Report: Mid-engine Corvette Prone to Getting Bent Out of Shape

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Chevrolet was expected to debut its new, mid-engine C8 Corvette sometime over the winter, but a series of delays meant the only glimpses we’ve had of the thing are of the spy shot variety. And boy, are there a lot of those. That thing gets around more than Wendy in Breaking Bad.

While a report late last year pointed to electrical issues as the reason for the delay, a new report points not only to this, but a structural problem, too.

According to sources who spoke to Hagerty, General Motors is having trouble with its new Global B electrical architecture, of which the C8 is a recipient. The cloud-based system, first promised by then-GM product chief Mark Reuss in 2015, would allow the over-the-air downloading of various features.

No one wants an American supercar with a British temperament, so it’s imperative that GM work out the bugs before the system finds its way into a production vehicle, be it a C8 or family crossover.

Just as worrisome — and time consuming — is an issue with the vehicle’s aluminum spaceframe, which reportedly flexes too much when paired with GM’s upcoming LT6 and LT8 twin-turbocharged DOHC V8s, which are rumored to fall within the 900-1,000 horsepower range. The distortion is apparently serious enough to break the glass engine cover.

Base C8s will not receive these monster engines, however. An LT2 V8 (essentially an LT1 with more athletic valves) is expected to serve as the base powerplant, Hagerty claims, providing the mid-engine Vette with an attractive starting price and upwards of 500 horsepower. No C8 is expected to receive a manual transmission; managing the power output of all C8 flavors is a Tremec seven-speed dual clutch automatic.

If alleged electrical and chassis issues weren’t enough, another source claims a third problem afflicts the model’s development. This one, however, remains cloaked in mystery, described only as a disagreement between designers and engineers. What could bring the two groups to loggerheads is anyone’s guess.

With a New York Auto Show debut looking very unlikely, Hagerty posits that we might see the C8 bow this August at the National Corvette Museum’s 25th birthday bash in Bowling Green, Kentucky, not far from the C7 and C8’s home.

[Image: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Mar 19, 2019

    Is it possible that the rear engine will lend itself to the insertion of a transfer box and AWD down the road a ways ?

  • SuperCarEnthusiast SuperCarEnthusiast on Mar 19, 2019

    Is it that hard to get GM to go out and buy a Tesla for the cloud downloading over the air function and a Mclaren for the superframe? Afterward, GM engineer put the car back together and sell it! GM might loose 20% of the cost of the cars! but look at the savings in R&D costs and testing time.

  • Lorenzo Massachusetts - with the start/finish line at the tip of Cape Cod.
  • RHD Welcome to TTAH/K, also known as TTAUC (The truth about used cars). There is a hell of a lot of interesting auto news that does not make it to this website.
  • Jkross22 EV makers are hosed. How much bigger is the EV market right now than it already is? Tesla is holding all the cards... existing customer base, no dealers to contend with, largest EV fleet and the only one with a reliable (although more crowded) charging network when you're on the road. They're also the most agile with pricing. I have no idea what BMW, Audi, H/K and Merc are thinking and their sales reflect that. Tesla isn't for me, but I see the appeal. They are the EV for people who really just want a Tesla, which is most EV customers. Rivian and Polestar and Lucid are all in trouble. They'll likely have to be acquired to survive. They probably know it too.
  • Lorenzo The Renaissance Center was spearheaded by Henry Ford II to revitalize the Detroit waterfront. The round towers were a huge mistake, with inefficient floorplans. The space is largely unusable, and rental agents were having trouble renting it out.GM didn't know that, or do research, when they bought it. They just wanted to steal thunder from Ford by making it their new headquarters. Since they now own it, GM will need to tear down the "silver silos" as un-rentable, and take a financial bath.Somewhere, the ghost of Alfred P. Sloan is weeping.
  • MrIcky I live in a desert- you can run sand in anything if you drop enough pressure. The bigger issue is cutting your sidewalls on sharp rocks. Im running 35x11.5r17 nittos, they're fine. I wouldn't mind trying the 255/85r17 Mickey Thompsons next time around, maybe the Toyo AT3s since they're 3peak. I like 'em skinny.