Mid-Engine Corvette: Everything We Know

Mid-Engine Corvette: Everything We Know

The C8 is on its way. Here’s what we know about it.

This story will be continually updated as new information is learned. The most recent update was published on 5/17/19.

After decades of speculations, concepts, and renderings, a mid-engine version of everyone’s favorite American sports car, the Chevrolet Corvette, is finally on its way. This evening, Chevrolet officially acknowledged that the car is real, and told us when we’ll see it in person.

The C8 Corvette Will Officially Debut on July 18, 2019

Chevy posted this image to Instagram on the evening of April 11th. It’s the first official acknowledgement that the mid-engine Corvette is real, and the date on the side corresponds with Chevy’s teaser webpage for the upcoming ‘Vette. It’s official: We’ll see this thing for real on July 18th.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced the C8’s debut at a charity event in New York City honoring firefighters and first responders killed in the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001.

The automaker also tweeted a link to a page on its website, confirming the debut date:

Chevy didn’t give any further details aside from the debut date, but the automaker did publish its first official photos of a mid-engine ‘Vette prototype cruising around New York City:

It Sounds Like This

Someone in Detroit (via Reddit) captured a camouflaged C8 on the highway briefly letting it rip in gear. Unsurprisingly, it’s a V-8 exhaust note coming from the Corvette’s quad tailpipes here. It’s a great sound—more growly than that of the C7 Stingray, which might simply be a function of exhaust tuning.

On Instagram, the National Corvette Museum has a clip of a C8 testing, too, this time at lower speed, but still with lots of good engine note.

GM just announced that the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant where the Corvette has been built for almost 40 years will get a second shift and over 400 more employees to build the C8. It’s not clear if this is because GM anticipates additional demand for the C8, or if it’s going to slow production down to keep quality high.

It Could Start Between $60,000 and $70,000

Hagerty reports that the C8 will start in the $60,000 to $70,000 range, where it’ll be equipped with a new version of the current Corvette’s naturally aspirated LT1 6.2-liter V-8. This engine, likely dubbed LT2, should make around 500 horsepower—up from the LT1’s 460 horsepower.

It Could Get a Fancy New V-8

A 500-hp V-8, good though that may be, is only where things should start. Hagerty thinks that Chevy is working on a twin-turbo overhead-cam V-8 for the C8, possibly with a flat-plane crankshaft.

Mid-Engine C8 Corvette: Spy Photos

An All-Wheel Drive Hybrid (!) Is a Possibility

In an August 2016 report, the Detroit News said the mid-engine Corvette is codenamed “Emperor,” and that a hybrid version could be in the pipeline. Speaking to the Detroit News , Bob Lut z speculated that the mid-engine Corvette could have a small battery and electric motor to decrease fuel consumption and enable all-wheel-drive. Over at Hagerty, Sherman reports the same thing, adding that an electric motor driving the front wheels would replace the front trunk in base C8 models.

It Might Be Dual-Clutch Only

While GM has filed a patent for a clutch-by-wire system that replaces the traditional hydraulic master- and slave-cylinder mechanism with an electronic actuator, many signs point to the C8 being a dual-clutch only affair.

Back in 2016, our colleagues at Car and Driver reported that the C8 would use aseven-speed dual-clutch gearbox sourced from Tremec. Of its seven speeds, the top three are overdrives, and Tremec says it can handle 9000 rpm input speed and 664 lb-ft of torque.

Car and Driver argues that Chevy will only offer this Corvette with one gearbox to reduce cost and complexity, but a world without a manual-transmission ‘Vette is hard to imagine. Still, a dual-clutch would be a big improvement over the current Corvette’s eight-speed auto.

It Will Have an Interesting Engine Cover

Chevy’s first mid-engine Corvette is a prime chance for Chevrolet to innovate. A recent patent application shows that the engine cover is a design that Chevrolet has spent a lot of time innovating. The design has been made to aid cooling, which might be why the rear of the car has been covered so much in testing. See full details here.