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GM Switches to Turbo for Mid-Engined Corvette C8.R

Listen to the turbocharged Corvette C8.R as it completes its first track test at Road America…

Photo: Sportscar365

Chevrolet has apparently opted for a turbocharged engine for its all-new mid-engined Corvette C8.R, as exclusively revealed in a series of spy photos by Sportscar365 earlier today.

Sportscar365 has additionally obtained trackside audio from the car’s rollout at Road America on Wednesday, which saw the Pratt & Miller-built GTE machine complete a series of installation laps prior to more consistent running later in the morning.

While not yet officially confirmed by GM, it appears the race car features a twin-turbo V8 powerplant, marking a significant departure from the normally aspirated engines that every previous Corvette race car has utilized.

Rumors in the automotive media have indicated multiple engine options for the next-generation Corvette, which is due to be officially revealed in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The switch to a turbo would follow the majority of Corvette’s rivals and would leave only Porsche as the sole-remaining GTE-spec car with a normally aspirated powerplant.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

56 Comments

56 Comments

  1. Steve

    August 8, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Not a bad sound at all but man will it be different associating that with a corvette after all these years of normally aspirated grunt!

    • KV

      August 8, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      Asssociate P1 WITH THAT NEW EXHAUST NOTE !

    • Jordan

      August 8, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IhNIvAl-go

      It’s most likely based on this engine.

      • kv

        August 9, 2018 at 10:35 am

        THE C8 LT7 IS a offspring of the Northstar 4.0tt that powered CADDY LMP ,AND a V6 3.6TTV6 RACED IN THE ATS VR also was successfully raced in PWC !

        • Bigd

          August 9, 2018 at 11:12 am

          Great, so it will have head gasket issues and overheat a lot

  2. Jeff

    August 8, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Corvettes should NOT be anything other than normally aspirated, and this sounds as bad as everything else on the track anymore. This will kill the Corvette brand for millions of fans and is not the heritage so many of us grew up with. Corvette could take their cars to Trans Am and not need to worry about having to ruin their cars for the sake of PR.

    • Harry Manback

      August 8, 2018 at 4:07 pm

      GOOD. LEAVE. Spoiler alert – it doesn’t have round tail lights either.

      If you think that this will “kill the Corvette brand for millions of fans” because it “is not the heritage so many of us grew up with” – you are entirely what is wrong with the Corvette brand. NASCAR’s that way buddy, take your jean shorts, Hawaiian shirts, and white New Balance sneakers with you.

      • Degner

        August 8, 2018 at 4:22 pm

        Really Harry? And what have you to say about the 911 RSR. Same general 911 shape as ever, still naturally aspirated.

        Where’s your venom spewing for the Porsche faithful?

        Have at it hypocrite.

        • Andy Flinn

          August 8, 2018 at 4:43 pm

          Degner, to be far, many teams raced the Porsche 911 GT2 Turbo. However, it had trouble keeping up with the Viper GTS-R and the Corvette C5.R.

        • Harry Manback

          August 8, 2018 at 5:08 pm

          I think the new Volkswagens sound awesome.

      • Andy Flinn

        August 8, 2018 at 4:40 pm

        Harry, what if Chevy offered TWO C8 Corvettes (NA and turbo options)?

        Do you remember the Ford SVO Mustang Turbo?

        Full disclosure: I miss the round Corvette tail lights. I guess that’s just me.

    • Passenger

      August 8, 2018 at 5:08 pm

      Ford guys should agree with you. What the shame that Ford gives out American V8 and switches to V6TT. Ford GT should have been always V8.

      • grotiare

        August 8, 2018 at 6:34 pm

        These racing teams want to to win races. The v6 in the GT is killing its competition in the imsa and the Corvette team is seeing this. Hell, f1 cars replaced v12s in favor of v6 hybrids for the same reason.

        • carl gentile

          August 9, 2018 at 6:37 am

          The gt is a race car, the c7 is a road car. The bop is allowing the gt to be competitive.

          • Karl Gentle

            August 9, 2018 at 9:04 am

            Huh? Shouldn’t that be the other way around?

        • PD

          August 15, 2018 at 6:17 pm

          The ZR1 is already breaking lap records held by the GT.

    • Bob

      August 8, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      Personally, I don’t care how they sound. I care how they drive/preform. I’m sure it will be a step up from the current model.

      • Dave

        August 9, 2018 at 7:36 am

        As someone who has been to a lot of IMSA and WEC races (back when there was a Labre C7R running), I can tell you that the sound of the C7R is like shock and awe. Unique and thunderous – you feel like you are at a race. Now the new RSR adds another desirable sound altogether. NA engines just have a better aural quality. Enjoy these while you can though, I suspect everyone will be going turbo. It’s an easy way to BoP and typically more efficient. At least we haven’t gotten to where F1 is with 1.6L engines that sound like the echoes of their 3.5L predecessors.

        • Johan Smith

          August 15, 2018 at 3:33 pm

          Yeah but they are LOSING. The point of racing is to win, not make more noise.
          F1 motors are 1.6L turbos, but put out 870hp, the old BMW 1.5L turbo put out over 1300hp.
          The world is going turbo because science: more power, lighter motors.

    • Robert Sabatini

      August 8, 2018 at 8:11 pm

      Well said!

    • Bomanicious

      August 8, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      That’s what people have said about all the major Supercar brands. The fact is is hard to beat a forced induction engine with the crazy torque numbers that can be produced. This Sounds like a proper race engine.

    • Johan Smith

      August 15, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      Corvette cannot survive on being the retirement car for baby boomers. No one cares about Trans Am. They cannot compete in 2019 on a platform from 1965.

  3. Pay Driver

    August 8, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    My life is now officially ruined.

