Getting the new C8 to work with nitrous could be a trick.
A maiden day at the drag strip for a 2020 Chevrolet Corvette ended in disaster, after a nitrous-injected run resulted in a broken half-axle and a ride on a flatbed.
This C8 Corvette, the property of LG Motorsport, was fitted with an LT2-specific nitrous-oxide-injection system from Nitrous Express. The Corvette's powertrain control module apparently didn't take kindly to being force-fed extra oxygen from a bottle, refusing to complete the shift from first to second while the nitrous was engaged and the throttle pinned, LG said in a Facebook post.
That was run number two at TX2K, after a successful naturally aspirated run in 12.11 seconds at 118 mph.
Things got worse as LG Motorsport undertook pass number three. The driver got around the Corvette's stubborn no-shift problem by waiting until the car was in second before activating the nitrous system, at which point the Corvette summarily broke one of its half-axles and came to a stop on the track, having to be towed away.
With that, we're still waiting to see what a nitrous-injected C8 is capable of on the dragstrip. LG's second run produced an elapsed time of 12.09 seconds at 124 mph, despite its difficulty leaving first gear. Were it not for that significant handicap, there's no telling what the 2020 Corvette could have run.
Of course, as big a pain as a broken half-axle is, it's a good thing that that component appears to be the weak point in the drivetrain; better to sheer an axle than to grenade a gearbox. We're not aware of any half-axle upgrades currently on the market, but given the Corvette's popularity with American performance enthusiasts, it's only a matter of time before one is brought to market.
As for the other common types of power adder - namely, turbos and superchargers - getting those to work with the C8 might be a fair bit more complicated. General Motors went to great lengths to make its powertrain control module as secure and unhackable as possible, and tuning the engine to cope with the extra intake charge could necessitate factory support from GM itself.
It's a crying shame.