A newly leaked document spells out the C8's engine offerings - and a C7 surprise.
What's probably the worst-kept secret in Detroit these days is the existence of the C8 Corvette. While the spotlight is right now focused on the C7 ZR-1, the upcoming C8, rumored to be unveiled this January, will be mid-engined, a first for the Corvette. Today, however, a Corvette Forum user has leaked a market analysis document from IHS Markit that provides definitive proof of not only the mid-engined Corvette itself, but also its three engine options. Let's begin, shall we.
Three different V8s will be on offer, two of which are DOHC V8s, a 4.2-liter and a 5.5-liter. GM has apparently already started building both. Now, here's where things become very interesting. The document breaks things down by model, with the current C7 called the Y1BC and the C8 the Y2BC. Why is the C7 even being mentioned? Because it's listed as a production model until 2021. That's when it'll officially cease production. In other words, the C7 isn't going anywhere just yet and will stick around for at least another three years. The document makes no mention of a front-engined successor. As for the Y2, the mid-engined C8, the 6.2-liter V8 will be the main engine with an average annual production of 14,000 units from 2019 until 2021.
Not long afterwards, the 6.2-liter will be dropped and the 4.2 will take its place. GM is planning a 7,000-unit average annual production. The 5.5-liter will see just 5,000 engines built per year. To summarize, the Y1/C7 will soldier on with a 6.2-liter V8 until 2021, while the Y2/C8 will be sold alongside its eventual predecessor for a time. Although we now know the C8's engine sizes, nothing has been revealed about designation. Curiously, the leaked document mentions a "Cadillac Sports Car" that will also utilize the 4.2-liter with twin-turbochargers. Chances are, the C8's engines will both be twin-turbo V8s. But wait, a Cadillac? Apparently, GM's luxury brand is slated to get a new sports car, but details are non-existent at this time.
Lastly, let's talk horsepower. The document lists "maximum output" of the new engine family as 850 hp and 720 lb-ft of torque. Let's assume it's referring to the 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8. The new C7 ZR1, to quickly compare, has 755 hp and 715 lb-ft of torque. Do some math and reduce the 5.5's horsepower-per-liter measurement and apply it to the 4.2-liter, you're looking at around 650 hp – exactly the output of the current Z06. Wicked. And there you have it. The engine lineup for the C8 and the continued production of the C7. Undoubtedly we'll learn more as we get closer to Detroit.