.

“Right now, that’s the plan but we’re running down a road,” Fehan told Sportscar365.

“We haven’t refined what exactly that plan is going to be. I couldn’t give you every detail and widget.

“We’ve been busy for a couple of years trying to race and design, build and develop the new car. This adds to the challenge of all of that.

“I think most people would understand that we don’t have it completely defined yet.

“It’s a case of dealing it in an orderly fashion.

“We can’t become overwhelmed too much with what’s going on down the road when we have to focus on what we need to accomplish [in Daytona] in a couple of weeks.”

While set to give the new mid-engined GTE contender its competition debut in the Rolex 24 at Daytona later this month, the car’s second race will come just four weeks later at Circuit of The Americas, with a single entry having been submitted for the WEC replacement round.

Fehan said details on that program, including drivers, have yet to be determined.

He explained the reason for doing the additional WEC races is to “try as best we can” to support the globe-trotting championship.

“We understand the value that has to the sanctioning body and the value to the global fan base,” he said.

“We know it’s important but they also know the business side of it that prevents us from doing both things. They get that.

“I think they also appreciate how hard we’re trying to make all of the accommodations we can to keep the ball moving down the field. 

“It’s not easy for us and they know it’s not easy for us and they appreciate that.”

No Issues in 2019 ‘Super Sebring’ Endeavor

Fehan said the team faced no issues in its double-duty endeavor at Sebring last year, in what was only the second-ever time the team raced three cars between two different series on the same weekend. 

In addition to its over-the-wall crew and several other staff, drivers Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller took part in both Friday’s eight-hour WEC race and the around-the-clock IMSA enduro the day later.

“That worked out great,” Fehan said. “We were lucky because we had enough equipment.

“It’s not like you can piggyback what you have set up. You’ve got to have a completely additional set of stuff.

“Between stuff that we had in stock and stuff that we had for the Cadillac program, we had enough in place.

“That system is getting better and we learned from that on all the things we did right and all the things that we know we could improve upon.”

Source John Dagys; SportsCar365


Fassler impressed after first laps in new Corvette

The waiting is over for Marcel Fassler. This weekend’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 was the first opportunity for the three-time Le Mans winner to drive the revolutionary mid-engine Corvette Stingray C8.8 — either in a test or even on a simulator — and he likes what he’s found.

“I heard really good things beforehand, so I was really looking forward to my very first drive,” said Fassler. “I finally got my first chance on Friday, and I am more than positively surprised how good and how much fun it is to drive. It’s difficult to compare both cars, because they are completely different in how they were built and set up, but this is a big step forward. I’ve enjoyed every lap in this car around the track.”

Fassler won GTLM honors as part of a 1-2 outing for Corvette Racing in his Rolex 24 debut in 2016, with his car prevailing by 0.034s in the closest class finish in event history. The 43-year-old Swiss driver enjoyed the changing conditions at the Roar — which have ranging from a warm Friday to a wet Saturday to a sunny but chilly Sunday — as he tested the silver No. 4 Stingray with Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin.

“The weather this weekend is the best we could have,” Fassler said. “Now we know hot conditions, we know wet conditions and today we’ll work with colder conditions. Experience shows that everything can happen at Daytona. It can be super warm or freezing cold, or a lot of rain like last year.”

Antonio Garcia, who shares the traditional yellow No. 3 Corvette with Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg, was also pleased with the progress of the C8.R.

“It’s going the right way,” said Garcia, a two-time Rolex 24 winner. “We’ve got to gather as much data as possible to prepare for the first race of the season — the first race for the actual car. It’s going to be very difficult for us, because we don’t know how the car is going to behave, with a lot of unknowns. I think we’re as prepared as we can be, and we are using this test to be even more prepared. So far, it’s going well. But in racing, you never know. We’re probably the best team out there to get with a new car, and so far it looks good and drives good. I can’t wait until the start of the race.”

Corvette Racing Program Manager Doug Fehan shares the optimism of his drivers.

“Everything operationally has worked out well,” Fehan said. “The cars are performing well. We haven’t had any major issues in durability and reliability — things we are looking for here. Every day we come out we write another page in setup and learning about the chassis and aero on the car. So every lap’s an important lap.”

Original Source: J.J O’Malley; Racer


‘Everyday Supercar’: A New Corvette Puts a Target on Ferrari’s Back

The $60,000 Stingray pushes its engine to the middle and expectations through the roof.

The new Corvette Stingray is racking up rapturous reviews and dominating industry awards.

From its dream-car debut in 1953 at the Motorama show at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, the Chevrolet Corvette has kept its engine up front, where sports-car tradition says it belongs.

But with sales of many fast, fun cars on the wane — blame the rise of dully practical S.U.V.s, an aging boomer audience or a declining car culture — the Corvette’s creators saw the need for a radical about-face. The 2020 Corvette Stingray has moved its engine behind the driver and passenger, adopting the physics-approved layout that brought Ferdinand Porsche his first racing successes in the 1930s. Today, this approach is associated with money-torching supercars from Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren.

The long-awaited “mid-engine” Corvette easily outruns its formidable predecessor, as I learned during a time-warping desert drive near Tortilla Flat, Ariz. The eighth-generation “C8” Corvette is earning rapturous reviews and dominating industry awards, as a car that can take on European exotics that cost $200,000 and more, but at a $59,995 base price that reads like a misprint.

“It’s certainly a great moment in the car business,” said Eddie Alterman, chief brand officer for Hearst Autos and a former editor in chief of Car and Driver. “It’s nothing less than the democratization of the supercar.”

