GM Won't Help Tuners Upgrade The C8 Corvette

Tuning / Comments

But we bet the ECU will be cracked eventually.

The C8 version of the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is extremely popular, and a number of aftermarket tuning companies have been offering bolt-on parts to capitalize on this demand. We've seen spoilers, suspension components, and even full body kits, but you may have noticed that there still isn't anyone who offers something as simple as an intake system. Sure, there are companies that can supercharge or turbocharge your C8, but these systems involve aftermarket piggyback ECU systems and are very complex and expensive. This leads to why you can't get a simple intake for the C8 - nobody knows how to tune the ECU to allow for different MAF scaling or any other custom parameters. The ECU's security is simply too strong, and GM says that this won't be changing anytime soon.

Chevrolet
Chevrolet

We reported on this back in January of last year, when it came to light that Hennessey may need GM's help to tune the new Vette. Much like the R35 Nissan GT-R when it launched, the ECU is so heavily guarded that you either fail to break in or get in and 'brick', or render useless, the ECU. With the R35, it took a very long time and former NASA engineers to figure out how to get in. Eventually, this knowledge was shared and Nissan all but lifted its security protocols since the automaker realized that tuning was a part of the car's culture.

With GM, no such kind reprieve is being offered. In an interview with Muscle Cars & Trucks, Corvette Executive Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter basically said that tuners are on their own: "The aftermarket crew is very talented and resourceful [...] Our desire is to make the car as hack-proof as possible to protect our customers."

2020-2021 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Front View Driving Chevrolet
2020-2021 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Engine Chevrolet
2020-2021 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Front View Driving Chevrolet
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The reason he cites is that a hacker could "take over your car", despite such things thus far proving to be an extremely rare occurrence except in films. It's a bit of a copout and sounds like the sort of corporate legal response that shows little interest in catering to the C8's massive enthusiast base, but GM's decision appears to be final. "The answer is essentially no. We're not going to go give everybody keys to the backdoor into our modules to do whatever they want. We think the best will figure it out." However, Callaway has an agreement with GM and will get some assistance. The scope of this has not been laid out and will likely be minimal, so until somebody figures out how to break in to the ECU safely, you're stuck with either complex and expensive aftermarket ECU offerings or a stock C8.

2020-2021 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Front View Chevrolet
2020-2021 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Top View Chevrolet
Source Credits: Muscle Cars and Trucks

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