Chevy debuts new Corvette racer and its mysterious new V8.
We already knew a fresh Corvette race car based on the mid-engined Corvette was in development. Like many though, we didn't quite expect it to be unveiled this early in the C8 Corvette's lifecycle. Cape Canaveral in Florida is where Chevrolet was already showing off the hardtop convertible version and decided that it was a suitable place to also show off the new rocket ship.
Corvette factory team driver Tommy Milner brought the C8.R out on stage, and everyone got to see and hear the Corvette up close that will be battling it out next season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The modern incarnation of Corvette's race team has been pushing the front-engined platform hard since 1999. The Corvette race team is ahead of its other North American rivals with 107 wins under its belt already and, more importantly, 13 team championships, 12 manufacturer titles, and 12 driver's titles.
In 2015, the Corvette team claimed the triple crown of winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a single season. The 2020 season starts with the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, and that's where the C8.R will first turn its wheels in anger.
Technical details are scarce but, Chevrolet promised more details next week at the IMSA Petit LeMans race. Rumor has it, and the sound of the race car backs it up, that the C8.R has a different V8 engine mounted behind the driver than the one that powers the production C8. That's most likely a flat-plane crankshaft engine as they are usually lighter and have a higher rev limit than standard crossplane crankshaft engines.
The number 4 car Chevrolet displayed came out with silver and yellow livery that pays tribute to some of the famous Corvette concept cars of the past, but the other C8.R will continue to fly the traditional colors when it competes.
As with the previous generation of Corvette, Chevrolet promises that the technology from the race cars will benefit their road-going counterparts.
"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," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports. "The collaboration between these teams has allowed us to take these vehicles' performance to the next level, both on the street and the track."