At General Motors, that democratization includes a virtual decree that Chevy’s relatively blue-collar baby generate vastly more sales than, say, its Porsche 911 nemesis, enough to earn its keep in profits. Yet sales of sports cars and muscle cars have plunged by nearly half since 2000, on track for just 230,000 this year, according to analysts at Motor Intelligence. A reborn Toyota Supra, despite huge fanfare, has found a lukewarm 500 buyers a month since its summer debut, fewer than one-quarter of the expected 25,000 to 30,000 first-year sales of the Corvette.

At Porsche, a single sport utility vehicle, the Macan, finds more buyers than all the brand’s sports cars and Panamera sedans combined. Unsurprisingly, the world’s speed merchants, including Lamborghini, Bentley and Jaguar, have developed S.U.V.s into their best-sellers around the world, with entries from Aston Martin and Ferrari on the way. Some of those companies had vowed to never sully their names with a sport utility. Never mind.

Into this minefield steps Tadge Juechter. As just the fourth chief engineer in the Corvette’s fabled 67-year history, Mr. Juechter holds one of the most scrutinized positions in the American industry, his every utterance parsed for clues to the ’Vette’s future.

The previous-generation Corvette, the first to wear the Stingray badge since 1968, also generated robust sales beginning in 2014. Yet Mr. Juechter and his team saw a car nearing its end, both in technical terms and its ability to win new buyers.

“We saw an aging demographic, the same faces at Corvette events year after year,” he said.

That honking, 6.2-liter V8 up front had become an Achilles’ heel. The Corvette’s top-shelf, $121,000 ZR1 edition was already pumping out 755 horsepower, keeping pace in an unprecedented industry horsepower war. Moving the engine aftward — shifting critical weight over driven rear wheels — became the only way to apply such monstrous force to the pavement while improving traction and stability.

The move risked alienating the Corvette’s tradition-loving buyer base. At a design clinic for owners of various sports cars, Mr. Juechter discovered that current customers were split roughly 50-50 on the mid-engine switch. But among supercar owners that Chevy hoped to conquer, 90 percent favored it.

“We had to go for it,” Mr. Juechter said. “We did it purely for physics rules, but the byproduct was that it would also appeal to a new generation. We try to respect the past, but not be stuck in the past.”

G.M. had teased the faithful for decades, experimenting with a midmounted layout in a series of fanciful prototypes, beginning with the CERV 1 (for Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle) in 1959. Finally, for the 2020 model year, the near-mythical mid-engine Corvette is here, including the coupe’s Ferrari-esque view of its V8, provocatively exposed below a glass cover.

The public’s first glimpse of the car, in April, supported the Corvette engineering team’s confidence. Mr. Juechter drove a prototype, its body work disguised by a black-and-white pattern, through a bustling Times Square, with Mary Barra, the G.M. chief, riding shotgun. Rolling, windows down, Mr. Juechter heard younger voices yelling, “Mid-engine Corvette!”

“We imprinted on young people a super passion for this car,” he said. “Our job is to push that, that every drive can be a joy, an adventure.”

Dodging Times Square tourists and Ubers in a 495-horsepower, roughly 190-m.p.h. sports car is one form of adventure. But in my Arizona test, including roller-coaster desert curves, this new model combined moonshot acceleration, handling, tech and versatility like no rival remotely near its price. That includes a 2.8-second catapult to 60 miles an hour, on a par with a $250,000 Ferrari 488 GTB; a sharply improved, jet-fighter-inspired cockpit; and a GPS-based video data system that records street or track drives, overlays them with animated telemetry readouts and lets drivers analyze their performance with racing software.

The Corvette is notably aerodynamic, and gets solid mileage.
New sports cars are safe and approachable for amateurs, yet still rewarding for skilled pilots.

“It doesn’t have the operatic Sturm und Drang of a Ferrari or Lamborghini, but it really is an everyday supercar,” Mr. Alterman said.

Fuel economy is surprisingly decent, roughly 26 to 28 miles per gallon at a steady highway cruise. The Corvette is notably aerodynamic, and can deactivate half its cylinders to save fuel. The latest driver-adjustable magnetic suspension, a G.M.-first technology now adopted by several European exotics, lets the ’Vette drive as smoothly as some luxury cars in its Touring mode, despite the sleeping-bear V8 just over your shoulder.

“It couldn’t be just a weekend toy,” Mr. Juechter said. “A lot of people use this as their only car.”

Perhaps because do-it-all S.U.V.s are strong-arming sales — and definitely because today’s fans won’t put up with punishing rides or dodgy reliability — the worldwide trend is all about more practical sports cars that are safe and approachable for amateurs, yet still rewarding for skilled pilots.

Many mid-engine exotics lack a trunk, because the engine hogs the space. Yet Corvette designers made room for a trunk that can fit two golf bags, in addition to the Porsche-style “frunk” up front where the engine used to go.

Even the carefree convertible model doesn’t neglect its chores, with an ingenious powered soft-top that tucks away without stealing an inch of luggage space. Welcome practicality does bring a visual downside: The wide, chunky rear deck makes the ’Vette a bit back heavy.

Proper fits aside, wishful fans didn’t find a little red-ribboned Corvette under their Christmas tree: A now-settled G.M. strike has delayed production until February. For Chevy’s pampered halo car, only about 12 units each hour will roll off the production line in Bowling Green, Ky., down the road from the National Corvette Museum.

