This is going to be, in one word, epic.
It’s happening a week from this Thursday. The long-awaited C8 Corvette will be revealed to the world. Some Corvette purists are already devastated by the discontinuation of the front engine setup. Chevrolet will counter that by stating its engineers did everything they could to extract as much performance and handling from the C7 as possible and going mid-engine is the only way to move the Corvette program forward. It’s a fair argument. But what will power the C8, at least initially?
GM Authority claims it has confirmed through sources familiar with Chevrolet’s product planning the new mid-engined C8 will be powered by GM’s new 6.2-liter V8. Assigned engine code is LT2. The 6.2-liter LT2 V8 is, in many ways, identical to the outgoing 6.2-liter LT1 V8, which powers the current C7 Stingray and Grand Sport, as well as the Camaro SS and Camaro LT1.
What’s new with the LT2 are some "minor modifications” allowing for the fitment of a mid-engine configuration. Obviously, this fact makes complete sense, but what other improvements have been done considering the LT1 dates back to 2014? Although this cannot be confirmed just yet, GM Authority has reason to believe the LT2 will receive the Active Fuel Management system and various valving improvements that reduce friction, thus allowing for smoother and more efficient functionality. The LT2 will retain the push-rod configuration, Direct Injection, and Variable Valve Timing. Output, however, will slightly increase.
Today’s LT1 is rated at 455 hp at 6,000 rpm and 460 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm. Expect the LT2 to produce somewhere in the neighborhood of 480 hp to 500 hp. And remember, this is only the "base” C8. The C7’s seven-speed manual, unfortunately, is a goner, replaced solely by a new seven-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission. There are no plans to offer the C8 with a manual.
Continuing the small block V8 tradition with the C8 should really come as no surprise. However, the LT2 will not be the only engine the C8 will have during its production life. Though no time frame is yet available, expect the C8 to one day feature an electric motor, likely to power the front wheels, while a new twin-turbo V8 will handle the rear rollers. Again, this cannot be confirmed at this time, but given the growing electrification of supercars and high-end sports cars these days, Chevy simply cannot afford not to advance with the times.