Mistakes happen, but this one is kind of embarrassing.
We recently learned that the highly anticipated mid-engined C8 Chevrolet Corvette will not debut next month at the Detroit Auto Show. Its debut at the Motor City in the cold January winter was expected for some time so, needless to say, we were very surprised to learn of its absence. So, why the delay?
According to GM Authority, GM sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, claim engineers discovered a major electrical issue during recent testing. Supposedly, the car’s electrical system can’t carry the load necessary to support the necessary components. The solution is to completely re-engineer the C8’s electrical system. Not only will that require additional time, but it has various side effects.
For example, GM will now have to re-coordinate with suppliers involved in providing various electrical components and all other related equipment. Obviously, this won’t affect the design inside or out, but it’s still quite an undertaking this late in the development process. But the big question is, how did this happen (assuming the information is accurate)? Isn’t this something engineers should have caught far earlier in prototype testing? What about advanced computer models? Why didn’t they identify the problem? Answers to these questions will likely arrive in due course.
In any case, the C8 Corvette is still on track to be ready for the 2020 model year, but we shouldn’t rule out a 2021 launch entirely. A six-month delay isn’t the end of the world, but it’s still disappointing.
After all, the Detroit Auto Show is where America’s big three typically bring out their best and most anticipated new vehicles. Ford, for example, has already announced its new Mustang Shelby GT500 will debut and, rumor has it, the reborn Bronco could make an appearance. Could the C8 be ready in time for the New York Auto Show in April? It will be 66 years come spring when the C1 Corvette premiered at the GM Motorama in the Big Apple. Everything is still a big question mark for now, but we’ll be at Detroit next month where we'll hopefully get some answers from GM.