In anticipation of huge demand, more than 400 workers have been hired to fill a second daily shift, including employees laid off from Chevy’s closed plant in Lordstown, Ohio. (G.M. plans to open a new battery plant there, part of a $2.3 billion joint venture with LG Chem of South Korea.)

Mr. Juechter is confident that Chevrolet can sell every Corvette it can build, for now. The real test comes after the initial frenzy subsides. Mr. Alterman points to an increasingly short, roughly 18-month shelf life for such high-profile performers, with fickle buyers and collectors always in pursuit of the hot new thing. He sees the Corvette borrowing from Porsche’s ultra-profitable playbook, keeping the lineup fresh with myriad styles, performance upgrades and personalization options.

Though Mr. Juechter wouldn’t comment on future models, the cottage industry of Corvette rumors cites development of a hybrid ’Vette with up to 900 horsepower.

The dominance of S.U.V.s and the momentous shift to electrics has automakers playing offense.

Aside from an industry explosion of superpowered sport utilities, Ford ignited a controversy when it unveiled a Tesla-baiting electric S.U.V. and called it the Mustang Mach E. The traditional Mustang is enjoying its own golden age of performance, including a bonkers Shelby GT500 with 760 horsepower and an affordable four-cylinder model that gets 32 m.p.g. on the highway. Yet Mustang sales continue to tumble.

And while traditionalists are crying foul over the Mustang Mach E — first S.U.V.s stole customers, now they’re stealing legendary names — Mr. Alterman suggests that this heresy won’t be the last. A five-seat, Corvette-branded S.U.V. could be the most “everyday supercar” of all.

“You’ve got that sub-brand of the Mustang that’s so evocative,” he said, “so why not draw on it? There’s an opportunity for Chevy to do the same thing.”

Original Source Lawrence Ulrich; NY Times


Garcia: “Big Steps” to Come With Corvette C8.R at Roar

Corvette Racing drivers on anticipation of Roar Before Rolex 24 with new mid-engined C8.R…

Antonio Garcia believes there will be “big steps” to come in the Chevrolet Corvette C8.R’s development as the new-for-2020 mid-engined GT Le Mans class contender makes its public debut in this weekend’s Roar Before the Rolex 24.

The Pratt & Miller-built Corvette, along with Porsche’s 2019-spec 911 RSR, are the two all-new GTE-spec cars set for their first official competitive outings in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition during the three-day mandatory test.

While having already completed private testing at the 3.56-mile oval/road course, Garcia believe every lap will matter in their plan for the weekend.

“There is a lot to discover and develop,” Garcia said. “Usually your starting point is better than what you previously had.

“But this is completely different. We are still in the early stages with this new Corvette.

“There will be big steps for sure.

“I don’t know when we will get to the point where we will start making little steps. We need to run this car and we need to race it to find out where we are against our competition.

“We are concentrating on our own work. Whenever it becomes race time, we will know where we actually are.”

Garcia’s new full-season co-driver Jordan Taylor said they won’t necessarily be concerned about pace at the Roar, which will also set the pit lane and garage allocations through a qualifying session on Sunday morning.

The 28-year-old, who makes the switch from his family’s Wayne Taylor Racing operation, said little things, such as driver changes, will be a focal point as well once they achieve the targeted baseline.

“As many laps as we can get at the Roar and going through the program, getting all the drivers on the same page from a setup point of view and then the little things like pit stops and driver changes will be different than what we’ve had in the past,” he said.

“The car is a little more tricky to get in and out.

“Understanding that muscle memory of the process of getting in and out, where the seatbelts go, where the drinks bottle is, where the air hose goes… those little details that we haven’t refined that were refined with the C7.R are things that will show up in a 24-hour event, so those are things we will need to check off the list at the Roar.”

Gavin: “Very Structured” Plan for Weekend

Team veteran Oliver Gavin, who returns to the No. 4 entry alongside Tommy Milner, said that coming away with achieving 60 or 70 percent of their list will be considered a “big win” over the weekend.

“The team is going to have a very structured plan,” Gavin said. “And that’s one of the things that’s so good about Corvette Racing. We plan our time and fundamentally understand what all we have to work through and the list of things we need to achieve.

“The third drivers will need time in the car. We’ll all have to work through that program and procedure as best we can.

“Certainly we’ll learn a huge amount every time we go on track just with how certain tires work, how the braking package works, the aero setup, weight placement… all kinds of different thoughts that the team will look to work through.

“We know that of that list of 50 things we want to try and achieve, the chances are that if we can come away with 60 or 70 percent of that done, it’s a pretty big win.”

Original Source; John Dagys. Sportscar365


2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Nurburgring Lap Time Is 7:28.30: Report

There’s plenty of video evidence of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8’s presence at the Nürburgring, so it’s no surprise that that at least one of the C8’s numerous laps was a timed, balls-to-the-wall affair. Surprisingly, Chevy never revealed any lap times from any of the mid-engined car’s track sessions, but now there’s a report claiming that a lap time is pretty much on par with that set by a Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4.

According to Muscle Cars & Trucks, the C8 set a lap of the Nürburgring in 7:28.3. The aforementioned Lamborghini recorded a lap of 7:28 flat when tested by Germany’s Sport Auto, and over the course of a 12.9-mile, 154-corner lap, that’s well within the margin of driver error.

