Just as Chevrolet’s PR machine was about the pull the trigger on revealing their convertible C8 Corvette Stingray, the company’s also had other news waiting in the wings, this one stemming from their motorsports division concerning their plans for endurance racing.
The reveal took place at the Kennedy Space Centre alongside the Corvette Convertible, a venue chosen to represent a true technology transfer and saluting the achievements of the country’s seminal space program.
Corvette C8.R takes the standard all-new Stingray and pretty much bins any and all creature comforts and hint of leniency it once had, adding lightness and load of aero. What resulted is a hardcore devourer of race tracks that’s destined for competition in the various iconic races that its predecessors graced such as the 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Rolex 24 at Daytona which will be the car’s debut event in 2020.
Its unveil also caps off more than 60 years of accrued racing heritage since the first Corvette entered appeared on grids. And with this new mid-engine layout and tighter focus on handling and performance, the C8 stands to be Chevrolet’s most successful racer yet.
Since 1999, the company is quick to point out that Corvette Racing has bagged 107 race wins including 13 Team championships and a collected 12 Driver and Manufacturer titles. This winning streak inspired the unique yellow-accented silver livery the C8.R dons during its reveal; a nod to concepts such as the 1973 Chevrolet Aerovette and the 1959 Corvette Stingray Racer.
“The C8.R is much more than just a race-tuned version of the 2020 Corvette Stingray. It’s a culmination of many years of testing and development between GM Design, Propulsion, Engineering and the Corvette Racing team. The collaboration between these teams has allowed us to take these vehicles’ performance to the next level, both on the street and the track.” - Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports.
Unfortunately, Chevrolet has revealed literally nothing about the C8.R’s powertrain or performance credentials and we will likely not hear any official word until the car’s race debut nears in January 2020. Rumours have the car hiding a secret flat-plane crank version of the LT2 Small Block while others posit a race-tuned version of the Cadillac Blackwing bi-turbo V8.
Whatever the case, we can guarantee that the engine used in the C8.R will have more than some bearing on what we can expect to see in more high-end variants of the road going C8 such as the Z06 and range-topping ZR1.