It will make its racing debut at Daytona next year.
During the 2020 Corvette Stingray Convertible's reveal event, Chevrolet also lifted the wraps off the new C8.R race car. Details were scarce at the time, but now Chevrolet has confirmed the mid-engine Corvette racer will be powered by a flat-plane crank 5.5-liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine producing 500 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque to comply with IMSA regulations. A new compact Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox was also developed for the C8.R to provide room at the rear for a race car specific diffuser.
"We have looked forward to racing a production-based mid-engine Corvette for a long time," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet US vice president of Performance and Motorsports. "The debut of the C8.R is the result of immense collaboration between GM Engineering, Propulsion, Design and the Corvette Racing team. As Corvette Racing enters its third decade of competition, we're excited to begin the next chapter."
Based on the the 2020 Corvette Stingray's foundation, the C8.R has a "deeper level of technology transfer between the race car and production Corvette than ever before" and "shares the highest percentage of parts between the production and race car than any previous generation" according to Chevrolet, implying that a street version could pack a variation of the C8.R's V8 engine. Potentially, then, the C8.R could preview the next-generation Corvette Z06.
"It was important for us to develop the new race car alongside the production car, so that each product could properly take advantage of the new architecture," said Ed Piatek, Corvette chief engineer. "The benefits of this mid-engine supercar, including its incredible balance and connected-to-the-road feel, will be obvious on the street and the track."
Since certain design elements of the road-going 2020 Corvette Stingray aren't required for racing, a centrally-mounted radiator replaces the production Corvette's front storage compartment. Ultra-bright racing headlights were also fitted where the radiators are located on the production car. Compared to the C7.R, the C8.R boasts improved aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics, and weight distribution thanks to the use of thousands of 3D-printed prototype parts for the chassis and wind tunnel testing. The C8.R's chassis structure is also significantly stiffer and lighter than its predecessor's.
The No. 4 C8.R race car features a new silver livery with yellow accents inspired by iconic Corvette concepts such as the 1973 Chevrolet Aerovette and the 1959 Corvette Stingray Racer, while the No. 3 race car is finished in Chevrolet's signature racing yellow color scheme with silver accents. You'll be able to see the new Corvette race car tear up the track next year when it makes its track debut at Daytona on January 25, 2020.