One has to be slightly skeptical of this claimed time, and not just because MC&T doesn’t disclose the source of its information—although the site has proven to be right in multiple claims surrounding GM products this year. The C8’s time is only some 11 seconds quicker than that set by a C7 Z51 in poor conditions, and with the gains made to the Corvette’s transmission and 6.2-liter V-8 in the C8 generation, it feels like that margin should be much bigger. Admittedly, almost everyone who has driven the C8 near its limits so far seems to say that the car’s suspension setup is a work in progress and that there’s a ton of untapped potential in the chassis. This means that quicker times may yet be possible even without increasing the Corvette’s power output.

But since the C8 is at least semi-believably as quick around the ‘Ring as an entry-level Lamborghini, we can only fantasize about what times the faster, seemingly inevitable Z06 and ZR1 will achieve. We know that one of the two will drop the cam-in-block, cross-plane crank 6.2 for a C8.R-derived V-8 with a lightweight flat-plane crank and dual overhead camshafts, which will offer greater horsepower per liter—and potentially a broader rev range.

This engine is rumored to make as much as 600 horsepower and 620 pound-feet of torque, though there’s no telling whether it’ll arrive on the scene for the Z06 or the ZR1 (or its equivalent), which will reportedly gain an electrified front axle and twin turbochargers for a total output of 900 horsepower. The mere concept of a Corvette with McLaren P1-level performance is enough to make anyone wave the Stars & Stripes.

The Drive contacted General Motors for a statement on the C8’s alleged lap time, and we will update when we receive comment.

Source; James Gilboy- The Drive


Why the C8 Corvette Stingray Is So Quick

The mid-engine Corvette hits 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. Here’s how.

We could forever debate the philosophical implications of the Chevrolet Corvette’s switch to a mid-engine layout, but when it comes to physics, the repercussions are clear: moving the Corvette’s heaviest component behind the driver has a dramatic effect on the car’s ability to accelerate.

The Z51-package C8 and the outgoing Z51 C7 have similar weight-to-power ratios, yet the new car can sprint to 60 mph almost a second sooner. To understand why, you have to remember that a tire’s grip is related to the mass it carries. To maximize a powerful car’s ability to accelerate, you want weight over the driven wheels—but only enough so that the car can put its power to ground. Once you’ve accelerated and upshifted to a speed where traction isn’t a concern, weight is acceleration’s enemy. The trick to making a powerful car quick, then, isn’t to make it heavy. It’s to manage where the weight lies.

The front-engine, rear-drive C7 had a front-to-rear weight distribution of 49/51 percent—roughly 1750 pounds on its rear tires when the car wasn’t moving. The mid-engine, rear-drive C8 carries less of its mass on the nose—there are 2210 pounds on the rear tires when stationary. That’s 460 pounds more, which means considerably more available traction at the rear wheels.

Because weight shifts rearward under acceleration, that figure only improves as the car gains speed. To take advantage of this additional traction, Corvette engineers fulfilled their God-given purpose: they sent more torque to the rear wheels. Compared with the automatic-transmission C7, the C8’s first gear is a massive 21 percent shorter—the new car’s rear wheels experience a torque increase of more than 20 percent from that change alone. When you factor in the 10 lb-ft bump from the new V-8, the LT2, the C8’s rear wheels receive an additional 1350 lb-ft. No wonder the new Corvette wears 305-section rear rubber in place of the C7’s 285s.

Those gearing changes alone would account for almost half of the C8’s amazing 0-to-60 gap over the old car—a 1.0-second advantage. The rest, of course, is a function of the available traction at the rear tires, the LT2’s 35 additional horsepower, and finally, the dual-clutch transmission. Which can both shift without interrupting power delivery and perform a perfectly violent launch-control clutch dump.

And violent it is. The C8’s peak acceleration is just over 1.0 g, occurring almost a second after launch. That figure dwarfs the C7’s 0.7-g peak. And in case you’re wondering, at those respective peaks, the C8’s rear tires are under 2900 pounds of load, and the C7’s carry only 2150. The same dynamic weight distribution affects braking. Additional weight on the rear of a C7 would even out braking performance—under 1.0 g of deceleration, the car’s front wheels carry 66 percent of the car’s total mass, while the C8’s deal with just 57 percent. This means the braking components up front can be made smaller, and indeed they were. Front rotors shrank from 13.6 to 13.3 inches, and the rears grew, from 13.3 inches to 13.8.

Braking distances didn’t really change relative to the C7, but the C8’s switch to a brake-by-wire setup (there is no direct, physical connection between brake pedal and hydraulic system) carries a number of advantages. GM says the change allows for the deletion of the traditional brake booster and vacuum pump, moves that give more front-trunk space and better sightlines.

Those are certainly benefits, but they’re unlikely to be the real reason for the switch. Consider the by-wire system a tacit admission of a forthcoming hybrid Corvette. (Hybrids and most electric vehicles use blended brake systems that can continually shift braking duties between electric regenerative braking and the conventional friction brakes. The drawback is inconsistent and unusual pedal feel. A by-wire pedal eliminates this.)

Once we start thinking about a hybrid Corvette, the mid-engine layout really starts to pay dividends. Namely, the possible installation of electric motors on the front wheels, to provide all-wheel drive. Another traction path that would not have been possible with a front-mounted engine.

Finally, the mid-engine car’s added rear traction will be a huge benefit to the inevitable high-output internal-combustion variants. Like our C8 test car, the base C7 easily put its power to the ground. Only the supercharged Z06 and ZR1 models had trouble—and the next ones will have less. Add in electric all-wheel drive with torque vectoring across the front axle and it’s clear why the Corvette switched to a mid- engine layout.

Hang tight, my little puppy dogs, because this is going to be one hell of a thrill ride.

