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2020 Mid Engine Corvette C8.R Race Car And Engine Specs Revealed


It's finally time to welcome the brand new 2020 mid-engine Corvette C8.R race car. I'd say this is the most hotly anticipated race car to debut since the current Ford GT, but Ford surprised the world with the GT so there wasn't a whole lot of anticipation. This may be the most hotly anticipated new race car ever in quite a while, much like its street going mid-engine sister.

It's the first clean sheet design in about 20 years, Chevy says, since the 1999 C5.R and will race for the first time ever at the 2020 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Chevy says there is a deeper connection and technology transfer between the C8.R racing version and the road-going C8, and the highest percentage of shared parts of any Corvette generation before.


In fact, the C8.R utilizes the production chassis built right alongside the other chassis meant for street duty in the Bowling Green Assembly plant that builds the street version. As expected, there are some modifications to meet race requirements, likely including at least additional welding or adhesives. The new chassis is stiffer and lighter than the C7.R, as expected. And, of course, the engine is also like nothing else seen in a Corvette race car, or road going Corvette for that matter.

It's a 5.5 litre naturally aspirated V8 just like the outgoing one, but that's where the similarities end.




Chevrolet teased the engine exhaust note last week at the Kennedy Space Centre reveal and it sounds like no other Corvette before. I told a friend of mine: "It sounds like an older uncorked Ferrari! Flat plane and no turbos." And sure enough, it will be a naturally aspirated flat plane crank engine complete with dual overhead cams and direct injection. Chevy hasn't revealed much else about the engine, only that it will make about 500 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. Chevy made sure to point out that this engine isn't (closely) related to the twin-turbo 4.2 litre Cadillac version. 

What's even more exciting is the all but guaranteed expectation that a variant of this engine will find its way in a street-going version of the C8 Corvette. Due to FIA LM GTE rules, the engine "must be derived from a series production engine produced at more than 300 units and fitted to a series vehicle from the same manufacturer." According to Road & Track, a Chevy representative confirmed that it is a "future production-based engine." Are you feeling giddy yet?


If you aren't a Corvette fan, this all sounds like PR and marketing mumbo jumbo. A late showing to the (mid-engine) party after Ford brought back the GT and even Porsche going mid-engine with the 911 RSR. But if you are a Corvette fan (or a fan of affordable sports cars offering incredible performance), this is all very exciting. If that's not enough, watch this little promo video Chevy put together. It may make the hair on the back of your neck stand.


If you can't wait to see it run, Chevy will be taking the new car for a parade lap at Road Atlanta this weekend for Petit Le Mans. Until then, see you at Daytona! Oh, and don't worry. Jake is still alive and well!



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