What can you say about a machine that growls through the lower gears and snarls in upshifting and roars gut-thumpingly when driven full-out? And the exhaust sounds are just as primal. Your ears have just been rocked, and you want to hear those mesmerizing noises at least three more times today. But you still don’t know what to say about it.
If you happen to be watching and listening to this YouTube video, you can start by saying it’s a mid-engined Chevrolet C8 Corvette under camo wraps. In some clips it was being put through its paces in places like that looked a lot like the Nürburgring Grand Prix track and the GM factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where the Corvette is produced.
To some discerning ears, it might sound like a C7. Others hear echoes of a Ferrari. Still, it’s a sound collection that ‘Vette fans could listen to all day long. And they are eagerly awaiting the unveiling of this beast on July 18, 2019—just days from now.
An Object of Great Speculation
But is this a naturally-aspirated V8 engine you’re hearing? A twin-turbo? The rumors continue to swirl among fans and media, while Chevrolet has remained basically mum about the next-generation Corvette. The automaker has been hinting around about offering a mid-engine version for at least a few years now, and it does seem like it will make good on following through.
What We Know and Don’t Know: The Engine
Even at this late date, most of us are still guessing about this chupacabra of the sports car world and are almost convinced of its existence. We’ve heard it and have seen mere flashes of it. Much of the rest, though, seems like conjecture.
We do know the Corvette is a mid-engine and is probably a V8. We also know that the mid-engine concept is important to Chevy, because Car and Driver says that the auto manufacturer wants to position the ‘Vette among mid-engine giants such as the Ferrari 488, the Lamborghini Huracán, and the Audi R8. So, we can conclude that a big shift in mindset has occurred among the Corvette engineers since the seventh-generation ‘Vette.
And the folks at Motor 1 think that the Corvette will have a 6.2-liter pushrod engine similar to yet not quite the same as the C7 LT1. A twin-turbo engine may also be an option. Sources seem to agree that the ‘Vette will have a dual-clutch automatic transmission, but it may be either a 7-speed or 8-speed. It’s anyone’s guess whether a manual transmission option will be offered.
A Sneak Peek into the Styling and Features
Not much is known about the overall styling of the C8. But some say that its camo-wrapped silhouette is reminiscent of a Ferrari F40. Other observers complain that it looks too much like an Acura NSX. Either way, this seems like a retro kind of a styling decision that we’ll only be sure about when the wraps come off. But it also seems like Chevy’s nod to the classic European sports car as well as distinguishing its look from other cars in the brand.
To confuse things a bit more, a spy photo of the C8’s alleged rear bumper was leaked recently. The rear bumper does, in fact, share a resemblance with the C7 but we’d hope that there would be more than just a refresh in the C8’s styling. We’d also hazard a guess that Chevy would make the C8 somewhat larger in order to better secure its position among the mid-engine players.
As for features, the C8 might have a targa roof, if the writers at Car and Driver are correct. Since almost every Corvette coupe since 1968 has had a variation on one kind of removable roof, this is no surprise. But it doesn’t rule out the convertible option that has been a tradition with the Corvette, either.
Pricing: Holding the Line
Despite the hype and despite Chevy’s desire to put the C8 in league with some of the big mid-engine players, the talk on the street is that the eighth-generation Corvette is priced to start around $62,000. The C7 Stingray cost only $5,000 less. Keeping the price down on the ‘Vette seems to line up with GM’s approach to the Chevy Camaro: match the competitors’ performance while undercutting their prices.
The Wait Is Nearly Over
It won’t be long until the big reveal and all of the unknowns about the C8 will be disclosed…or most of them, in any case. We hope that Chevy will have a few surprises for the fans. In the meantime, we’ll savor the anticipation and have a listen to that YouTube video again.
All images provided by the manufacturer unless otherwise noted.