MISSING THE MANUAL

There’s only one reason to celebrate the death of the manual transmission in the Corvette: the C7’s seven-speed was geared so long that it sapped the punch out of holeshots. Able to achieve more than 50 mph in first (56 mph on C7s without the Z51 package), the front-engine car’s off-the-line acceleration wasn’t nearly as brisk as its mid-engine successor’s. First gear in the C8’s twin-clutch automatic multiplies torque by an extra 50 percent compared with the old manual—in fact, second is almost as long as the manual’s first. Gearing a manual C8 with ratios similar to those of the dual-clutch would slow the 0–60 sprint by the time it takes to make the two shifts between a standstill and 60. The delta would likely be about half a second.

I don’t know about you, but I’d be fine with a manual-transmission C8 capable of 3.2 to 60. On second thought, there’s no reason to celebrate the death of the Corvette’s manual transmission. Now get off my lawn.

Source; Jason Cammisa- RoadandTrack


Chevy Corvette C8 vs. Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: A Track Comparison

Forget Mustang vs. Camaro. Ford’s Shelby GT500 is ready to challenge Chevrolet’s flagship C8

Mustang vs. Corvette? Go ahead, pinch your thumb and index finger to the bridge of your nose, squint your eyes, and blink hard. When you look again, the words on the page won’t have changed.

Rarely has MotorTrend conducted (or concocted) such a bold comparison. But it’s a mad, mad new world we’re in now. Forget the Blue Oval’s sacrosanct rivalry with Camaro, which had always left the Corvette to chase the elusive, pricier Porsche 911.

Oh sure, the base pony car models will still compete, same as always. But the top-end Mustang GT500 is so excellent it deserves higher-octane competition. The final piece of evidence: The Mustang Shelby GT500 costs more than Chevrolet’s new mid-engine Corvette supercar when similarly equipped. Game on.

The C8 Corvette and Shelby GT500 have stirred up more buzz than anything else that’s come from the Motor City in recent memory. After decades of teases and concepts, the ‘Vette finally slides the engine back in the chassis to join the transaxle aft of the driver’s derriere. And after the extremely successful Shelby GT350, which finished a sharply creased second place in our 2019’s Best Driver’s Car, Ford brought in even heavier artillery with a load more horsepower and torque.

These two contenders offer different kinds of appeal, both inspiring great desire in the high-performance enthusiast world. Both offer capabilities that measure well against far pricier foreigners, without the kind of sacrifices that used to come with the label “Made in America.” Gone (mostly) are the long-muttered utterances about cheap features and fixtures, crude handling, and lack of refinement.

Of course, when you look inside these two cars, there’s an immediate difference. The Corvette is an American interpretation of a mid-six-figure European supercar; the Shelby has nearly the same interior as that rental Mustang convertible at the Hertz counter at LAX—albeit with better seats and some minor brightwork tacked on to disguise its cheesy rotary shift knob and plasticky switchgear. Ford’s interior guys still have some work to do before they can declare their Shelby variants to be world-class premium.

But this is not a comparison test for value shoppers who peruse our Buyer’s Guide, niggling over inches of legroom and warranty coverage.

This is a track test—the literal interpretation of where the rubber meets the road.

The C8 Corvette has come of age—finally, I might add—with a style and behavior that bring to mind a word like “sophistication.” The Corvette’s new shape will sit well with the German and Italian exotica in the valet lot at the country club.

The Shelby GT500 comes from another, more purely American place, the pony car. But since the arrival of the S550 chassis in 2015, the muscular Mustang and its more powerful derivatives have risen above the hot rods of yore, to compare well with European icons.

The ‘Vette excels with exotic appearance, precise and agile handling, and balanced power with a nice rush of strong, smooth, jetlike urge. The Muscle-tang crushes like a bodybuilder with brains. Its huge forward forces do not overwhelm its chassis, as in many of the beloved classics we’ve known before.

The C8 Stingray carries a lithe, striking new shape that will grab attention from a block away. Its lines do a terrific job of conveying more of a sense of value and beauty, yet it’s still imbued with a half-century-plus of genetic identifiers. I predict this car will generate more than a few “Oh, wow!” reactions from the public long after it has gone on sale.

The Mustang is a beefed-up beast with bulging biceps, based on our well-known sporty coupe. It will light up the pony car crowd, certainly. But among the elites, the Shelby’s familiar muscle-bound shape may still result in upturned noses, window-rattling V-8 rumble or not. Where the Mustang scores more points in this contest is in its competence in motion.

At speed, the ‘Vette’s strongest dynamic assets are described in a list of two: first, low polar moment, and second, forward traction. Chevy engineers have created a machine that benefits in exactly the ways it should: more centralized mass and the resulting rearward weight bias.

The Corvette has long been the bad boy of the racetrack, the Bart Simpson of supercars: rude, loud, cheap, unpredictable, and hard to handle, but fast and fun in its own brash way. Now, the Corvette has finally grown up. The C8 Corvette is more sophisticated, capable, and mature.

When the majority of the weight in a chassis is nearer the center of gravity, the car will change direction more eagerly. Formerly carried way up front under those arching fenders, the big engine actually resisted the steering tires as they tried to pull that hunk of metal around to face the apex of a turn. The amidships engine makes the steering feel responsive, more direct, and more precise. It’s less work. The new ‘Vette slices its way into a bend in a most delightful way.

Too much, sometimes—and this is the tricky part of the setup. Quick response can overwork the rear tires and create oversteer. In several high-speed tests, and again here at Virginia International Raceway, we have found some of that in the C8’s track personality. It really will point to the apex entering a corner and sometimes overdo it and end up sideways, with the widely adjustable stability control switch fully off (thank you for providing us with that choice, Chevy).

