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Corvette C8 loses cladding before reveal | Update

The American supercar is less than three weeks away, with final testing underway at the 'Ring

By Dafydd Wood / Monday, July 01, 2019

Update: 01.07.2019

We’re just 17 days from the reveal of Chevrolet’s all-new Corvette, so it’s of little surprise to see a development car not wrapped with cladding doing some last-minute testing at the Nurburgring. Despite this example of the C8 still being completely hidden beneath a full-body wrap, the angular details of its front and rear can be more clearly seen than before thanks to the thinness of the disguise. From what we can see, this is going to be a seriously purposeful-looking mid-engined supercar, one with the aggressive features to match its anticipated McLaren and Ferrari-aping performance.

Without an engine beneath the nose, aerodynamicists have been able to give the C8 a much slimmer front end than its predecessors, the form of which is only accentuated by the raised arches either side of the bonnet. Today’s development car is also lacking covers over its rear window, exposing the vents there; we can even spot ventilation beneath the car’s taillights, showing the extent of cooling required for what lives within. The C8 Corvette is predicted to come with an all-new eight cylinder in several variations, with everything from a naturally-aspirated entry powerplant to an 850hp hybrid range-topper having been mooted.

Whatever the exact specification of the launch car we’ll be shown on July 18th, earlier sightings captured on video (scroll down for that) have at least all but confirmed the car will retain the eight-cylinder layout aficionados have been hoping for. Given the ambitions of Chevy to push the C8 into the realms of proper supercar royalty, including the 488 GTB and 720S, we suspect few options outside a bent eight would have done. With a mid-engined ‘Vette having been rumoured for decades, then, we don’t have long to wait at all to finally see exactly what Chevy has come up with.

Previous story: 12.04.2019

If the ongoing test car sightings weren’t enough of a hint at its impending arrival, Chevrolet has now confirmed that the hotly-anticipated Corvette C8 is due for reveal on July 18th. To rouse excitement in the build-up to its most drastically altered Corvette yet, company CEO Mary Barra took one of the mid-engined prototypes for a drive around New York before arriving at a busy ex-service members charity gala.

The official new date quells suggestion that the C8 was going to be revealed at next week’s New York motor show, although the prototype’s arrival in NYC suggests it will be on display there with its camo wrap. We’ve seen it and other C8s plenty of times before, of course, and even caught a glimpse of the new interior – so the longer, mid-ship body shape is already familiar.

But with the engine mounted behind the cabin for the first time and power ramped up to as high as 850hp in a rumoured electrified V8 range-topper, the C8 will eschew tradition and as such is expected to create Chevrolet’s most serious rival yet for cars of the supercar establishment.

Previous story: 10.09.2018

If you had any doubts of the inclusion of a good ol' (well, newly developed) V8 engine in the next Chevrolet Corvette, listen to the vocal chords of a recently spotted test car in the video below. Hear that? Yep, those are eight glorious cylinders being called into explosive action to charge this mid-engined supercar around the Nurburgring.

We can't hear anything to signal whether the beating heart of this particular 'vette is a breather of atmospheric or forced air, but one thing's for certain: it sounds as American as it ever has. It also looks super responsive and agile, traits that should be helped by the new location for its powerplant. The rearwards shift is of the biggest technical change for a Corvette in yonks, and could become the biggest cause of worry for the car's European rivals...

Original story: 03.09.18

It's Labor Day (yes, without a u) in the United States, but despite the bank holiday the employees of Chevrolet's European technical centre are hard at work. Not only have they taken delivery of a significantly less camouflaged iteration of the upcoming mid-engined C8 Corvette than we've previously seen, but they've been kind enough to take it out and about for us to have a look at too.

Thanks to that reduction in obfuscating addenda we can now more clearly make out that the new car retains a similar front end to the current C7 generation ZR1. From there back, however, things are understandably rather different, with a shorter bonnet and longer rear deck leading into a squarer, seemingly Camaro-inspired tail end. The flared nostrils, prominent side intakes, and large vents below the rear lights all hint at the suspected increase in power set to come with the new layout, as do the quad exhausts.

Exactly what forms the engines destined for that mid-mounted bay will take remains open for speculation. What is likely, though, is that they'll mostly be of the V8 variety with everything from naturally aspirated to hybrid-assisted turbocharged units being mooted, and outputs of 450hp all the way through to a whopping 850hp rumoured. Below that comes the potential for an entry level V6, keeping the Corvette somewhat grounded as it leaves the niche of cheap but cheerful alternative to expensive European exotics - one which it has occupied with varying degrees of success for the past few decades - behind.

[Images: S.Baldauf/S.B. Medien]





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