Because cybersecurity matters these days.
A few days ago we learned that C8 Corvette engineers may have made the car completely un-tunable for the sake of avoiding potential hacking. That's not to say the C8 can't be modified with various suspension, tire, and some engine upgrades. But the engine's software itself will be heavily restricted. While not completely unhackable, the Engine Control Unit (ECU) has received state-of-the-art safeguards all in the name of cybersecurity. Muscle Cars And Trucks, the same outlet that first brought the C8's lack of tuning to light, has learned more details about this issue from none other than GM President Mark Reuss.
"We are going to do everything we can to protect our customers from a cybersecurity standpoint," said Reuss. "Global B I think is going to be the standard of the industry in terms of the encrypted messaging that travels on our bus between modules. There's a clean side and dirty side to that."
What is Global B? It is GM's Battery Electric Vehicle architecture. And no, the 2020 C8 is definitely not all-electric, but there is lots of shared software with upcoming EVs. "(The C8) is very, very well done in terms of being able to be connected," Reuss added, "But also to have the capacity and capability for things like Super Cruise, AV, and EV. That pipeline that is created with Global B and cybersecurity to be part of that is very, very robust."
GM, like all major automakers, has identified cybersecurity as a key threat to future vehicles, and because of the C8's advanced software and connectivity capabilities, the necessary precautions must be taken. That being said, Reuss is clearly sympathetic to the aftermarket tuning crowd. He knows ECU tuning has been regular practice for years now.
However, we're entering a new era. "I don't wanna cut anybody out from an aftermarket standpoint, but we have to pick and choose who are the good guys." To us, it sure sounds like he's implying GM will selectively choose which tuning outfits will be allowed to do some ECU tinkering. We expect to learn more details about this subject when the 2020 C8 Corvette finally premieres on July 18.