But when you apply your American V-8 torque, then you find the greatest improvement in driving the American Sports Car: It puts ponies to pavement. The C8 hooks up. Chevy has taken advantage of placing the engine over the rear wheels, and that loading successfully creates forward thrust far better than any Corvette before. The new ‘Vette launches hard from a slow corner or a stoplight/dragstrip. Check out that 0-60 time, beating cars with far higher power ratings and even some with all-wheel drive. That, my friends, is traction.

In fact, the ‘Vette transfers weight rearward so well that it sometimes goes into another kind of slide: understeer. The front loses grip a bit prematurely as a result of the light front loads. What to do? Is it bad? No, but this is a brand-new baby, and there’s still something to be learned. We believe we will see the C8 Corvette improve further as the Chevy team learns more about this all-new mid-engine phenomenon.

In street-tuned mode dashing around VIR, the ‘Vette revealed deliciously instant steering response. It was quick and stable as I carved into a corner, and it revealed snappy trailing-throttle oversteer when I released the brake. Both are clearly influences of the mid-engine low polar moment.

As I accelerated off slow corners, like VIR’s Oak Tree, the C8’s ground-gripping traction rockets the car forward, and it remains well balanced even though it feels like it might wheelie. I found a consistent gradual side slip in third and fourth gears exiting faster sweepers. The C8 has more power oversteer at 80 mph than it does at 40, which is unusual.

The new Corvette’s braking was strong and stable with moderate nose dive. There was some isolation, if not the degree of e-pedal numbness I feared, and the brakes were cooled with some really nice Z51 brake ducts. Last, there was no more float, better suspension damping, but not harsh.

Crawling under the hood, we then adjusted the C8’s suspension to its track settings—which simply comes down to much more negative camber, front and rear. When added to the 8 degrees of caster (the same in Street or Track mode), the Corvette creates camber gain when the wheels are turned, which is especially good for tight turns, and a strong self-centering force for stability and good on-center feel.

High caster will also cross-weight a chassis because the outside wheel swings in an arc upward as the inside wheel swings down. These will both typically work to reduce the understeer that we squawked about in earlier tests.

The effect of the added camber was much improved grip everywhere, reducing but not eliminating traits of midcorner understeer and drop-throttle oversteer and raising speeds with better manners. The basic traits of midcorner understeer and trailing-throttle oversteer were still there, just not as much.

In Track setup, the Corvette’s lap times improved by 2 to 3 seconds with less falloff and better grip on a long run. Tying this all together was an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission that worked quite well at full chat, completing the performance of a much improved product. Far more than deserving of the title, this fresh offering is a 21st century new chapter, with more room to improve. One step back with the engine is a giant leap forward for the Stingray.

The GT500, on the other hand, has sprung from the loins of another highly regarded thoroughbred, the GT350. As such it comes from a known source that has been developed for years. It shows on track, especially.

Whereas the C8 is precise, the GT500 hoons. Toss it around. Grab it by the scruff of the neck. This pony encourages aggression. Its version of refinement manifests in confidence for the driver. And the GT500 works in both standard and Carbon Fiber Track Pack form. It is beautifully balanced on track. The steering stays alive all the way through a corner. Quick turn-ins show no evil twitches. Pouring on the ponies rockets it down the straights, and slides come slow and controllably. Within reason.

There’s that word again: reason. Use it when you squeeze down the Shelby’s accelerator. The supercharged cross-plane Coyote-based V-8 clearly makes all of its advertised 760 horsepower. This is another step into the Brave New World of high technology, and overeagerness with that gas pedal will be rewarded with jail and/or hospital time.

Every one of those ponies made themselves known as the Mustang devoured the long back straight at VIR, touching nearly  170 mph, lap after lap. No power fade here, unlike some other American blown V-8s making similar numbers.

The Coyote belts out a stirring bellow or calms to quiet as a mouse with just a switch of the electronic valves in the dual exhaust, allowing you to decide whether to wake the neighbors.

All that thrust goes through a new Tremec dual-clutch seven-speed that exhibited fine behavior on the street and flat out. Manual shifting during a hot lap is just a distraction, and the GT500’s auto mode rivals Porsche’s PDK (yes, really) and does everything I would do, anyway. It even had the savvy to hold a higher gear in places rather than constantly throw out raucous downshifts.

On straights, there’s a rewarding “over-torque” feature that gives a little extra shove on each shift, like a manual power shift. Yet in corners, I felt the Tremec smooth those out. Impressive. The track program is really dialed in. The Ford team should be proud.

This thrust twists a trick carbon-fiber driveshaft into a Torsen gear-type limited-slip differential—a good choice for a front-engine chassis because it doesn’t lock up much off power. This helps get the GT500 pointed into the turn, and it’s also a non-wear item, unlike the clutch-type diffs.

If the driver remains very responsible with the right pedal, the Shelby is responsive and stable. The MagneRide shock system soaked up the curbs and bumps, but it floated a bit under the loads of pro speeds. Happily, though, when the PS4S tires did break loose, it was mostly a gradual, even enjoyable experience. The GT500 has that magic combination of steering response at the limit: the ability to tighten its line while loaded laterally in the middle of a corner, without losing grip at the back.

