By on December 13, 2018

It was long assumed that the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette would premiere at the North American International Auto Show next month. However, General Motors recently confirmed this was not to be. In fact, it doesn’t appear as though the automaker has any big announcements scheduled for the event. Did something go wrong?

Big time, according to GM Authority. The outlet claims the C8 Corvette’s engineering team found a major electrical issue that stymied development. Anonymous sources hinted that the current system isn’t robust enough to carry the load necessary to support all of the car’s components simultaneously. 

From GM Authority:

To address the issue, engineers will need to re-engineer the vehicle’s electrical system. Naturally, changes made to the sports car will also need to be coordinated with suppliers involved in providing GM with the electrical components, as well as any associated equipment. The undertaking will delay the mid-engine Corvette project by six months.

While disappointing, it’s better that GM takes care of this now. Crossing your fingers and hoping that the inevitable recall isn’t too savage is a poor way to launch a new product, especially a high-profile model like the Corvette.

However, it still leaves the manufacturer in a minor predicament. GM now has to contact its suppliers as it makes tweaks and looks for a place to showcase the automobile before 2020. The six-month delay makes the New York Auto Show, which takes place in April, seem unlikely. Meanwhile, Los Angeles is almost a full year away.

Would GM engage in mild sacrilege by unveiling a new Corvette outside the United States? It has certainly happened before. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible and 2017 Grand Sport were both unveiled in Europe in a bid to help its image in that market. The Vette has always been a giant-slayer in terms of cost-to-performance, but the rest of the world hasn’t appreciated that fact to the same degree as America. Maybe GM thinks the mid-engined C8 will change their minds.

[Image: General Motors]

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48 Comments on “Chevrolet’s C8 Corvette Reportedly Delayed for Six Months...”


  • avatar
    whynot

    Scope creep (what I strongly suspect is behind the electrical system ultimately not being robust enough) hits again.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I think we need a Corvette deathwatch.

    Lets go from a cheap (by comparison) and cheerful car that could knock off cars with 6 figure price tags in the performance department and has sold in decent numbers (keeping the factory producing at a reasonable % of capacity) and turn it into a SUPERCAR with said 6 figure price tag.

    WHAT COULD GO WRONG?!?!?!?

  • avatar
    JMII

    The C8 is rumored to have 6 figure price so its performance-to-dollars ratio is going to be skewed. As the mid-engine ‘Vette has been rumored for so long they can’t screw this up at the last minute.

    I am happy with my C7 but kind of bummed about them going mid-engine. Its like they finally caved to the pressure of everyone saying the car it not world class because the engine is in the wrong place. I wish they continued to engineer the current layout to be the best of its kind. Similar to how Porsche has stuck with its rear engine configuration despite its downsides.

    • 0 avatar
      NG5

      I agree. FR layout gave them something unique. There will probably be faster, lighter, more advanced, and/or cheaper competitors across the mid-engined layout the moment this goes on sale. What will this be able to offer? Cheaper price at a performance point? It seems more interesting to stand as the pinnacle of one vehicle configuration, especially when that model means so much to so many people. Throwing it full into the diluted sea of unattainable and unfamiliar supercars seems like a major risk without a lot of payout.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      I’m kinda hoping Corvette becomes a brand and they go forward with a front engine Stingray and mid engine Manta-ray.

      I know that’s not the case but it would be pretty cool. Maybe just make Corvette the performance brand period and leave the boring crap for the regular brands.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    This whole thing is strange. I can’t be the only one who finds this thing’s move upmarket a bit tone deaf in the midst of GM killing off bread and butter sedans. Market wise I don’t see people spending GT3/Aston Martin money on a Corvette, no matter how good it is…. and there are increasingly loud murmurs of an impending recession. So GM will be getting burnt on both ends.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I wonder if GM actually wants the C8 to be a low volume super car and turn the Camaro into the V8 RWD vehicle of choice. As is a Camaro can be outfitted to the point where it can out run the C7.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        This might be their plan, but is it a good idea amd why bother doing it?

        The names “Corvette” and “Camaro” have certain expectations (and baggage) attached to them and GM isn’t going to be able to change that.

        It doesn’t matter if they manage to make the C8 run with the Senna & the Camaro SS run with an M4 GTS because the Mr.Euro types are still going to go “LOL, Chevy”, not buy them, and make fun of something like the door handles or seat stitching.

        On the other side, current Corvette intenders aren’t going to like having to “downgrade” to a Camaro and I’m not sure the actual (not GM imagined) market for either nameplate really desires hypercar performance in the first place.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          They should just make this a new car. As to the Camaro…I will always picture a roached third gen with a Skid Row cassette stuck in the cassette deck. Nothing will change that.

