Wrecked Corvette C8 To Get 1,000-HP Rotary Engine Swap

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This Corvette's short life really hasn't been boring.

One of the more cringe-worthy motoring stories of 2020 - that of an owner who had his brand new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray wrecked one day after delivery - might have a happier ending after all. But first, a quick recap: back in April, Florida resident June Bug's new C8 Corvette was badly damaged in an accident caused by a drunk driver in an Hyundai. The Corvette had covered a mere 221 miles at the time of the crash.

Not many people would want anything to do with a wrecked Corvette, but a rotary engine fan by the name of Rob Dahm had other ideas. He decided to buy the infamous C8 and, instead of just repairing it, wants to replace the engine with a rotary motor. This is a curious decision since the mid-engined C8's powerplant wasn't anywhere close to the damaged front end.

The replacement of the Chevy's V8 with a rotary motor is appropriately described by Dahm as bastardizing yet another Corvette. His journey began with a 2,500-mile trip to pick up the ill-fated sports car, which had also been fitted with the Z51 Performance Package. Dahm's previous rotor exploits include a Mazda RX-7 with a four-rotor turbocharged engine from which he generated almost 1,000 horsepower.

If Dahm's rotor swap for the Corvette produces that amount of power, it'll be a massive increase on the 495-hp output of the stock C8 when fitted with the Z51 package. That car already manages zero to sixty in under three seconds, so one can only imagine how explosive double that power could be. At around the 16:20 mark in the video, the C8's V8 burble can be heard as it drives up onto the trailer (yes, it still runs). When its rotary transformation is complete, it'll sound a lot different.

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Rob Dahm via YouTube
Rob Dahm via YouTube
Rob Dahm via YouTube
Rob Dahm via YouTube

Dahm claims that he wants to get the C8 back to stock form, but that comment obviously only applies to the bodywork. It'll also be a major challenge, since the C8's front crash structure and frame were also damaged in the accident. The deployed airbags will also have to be replaced, and various components were stripped, likely when assessed by the insurance company.

Still, the replacement of the V8 with the four-rotor engine remains the most controversial - and ambitious - aspect of the project, and although many Corvette fans are unlikely to be impressed, we can't wait to see the end result.

Rob Dahm via YouTube
Rob Dahm via YouTube
Rob Dahm via YouTube

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