Corvette C8’s Got The Headlines
In a world overflowing with automotive headlines that are designed to generate new incremental sales, there are inevitably certain models that could be accused of being taken for granted. All-too-often, such ‘aspirational’ vehicles sit just outside the budget (and lifestyle) of the average driver’s budget, while always retaining their iconic status. When turning to the Chevy lineup with this in mind, there is no greater example than the legendary Corvette.
Across seven decades (and an equal number of generations) the Corvette has continued to embody the aspirational status of the show-car that it was first introduced as in 1953. Never lapsing in terms of design and production, our fascination with the ever-evolving Corvette has never waned. Needless to say, its continued place in our ever-evolving world presents some of the most intriguing headlines (least of which is what’s to come in 2020).
Where Does the C7 Go From Here?
Current model year offerings are built upon the 7th generation platform, with current model year offerings including the Stingray, Grand Sport, and Z06 models. While it’s hard to scoff at any of these offerings, the Z06 stands as the crown jewel in terms of integrating a race philosophy.
A perfect realization of a road-ready supercar designed in conjunction with its racing equivalent, the C7.R, the Z06 is priced to start just shy of $79,495 MSRP and serves up a staggering 650 horsepower with a matching torque rating. Delivering a 2.95-second sprint to 60 mph, the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 works in conjunctions with a Direct Injection and Continuously Variable Valve Timing technology to guarantee inarguable track credibility. And with racing level ride control and braking, you’re guaranteed all the thrill with an assurance of safety.
Current model year offerings for the C7 make it hard to argue the enduring appeal of Corvette offerings, and yet Chevy innovation never fails. With that in mind, we ask ourselves where the ‘Vette goes from here. We already know that 2019 offerings will include the ZR1 model, but based on the evidence gathered to date, the extended destination that has been lined up looks like it’s going to be a real game-changer.
2020 Corvette C8
Despite it being widely believed that the next-gen (C8) Vette would be introduced for 2019, the fact that production was already taking place would shift anticipation to the 2020 model year. While this meant a relatively short lifespan for the 7th-gen (C7) model (first introduced in 2014) GM’s ability to resume development of the mid-level engine originally intended for the C7, meant a quicker jump to the C8.
Granted, Chevy still has yet to officially confirm or announce the road-ready option, but the potential offering is widely viewed as the worst kept secret in the automotive industry. With a number of spy shots and video having surfaced, showing a camouflaged vehicle that mirrors the anticipated styling and specs of the prototype, it’s all but been confirmed that this is happening.
Based on ‘spy reports’ the C8 appears as though it’s overall dimensions will be similar to the C7, but with stance that’s both wider and lower. Utilizing the same aluminum space frame as the C7, the C8 won’t be using an entirely new design. However, the change does translate to a strong likelihood that the C7 marks the end of Corvette’s front-mounted engines. That said, the new offering is expected to up the price tag, coming in well above an $80K starting point. This will earn a semi-exotic halo status in Chevy’s lineup, echoing such popular offerings as the NXS and GT-R.
One of the stories that serves to reinforce the C8’s development comes (inadvertently) from the French racing team, Larbre. During a recent press conference, team principal Jacques Leconte confirmed that the team would be replacing its C7 with a Ligier prototype for the time being. Leconte was quoted as saying, “The story with Corvette is not over though. it was not possible to enter another C7.R in the GTE AM category. The car is aging and would not have been in a position to secure a good line-up at Le Mans 2018. it was also too early to enter a C8 as this car is still in development.“ Granted, this confirmation only applies to the racing variant of the C8, but it’s still widely believed that the everyday ‘Vette enthusiast can expect this exciting offering to hit dealer lots for the 2020 model year. One can only assume that the buzz will result in an official introduction at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
That said, leaked documents indicate that the road-going Corvette C8 will be introduced with three powertrains, including a 4.2-liter V8, a 5.5-liter, and a 6.2-liter V8. Of these, it’s widely rumored that the range-topping 6.2 will include a pair of turbochargers, yielding a ground-shaking 850 horsepower. This empowers the Corvette to overpower its own Z06 supercar by 200 horses, meeting the recent resurgence of popularity that power ratings have experienced by the everyday enthusiast (although one can only imagine the C8 will earn around13 mpg, at best). Not that fuel economy is at the forefront of anyone’s thoughts.
Perhaps it’s the anticipation of the C8 that seems to be minimizing the impact of the ZR1 to be released in 2019. Normally, we’d be celebrating the 745 hp and 715 lb-ft torque rating resulting from the ZR1’s 6.2-liter pushrod LT5 V8 engine with a 2.6-liter Eaton supercharger. But anticipating the Z8 to follow does reduce some of the excitement surrounding the ZR1.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
As the old adage says, “May you live in interesting times.” That this, for fans of the Corvette, the days to come will be inevitably interesting consisting of the Corvette’s evolving form, and its continued place in popular culture. Here at DePaula Chevrolet, we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for these exciting headlines (just like you). Stay tuned!