  4. Jake

    August 8, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Sounds like it has a flat plane crank. I prefer the existing sound, but its understandable given the advantages. Atmospheric conditions cant be bop’d, and its easier to bop ising boost pressures in rpm increments rather than just using a restrictor size. The sound will be missed though.

  5. Dennis Ring

    August 8, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    I was under the impression that a dual-clutch setup would allow the engine to stay at high RPM. Am I mistaken or is GM maybe using a regular setup for testing?

    As far as the exhaust, sure, it’s different, but I would guess the aftermarket parts gang won’t be long in spitting out goodies.

    • Bomanicious

      August 8, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      It just enables faster gear changes as the next gear will already be selected. Then the next gear is almost immediately switched into use via the other clutch. The RPMs will still drop as a gear ratio will change.

  6. Passenger

    August 8, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    The exhaust is very close Ferrari and BMW, they have room to make more different.

    • kv

      August 9, 2018 at 10:44 am

      THE FLAT PLANE V8 C8 will not produce the noise pollution of the ECO TECH V6!

  7. Paolo Pellegrini

    August 8, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Turbo? Maybe yes, but maybe a different type of N/A (more rpm, DOHC, different crankshaft).Maybe…

  8. newdude

    August 8, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Why does that sound more like the Ford GT than a V8?

    • Bob

      August 8, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      Maybe because the Ford GT is running a V6.

  9. Keth

    August 8, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    If it runs good it will sound good. The engine configuration(s) is/are guesswork and hypothetical disappointment. Sounds like a fast shift.

  10. Malaka

    August 8, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    I call bullshit on the sound clip. Out of the 3 engine designations the c8 will have, of which all are v8s, this is definitely a clip of something with a 6 cylinder.

    • Don

      August 8, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      LOL you obviously never heard a 6 cylinder then.

  11. The crag man

    August 8, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Many fans like myself always thought a Corvette should have always been more luxury based than muscle car. A futuristic dream car. GM can’t even make a Cadillac lux model properly. Who cares about track times and street legal racers? How about luxury inside, power to spare and no excuses reliability? What would that cost?

    • Ted

      August 8, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      Cadillac XLR-V

    • Jr

      August 9, 2018 at 8:51 am

      Clearly you have not driven the current ATS V or CTS V

  12. Joe

    August 8, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Maybe the v6 twin turbo motor from the cadillac gt3 is being used

  13. Mike D

    August 8, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Probably the LTA V8 turbo used in the Cadillac CT6.

    4.2L DOHC
    Twin-scroll turbochargers
    Hot V configuration (exhaust & turbos inside the V)

    I don’t think they would develop a bespoke unit for that limited an application.

    • Passenger

      August 8, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      GM and JDM has claimed LTA wont be used in any racing including DPi and LTA is only for Cadillac CT6 Vsport. Corvette will receive its own V8 DOHC.

      • Sorry

        August 8, 2018 at 7:29 pm

        JDN*

      • Patrick Brown

        August 9, 2018 at 11:49 am

        when they say the ttv8 will only be used in Cadillac’s that makes me think the mid engine “vette” is actually going to be a Cadillac. Which is fine with me. keep the front engine as the traditional Vette and the mid engine as a Cadillac

    • Jordan

      August 8, 2018 at 11:02 pm

  14. Marc

    August 8, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    I still think there will be some difference from the standard Vette and whatever this is. More to compete directly with the Ford GT as a Halo car,

  15. speedy

    August 8, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    C8R ME Corvette that’s what it is. NA DOHC V8 engine, that engine is at very high rpms, your not going too get a ohv engine that high in rpms like that, Cadillac DPI’s don’t sound like that, and Gm make a Cadillac model right, and they are.

  16. speedy

    August 8, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Gm has not claimed nothing, about that engine (LTA) not being able to race. Any way corvette engines, will be called LT7 and LT2, both will be DOHC V8’s one will be TT, and these would not be a hot V for these C8 corvette.

  17. Marcus Smith

    August 8, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Who remembers the Northstar v8 from Cadillac and the Aurora V8 from Oldsmobile. Two different engines for two brands but one was a derivative of the other. The Aurora was a product of the Northstar but it was the Aurora engine that made it to the track first and a twin turbo version of the Northstar would come later. I say of all of this to say the new Vette may get its own version of the CT6 engine.

    • Jr

      August 9, 2018 at 8:54 am

      The new Vette may actually be the new
      Halo car for Cadillac

      • Sean K. Hotay

        August 9, 2018 at 10:03 am

        @Jr: With de Nysschen gone?

        Not sure about that. Steve Carlisle may have other priorities.

  18. speedy

    August 8, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Yes Corvette C8 will get it’s own version of these LTA.

  19. Mike S.

    August 8, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    It sounds like a Ferrari now or an Aston or any of the other turbo cars or all of the other turbo cars now. All sounds the same now mostly.

  20. Uwe

    August 9, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Sounds like a Ferrari 458 GT2:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVIflGPvLqM

  21. robin

    August 9, 2018 at 9:44 am

    When i put LG 1 3/4 Headers and Corsa exhaust on my C6 the sound became intoxicating. I enjoy the rumble to a point, but higher frequency singing out of a powerful car is the BEST….I hope the C8 sings.

  22. Sean K. Hotay

    August 9, 2018 at 10:01 am

    FTR, Duntov’s ashes are rattling his urn with joy at the Corvette Museum.

  23. Morrisoff

    August 10, 2018 at 6:45 am

    Sounds like a V6 to me. 😉

  24. c6rick

    August 12, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    The best team with the best cars. i can;t wait to get one of those new Corvettes. It sounds great and shows that the Corvette will continue to be what all other cars are judged by. Goof job Corvette, all of us fans are happy.

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