        • 0 avatar
          raph

          ajla – you say that but I’ve seen a few defections from BMW and Porsche to the GT350 and again BMW with the S-197 Boss.

          I’m not saying its huge but the potential exists.

          More so than the trite “cheap plasticky interior” or whatever causes auto journos to pee thier pants the thing that generally kills enthusiasm seems to be the dealer experience for defectors.

          Well at least in anecdotally.

          GM might get a sizable amount of people checking it out but the rub will invariably be the dealer expereince as they walk in the door and are treated no better than the schlub demanding top serive and invoice pricing on the stripped penalty box sitting on the lot.

          Let alone when a defect or other issue shows up and GM tries to shuffle them out the door with the “Hey my job as a service writer is to find any reason I can to deny you a warranty”.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Agreed JMII – my thought is the traditional Corvette buyer is fading away (although there are a sizable number of younger people in Corvettes I’d bet real money these are used purchases rather than new so no direct benefit to GM. Every new Corvette I see is driven by a 60’s something).

        GM might as well try to capture more affluent buyers since they can afford to cover the loss in volume.

        It rarely happens but manufacturers have been known to “fire” their existing customers.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        There was talk for a while of building both front- and mid-engine Corvettes, making the mid-engine car a C4 ZR-1 kinda thing.

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      I suspect this is going to end up supplementing the current Corvette (and a future cheaper front engine Corvette further down the line) rather than replacing it.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        Can the market really support TWO Corvettes? Even if one is “cheap”? Can GM really build two Corvettes at one plant? Do they darn move production from Bowling Green? Maybe the round tail lights going away was just the beginning.

        • 0 avatar
          whynot

          I don’t see why not, especially as I doubt the mid engine one will be high volume. The current Corvette is only ~5 years old and still very competitive. No need to get rid of it this early, and they can just give it a slight refresh in a few years. Its costs have already been paid for.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        This is what I’m hoping. I’ve been thinking “Corvette” could definitely be its own sub-brand… Corvette Stingray, Corvette Manta Ray etc.

    • 0 avatar
      NG5

      I agree with this wholeheartedly. It feels strange. I have a hard time trusting a company that would leave less profitable segments to have any long-term interest in supporting the sportscar or enthusiast market either (see e.g. Ford). They can make a lot of short term gains by tricking we faithful about the value of vehicles they intend to bury; God forbid this happen to the Corvette.

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    Where is akear, with his typical, poorly-written anti-GM vitriol?

  • avatar
    Garrett

    You’re all being played. There is no mid-engine Corvette.

    What they are going to unveil is the Corvair SS.

  • avatar

    At this point I just feel sorry for the people working at GM.

  • avatar
    bobmaxed

    They may as well abandon this obsolete two seater thing and bring out the 3 row, high ground clearance Corvette.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    A mid engined Corvette makes sense if
    1. GM is projecting declining sales for Corvette and would rather increased profit per unit.
    2. Corvette is to grow into a multi car brand, which is expensive and risky but can work like Jeep does for Chrysler.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    A professional engineering team couldn’t design a vehicle electrical system?

    “found a major electrical issue that stymied development.”

    Sure. Anonymous sources blah, blah, blah. Mr Anonymouse makes a triumphant return in another win for obfuscation.

    Go on, tell me another one. Because I don’t believe this one at all. If they can design a Volt and a Bolt, what did they do wrong here in something far simpler electrically. Poppycock.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Large companies suffer from compartmentalization. Meaning that information or experience gained by a particular group/division/business unit is not always shared with another group within the same company.
    An acquaintance would call it “corporate tribalism”.

    I ignore whether GM suffers from that malaise, but the very large companies I have worked for, i certainly have experienced it.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Where I work we call them silos… and yes its a very real thing in large and even small companies. As the saying goes the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

      Ironically this ignorance is one of the reasons I bought a C7. It is almost like the car was designed outside of GM. As if it came from a skunk-works project were focus groups and marketing people had less influence.

      The question is was the C8 team so hidden away and working on such crazy stuff that they overlooked something simple?

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Danio has already decided there isnt any and will never be any mid-engine Corvette, so all the talk and the test mules are just, um, a distraction, I guess.

  • avatar
    mcs

    I wonder if the new engine, the possibility of adding all-wheel drive, and keeping whatever clearances needed for pedestrian protection are what made them move to a mid-engine. With the engine out back, it probably gave them much more freedom at the front end.


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