The Shelby handles this great grunt very well—even with its traction/stability control fully disengaged. (I don’t recommend this unless you’ve completed several professional driving schools, one of which Ford offers with the purchase of a GT500, or have won Daytona at least once.) It’s an incredible thrill, breathtaking, to lay the pedal to the metal. But it requires skill to handle that thrill.

Stopping this rig were perhaps the largest rotors (16.5 inches) and Brembo calipers I’ve yet to experience. Although the big Shelby could dive deep, deep into the tight corners VIR presents at the culmination of its long straights, it was here I could find my only real complaint: a bit of a long brake pedal, which was a little disconcerting at 170 mph. No fade but some squish. They even bled the brakes for me, yet both test Shelbys felt spongy. This was surprising because I recall complaining that the GT350’s brakes were too strong, requiring only a big toe. Perfect would be somewhere in between

The incredible performance capability of the new Shelby (especially with the Carbon Fiber Track package) moves the Mustang into the supercar realm, it pleases me to claim. Both Shelby models provide such thrills that they represent good value even at these prices—driving with confidence-inspiring and consistent speed that is rare to find at any price.

So, to the numbers: Lap times for the C8 Z51 and the standard GT500 were quite comparable, though achieved in different ways. The Shelby evaporates the straights; the C8 carves the corners.

The Shelby carries the load of your family, so in spite of its fantastic, predictable balance, the Corvette can leave it in the twisties, driven precisely.

Once we tried the GT500 equipped with the Carbon Fiber Track package, however, it was all over for the street ‘Vette. The CFTP Shelby is magic on the racetrack, wearing R-compound Sport Cup 2s, carbon wheels, lower and firmer springs/bars/shocks, a proper wing and hell-yes-they-work aero fitments, and much more. Fire it up, and the Shelby is long gone in a blaze of glory.

So here’s the greatest difference between these fantastical motorcars. Shelby: raging, proficient power. C8 Corvette: precision, potential, and style. The price, similar. The choice, yours. The pleasure, ecstatic.

Source; Randy Pobst: MotorTrend


This Corvette achieved supercar-rivaling speed without a single drop of gasoline

Several companies are developing electric supercars but, for now, the fastest one of all is a modified Corvette.

Maryland-based Genovation Cars built an electric Corvette called the GXE, and that car just hit 211.8 mph at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. That’s the same as a Ferrari SF90 Stradale. Genovation claims that is also a world record for a street legal electric supercar, but the company was competing against itself. The GXE set the previous record of 210.2 in September 2019.

The GXE boasts 800 horsepower, which is 45 hp more than the 2019 Corvette ZR1 — the most powerful production Corvette ever. The GXE is also based on the same C7-generation Corvette platform as the ZR1, rather than the mid-engined Corvette C8. However, the GXE is a hair shy of the ZR1’s 212-mph top speed — for now, at least. Genovation claims the electric car is capable of more than 220 mph. It will need that kind of speed to beat an upcoming crop of electric supercars.

Croatian firm Rimac claims its Concept Two will reach 258 mph, while the Japanese Aspark Owl boasts a claimed top speed of 248 mph. Running prototypes of both cars exist, but no customer cars have been built, and their manufacturers’ top-speed claims have not been independently verified. The second-generation Tesla Roadster has a claimed top speed of 250 mph, but the car hasn’t gone into production yet. The same goes for the Lotus Evija, which will surpass 200 mph, according to its maker.

The Bugatti Chiron remains the fastest car in the world, having achieved 304 mph in August 2019. A handful of other automakers are eyeing the 300-mph barrier, but with gasoline rather than electric power. While electric motors can produce absurd amounts of horsepower (of the cars listed above, the GXE is the least powerful), heavy battery packs put electric cars at a disadvantage when it comes to weight.

The GXE isn’t exactly a stripped-down track car, either. It comes with adaptive suspension, a 10-speaker JBL audio system, and 10.4-inch central touchscreen. Genovation plans to build a limited production run of 75 cars, with the first customer deliveries expected in 2020. The company previously quoted a price of $750,000, which could buy you 12 gasoline-powered 2020 Corvettes.

Source; Digital Trends– Stephen Edelstein


2020 Chevy Corvette Widebody Rendering Looks Seriously Sinister

The 2020 Chevy Corvette changed the game for the iconic model by putting the engine behind the passenger compartment for the first time. We’re still months away from the C8 Corvette entering public hands, but that hasn’t stopped HugoSilva Designs from imagining a new Corvette with a downright sinister widebody kit that does little to quell the Corvette’s already busy styling.

The trio of renderings shows a lowered and stanced Corvette with the wheels pushed to the corners and new sheet metal to cover them. At the front, there’s an aggressive lower front fascia that hovers inches above the ground. The new front fenders arch over the big wheels tucked underneath. The design probably increases engine and brake cooling.

At the rear, the tires receive new, wider fenders that enhance the car’s already pronounced hips. There appear to be additional vents at the back of the new fenders, likely aiding in cooling. The lower rear fascia is new, while the bumper has carbon fiber accents. The exhaust tips are unique; however, they do maintain the stock car exhaust’s general shape and design. Then there’s the massive rear wing completes the widebody kit. You can see hints of Lotus in the car’s design from certain angles, too, but it’s only a passing resemblance if you squint.

One aspect of the new Corvette that’s flown under the radar since its debut in July is the aftermarket scene. Tuners and the Corvette go back decades, and they’re not abandoning the mid-engine Corvette just because the engine moved. There will be body kits, intake and exhaust systems, and more for the car when it arrives, allowing customers to customize their ride further or increase its performance.

