The Indy 500 may have been temporarily delayed, but enthusiasts everywhere were eager for the spectacle on August 23. This month, the Corvette C8 was announced as this year’s pace car, Road and Track reports. Corvettes have a long history as Indy 500 pace cars — and with its incredible power and sleek design, the C8 did not disappoint.
The power of the Corvette C8
A pace car needs to easily keep pace with the racers at the Indy 500, something the Corvette C8 is perfectly equipped to do. This particular C8 has the Z51 performance package. Its 6.2-liter LT2 V8 gets a whopping 495 hp, and according to Corvette, it has a top speed of 184 mph. The C8 also goes from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds flat.
While the C8 is a new addition to pace car fame, Corvette has long been the chosen automaker for this particular honor. Eleven of the last 16 Indy 500s have utilized various Corvettes as the pace car.
If you’re eyeing this car’s beautiful design, you might be in luck. Corvette recently began manufacturing 2020 C8 convertibles after a slight production delay, so fans on the waitlist may finally see this car in their driveways.
A brand new design
The Corvette C8 has a modern design that prioritizes luxury. Its look differs slightly from older models since this is the first Corvette with a mid-engine. The mechanical setup necessitated some significant changes, and the base model has a more aggressive appearance than previous iterations. Fans of more old-school Corvettes may be irked by the new look, but overall, folks seem to like it.
The new design features many (so many) hidden Corvette logos. You’ll find a whole host of minuscule ones hidden on the C8’s windshield and one on the center speaker, which you can only spot if you look at it from the right angle.
The most significant change, however, is the fact that the C8 has a front trunk. This redesign was necessary to accommodate the new engine setup.
Previous Indy 500 pace cars to note
Perhaps one of the most coveted Corvettes from former Indy 500 years is the 1998 Chevrolet Corvette pace car replica, reports CorvSport. Though this car wasn’t particularly rare (and isn’t quite as fast or as attractive as the Corvette C8), the replicas were so close to the originals that folks flocked to get their own.
This vehicle marked the fourth time that a Corvette made an appearance as a pace car for the Indy 500. The other three years were 1978, 1986, and 1995. To commemorate the honor of being the pace car of choice, Chevrolet made sure always to put out a limited edition replica for fans to purchase.
While the 1998 Corvette may have been popular, it got just 370 hp — a far cry from the C8’s 495 hp. And although the classic design and bright purple and yellow paint job certainly have a nostalgic appeal, the C8’s sleek appearance is just a bit cooler.
In 1996, the Indy 500’s pace car was a Dodge Ram. This blue and white truck has a 5.9-liter magnum V8 engine, and, once again, it just doesn’t have the same aesthetic appeal as the C8.
Excited auto enthusiasts have been waiting since May for this year’s Indy 500. Be sure to keep your eye out for more of the Corvette C8 — it would be an exciting addition to any fan’s driveway.