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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


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


C8 Corvette ZR1 to Get Hybrid Twin-Turbo DOHC V-8 With 900 HP!

Halo model will also be the first-ever AWD Corvette

MotorTrend’s rendering of what a C8 Corvette Z06 could look like

Back in August, we exclusively reported the upcoming mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette Z06 would feature a twin-turbo flat-plane-crank dual-overhead-cam V-8 based on the C8.R race car’s engine. Now, we can report from an even higher-placed source that the range-topping C8 Corvette ZR1 will add a performance hybrid system to boost it to 900 hp.

Rumors of a hybridized C8 have been flowing for quite some time, but now we have exclusive confirmation from a senior official at GM. The ZR1 will build on the Z06’s all-new engine with a performance- (not fuel economy-) oriented hybrid system to fill in torque gaps and increase total output to an even 900 hp.

Our source wouldn’t elaborate on the engineering details, so we’re still unclear whether street cars will share the C8.R’s 5.5-liter displacement, which is unusually large for a flat-plane engine and would likely vibrate too much for customers’ liking. Past rumors have suggested displacement ranging from 4.2 liters to 5.5 liters.

At a minimum, a hybrid system would sandwich an electric motor between the engine and transmission to bolster output. We’ve heard previously, though, the somewhat small frunk in the base C8 Stingray is protecting space for a pair of front-mounted electric motors which can both increase performance and, more critically, perform active torque vectoring to complement the rear axle’s electronically controlled limited-slip differential. This first-of-a-kind all-wheel-drive ZR1 could see major benefits in handling and the ability to put down power while exiting corners. This is a strategy that’s been employed to great effect on other hybrid supercars like the Porsche 918 Spyder.

Naturally, electric motors, a battery pack, inverters, and wiring will add substantial weight to the car, which is why it all needs to add enough power to balance things out. The big question is where Chevrolet will place the battery, which it will want to mount as low as possible to keep a low center of gravity. Other mid-engine hybrids mount it in the firewall between the engine and the seats. It’s also possible it could be mounted in the bottom of the frunk or trunk, depending on how large it is. We expect it will be fairly small as it just needs to hold enough juice to boost the engine under hard acceleration. While some mid-engine hybrids have the ability to drive under pure electric power for short distances to meet emissions regulations in some countries and cities, we doubt this was a major concern for the Corvette team. Like the Ferrari LaFerrari, we think the ZR1 will be entirely concerned with performance, not efficiency.

Separately, our source corrected our previous speculation that the Z06, C8.R, and ZR1’s DOHC engine would share design and engineering with the Cadillac 4.2-liter Blackwing V-8. Despite declarations from top GM and Cadillac brass the Blackwing is exclusive to Cadillac, we figured there would be some shared engineering resources to save money. That’s not the case, our source says. Years ago, under a previous product plan that’s since been whittled down, Cadillac was promised an exclusive engine and got it, so GM gave Cadillac and Chevrolet separate pots of money to design two different DOHC V-8s simultaneously.

Original Source: Scott Evans for MotorTrend


World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg Gets a 2020 Chevy Corvette C8

Chevrolet presented a new mid-engine Corvette Stingray to the MVP after the Washington Nationals took baseball’s World Series title for the first time in franchise history.

In contrast to the Chevy Silverado pickup trucks given to the World Series’ Most Valuable Player in recent years, this year the lucky MVP gets the all-new Corvette, which isn’t even out to the public yet.

World Series MVP pitcher Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals celebrated a decisive 6–2 victory in Game 7 in Houston, the first win for the Nationals and the first time since 1924 a team from our nation’s capital took the World Series.

The 2020 mid-engine Chevy Corvette, one of the most eagerly anticipated cars in a generation, is slated to go on sale in the first quarter of 2020.

For so long, a mid-engine Corvette was merely a pipe dream. It’s been something that many of us have waited for, for decades—and now the World Series MVP, Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, is going home with a 2020 Chevy Corvette C8 after an impressive performance in the seven-game contest between the Houston Astros and the Nationals. The base Corvette Stingray starts at $59,995 and brings 490 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, making it a bargain relative to cars with similar specs. The new Corvette comes with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, a Corvette first and the sole transmission available. The MVP’s bright-red new ride was rolled out onto the field in Houston as part of the award ceremonies accompanying the victory. Chevrolet notes that the car we see in these photos is “representative of” the Vette that Strasburg will eventually receive; the 2020 Corvette C8 is not yet in production, so the MVP will get his car in early 2020. This is the 14th season that Chevy has awarded the MVP a new vehicle, with winners from 2018 and 2017 receiving Chevy Silverados and the winner three years ago, Ben Zobrist of the Chicago Cubs, going home with a 2017 Camaro SS 50th-anniversary special edition. Zobrist later told the Chicago Sun-Times that he refuses to disclose the location of that Camaro, saying, “I don’t want anybody trying to break in anywhere.”

Source: Colin Beresford


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2020 C8 Chevy Corvette spins up an eye-popping mystery on the dyno

The intrigue around the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette isn’t close to ending. Motor Trend secured a pre-production build of America’s sports car for two weeks of testing, including a trial at the Hyundai-Kia proving grounds for MT’s Car of the Year roundup. It was treated like a priceless museum exhibit on loan: MT staffers kept the Corvette throughout the day, then returned the coupe to Chevy’s PR team every night. The day before handing the car back to Chevy for good, the magazine wanted to run a real-mpg test, but the testing company didn’t have equipment to deal with square tailpipes. So MT took the red Z51 coupe to its local, oft-used dyno for what would turn out to be six confounding runs. The numbers after the first run in fifth gear run: 558 horsepower and 515 pound-feet of torque. At the wheels.

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Assuming parasitic driveline losses of 15% would mean the Corvette was putting out around 656 hp and 606 lb-ft at the crank. If we assume a 10% loss, the crank figures come to about 620 hp and 570 lb-ft. Either set represents a shocking surplus over the Corvette’s official rating 495 hp and 470 lb-ft. And the official rating isn’t Chevy putting its best foot forward — GM pays to have the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) certify its output figures using the SAE’s strict protocols.

Having been thrown this stumper, MT personnel tried to sleuth it out. They called their road test editor. They called Chevrolet engineers. Their technical editor did some math. They put a 2020 Ram 2500 diesel on the dyno as a control vehicle. They spoke to Chevy engineers again and got revised gear ratios taking the limited-slip differential into account. They got explanations from those engineers about what might be happening. They performed five more runs, two of them in sixth gear even though fifth gear was the closest to a 1:1 ratio. The lowest figures came during run number five, posting 478 hp and 536 lb-ft at the wheels. Even at just 10% of parasitic losses, that’s 530 hp and a mongo 597 lb-ft of torque.

At the moment, none of the numbers add up, and none of the explanations can explain them. Head to Motor Trend to read the whole story. All we know for now is that there’ll be a lot more Corvettes put on a lot more dynos before this is through. Whenever GM can start building C8 Corvettes, that is.

Source: Johnathan Ramsey, Autoblog.