Right now, the automaker is preparing for the new model’s launch and is seeking new employees to help with it. Production for the Corvette is set to begin in February with customer deliveries following. General Motors missed its self-imposed deadline of beginning production by the end of the year due to the UAW contract strike that lasted six weeks.

Source: HugoSilva Designs via CarScoops


Ode to the Burnout

Save your letters. we know better.

Thanks to the curiosities of a liberal-arts education, I found myself with a 21-credit workload in my last semester of senior year, one that included a seminar on John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Published in 1667, the epic, 10-volume poem wraps itself around the biblical fall of man, painting a picture of humanity’s temptation from Satan’s view. Our professor argued that, deep down, Milton saw temptation as a kind of litmus test for the soul.

This story originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Road & Track.

If that’s true, Performance Car of the Year might well be the bar exam for moral fortitude. Spend a week in the world’s most spectacular cars. Visit a beckoning track and some of the country’s best roads. Don’t go weak in the knees at the soprano trill of a 600-hp, twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter McLaren V-8. Try not to think too hard about being one of the first people on the planet to get your hands around the neck of the mid-engine Corvette. Be a good boy. But as John Henry opined, a man ain’t nothing but a man. We were somewhere outside Tahoe when that wide lake of asphalt and six days of sleep deprivation finally got to me. I’d spent the better part of a week pretending to be a professional. But when I found myself alone, in the first mid-engine Corvette, with acres of empty ski-park pavement ahead, no amount of restraint or discipline could stand up to desire. I had found my garden, and the serpent was waiting.

I’m more of a middle-path kind of guy, anyhow.

Burnouts and donuts, juvenile as they may be, are as pure a celebration of the automobile as you’ll find. Sports cars are wrapped up in the quandaries of personal freedom more than any other vehicle on four wheels, in pushing the bounds of legally and socially acceptable behavior. We do the math every time we choose to take the convertible to work instead of the family crossover, when we push a brake zone a little deeper, when we lean on the accelerator while chasing shadows up a mountain. Or when we turn the rear tires to billowing clouds. Modern life is increasingly a series of confined boxes, and a sports car fits in none of them.

A good burnout isn’t entirely frivolous. If you listen, it will tell you a thing or two about the people who put the car together. In this age of eager litigation, some automakers simply deny you your inalienable right to light tires on fire. Doesn’t matter how many systems you shut off, a digital overlord will step in and pull power until you get back to acting like an adult. On a certain level, it makes sense. If you sat down and designed a sports car by bullet point, listing necessary functions on a spreadsheet, a burnout would be last on the list. Apart from drag racing, the act serves no logical function. But it’s such a fundamental question: Who’s in control of this vehicle? You or some attorney in Michigan?

This next-generation Corvette has moved the badge further from its roots than any Vette before. And from the moment I saw it sulking in the California sun, I needed to know if the thing remembered how to be America’s sweetheart. So I switched off everything and leaned into mechanical masochism. Somewhere, Satan smiled. The car performed a perfect pirouette, that pushrod small-block screaming at the sky while the tires went to vapor. A devotional to free will. Automotive enthusiasm’s shit-eating grin.

If God really wanted us to be good all the time, he wouldn’t have planted that apple tree. Or given us rear-wheel drive.

Original Source: Road&Track


Daily Driver 2019 Corvette ZR1 Runs the Quarter Mile in 8 Seconds

With the C8 Corvette on the way, the 2019 Corvette ZR1 has sort of slipped from our collective consciousness, yet every once in a while a video comes along that snaps our focus back to the most powerful Corvette ever made.

It took the tuners over a year to unlock the secrets of the ZR1’s ECU, but thanks to HP Tuners and shops like Houston’s Late Model Racecraft, the true potential of the supercharged LT5 V8 has finally been unleashed.

YouTube channel High Tech Corvette calls this ZR1 one of the fastest in the country right now and we agree as we watch it blast through the quarter-mile in 8.7 seconds at over 155 mph.

With the drag radials on the car, this ZR1 hooks up so well that even removing the rear high wing only saves a few hundredths on the clock.

From High Tech Corvette via YouTube:


C7 Corvette Z06 Coupe and Convertible Win Awards from Germany’s Sport Auto Magazine

Even though these models are no longer offered for sale in Europe, readers of the German automotive magazine Sport Auto are still showing the love for the C7 Corvette Z06!

For the 27th year in a row, Sport Auto turns over voting to its readers in 18 different production car categories and 10 tuning categories to come up with the fan favorites of the year, and the Corvette Z06 came out on top in each of its respective categories. A total of 12,352 Sport Auto readers took part in the poll.

For the “Convertibles/Roadsters Under 150,000 Euros”, the C7 Corvette Z06 Convertible won 52.2% of the vote. The second choice was the Jaguar F-Type SVR with 29% of the vote and the Maserati GranCabrio’s 15.3% came in third place. For the “Coupes under 150,000 Euros”, the C7 Corvette Z06 won the category with 38.7% of the vote, again beating out the Jaguar F-Type SVR Coupe at 21.9% with the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye receiving 15.5% of the vote.

“We are proud and delighted to receive two prestigious Sport Auto Awards. They show the readers’ continuous appreciation of this exceptional sports car and are a fantastic send-off for the current Corvette generation that will soon make way for its new mid-engined successor,” said René Kreis, head of public relations at Cadillac and Chevrolet Performance Cars Europe, who accepted the awards alongside Patrick Herrmann, product experience manager at Cadillac and Chevrolet Performance Cars Europe.

Original Source : Keith Cornett Chevrolet Europe