By on April 12, 2019

GM

Subjected to more spy photography than Princess Diana, the Chevrolet Corvette C8 is very much real. For the first time, General Motors has released official images of the next-generation car, adding a debut date for good measure.

Still cloaked in camouflage, the mid-engined C8 prototype crawled along the streets of New York City Thursday, piloted by Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter. GM CEO Mary Barra rode shotgun for the trip, which culminated at the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s annual Footsteps to the Future Gala.

There, GM announced that the final C7 Vette will be auctioned off to the charity’s benefit.

Roaring out of Bowling Green, Kentucky for the 2020 model year, the C8 Corvette is the product of decades of fandom, years of development, and one well-publicised delay. We should have seen the car by now. Electrical issues with the car’s new, cloud-based system prompted a pushback in the C8’s unveiling, but earlier this year a report arose of structural issues. According to the report, the car’s aluminum spaceframe exhibited too much flex when coupled with a pair of hi-po engines developed solely for this car.

Image: GM

It’s rumored that the ballsiest of those motors might reach 1,000 horsepower. Whatever the final number, Juechter didn’t exactly take Barra for a pavement-scorching, engine cover-popping ride yesterday.

“GM, GMC and Chevrolet support the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its commitment to injured and fallen military members, first responders and their families,” said Barra on Thursday. “The sale of this iconic Corvette will help the foundation continue its good work, and pave the way for the Next Generation Corvette that we will introduce on July 18.”

The last seventh-generation Corvette will be a black Z06 model, GM announced. It’s scheduled to cross the block at the Barrett-Jackson Northeast sale in Connecticut on June 28th, which happens to be this writer’s birthday. Thank you for your kind thoughts and bids.

gm

As for the C8, GM hasn’t released specifics, but speculation and reports claim the mid-engined model will appear with a tweaked version of the tried-and-true pushrod 6.2-liter V8, mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. And only the DCT, too.

From that modest starting point, the C8 gets wild. As Car and Driver reports, there’s a Z06, ZR1, and range-topping hybrid (possible named Zora) in the works, each powered by a version of an upcoming twin-cam V8 of perhaps 5.5 liters. The loftier models will see a twin-turbocharged version of that engine.

[Images: General Motors]

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63 Comments on “Not a Ghost: The C8 Corvette, Bound for a July 18th Debut...”


  • avatar
    thelaine

    Wow. This is gonna be fun. Too bad Corvette is not a division, rather than just a single car. They are doing a nice job.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Note to GGM

    Do not cheap out on the interior. Spend extra!

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    It will be interesting to see what price point this ends up. I hope they are realistic in setting their sights on 911, base r8, NSX rather than the Brits or Italians.I the new engines have a different character, high revving nature. I’ve always felt the SBC to be kind of truckish,but effective nonetheless
    Definitely unobtainium for me but I hope it continues the trend of attracting the 50 and younger crowd, rather than the silver haired hard parking crowd from gen c6 and below.

  • avatar
    gass-man

    Why is this cars electrical system “cloud-based”? The “cloud” is just marketing bullshirt meaning “somebody else’s computer, that you don’t control, that can be used to steal your private information”.

    It also means the car you paid for (but don’t “own”; read the EULA) can be remotely modified or disabled without your permission. Just ask Tesla renter…er…”owners”.

    Do. Not. Want.

  • avatar
    Wunsch

    Until the comment about auctioning off the last C7 produced, I was clinging to the hope that GM would be smart enough to keep producing both types of Corvette in parallel (“Corvette Stingray” and “Corvette Zora” maybe?). I guess they’re not.

    This seems like a mistake to me. This C8 seems to be targetting a decidedly different kind of customer than the C7. The C7 remains a bit of an “everyman” performance car, usable every day. The C8 seems like a more exotic supercar sort of vehicle.

    I guess we’ll see how everything looks after July.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Personally when the last C7 rolls off the assembly line I’ll consider Corvette production to be over.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        +1

        Looks like de Nysschen disease has killed off the entirety of once-was GM.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        Oh, stop.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Wait, what? I thought the whole world wanted a mid-engine Corvette for the last 100 years. You mean they don’t?

        • 0 avatar
          Charliej

          Fifty years ago when they were talking about a mid engined Corvette I was excited. Forty years ago when they talked about a mid engined Corvette I was still excited. Thirty years ago when they talked about a mid engined Corvette I was ready to buy. Now when I am in my mid seventies I just don’t care anymore. Why couldn’t they have actually built a mid engined Corvette back when I would have enjoyed it? Instead it is here now to remind me that it is too late to get one. Oh well I guess I will just enjoy life on two wheels from now on.

      • 0 avatar
        ravenuer

        You forgot…”and get off my lawn!!!..

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      The “classic” Corvette is called the Camaro now. GM will happily sell you one with the big V8 up front, stick shift in the middle (for another few years?) and rear wheel drive.

      I think the real question is cost. If the C8 starts at just over $50K like the current C7 it could still be that “everyman” car. The other problem is storage. I own a C7 and its a great GT / road trip car as the platform offers TONS of rear hatch space. Stick an engine back there and suddenly you’ve got no room. Is the long hood up front enough? My brother’s Boxster can hold some stuff, but its about 1/2 what my C7 can swallow.

      The most disappointing thing about the C8 is the transmission. Sure the flappy paddles are faster, but this is just another nail in the 3 pedal coffin. Shame it couldn’t hang in there for one more generation.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        I don’t think the Camaro – as good as it is – feels anywhere the same as the C7. I drove a friend’s Camaro and it sure did not feel like my C7. It felt more nose-heavy and larger in general. It handled really well but always felt like I was forcing it to do so. The Vette has turn-in that feel natural…point and it goes like it wants to go. I can’t really say much about cargo room as I own a convertible so I lose quite a bit of space compared to the standard configuration.I’m disappointed in the flappy paddles as the only option for the C8 so I don’t think I will be trading in my car anytime soon. GM should see what Porsche did: they brought back the manual for some configuration. Ultimate track time is not as important as engagement, at least to me.

      • 0 avatar
        Wunsch

        Storage is definitely a concern. I know somebody who went shopping for a “good car to take camping.” He ended up buying a Corvette when he found he could fit everything he needed in the hatch.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Complete with no visibility!

    • 0 avatar
      chaparral

      If the base price is <$65,000, it'll be in the same market space as the old one.

      There's no reason for the price to go up. All of the transmission and chassis components on C7 were Corvette-specific, as was the body. By now the 22-year-old platform was fully amortized, and recovering a new sportscar platform every quarter century can't push up the price too much. If it comes in lighter and simpler unit cost to GM will go down.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Probably base out at $100K.

      So much for a sports car for the other 45%!

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I could see a c7 based Cadillac GT type car if cars ever become profitable again, why waste a world class chassis?

  • avatar
    ajla

    “The “classic” Corvette is called the Camaro now.”

    If this is the plan then the Camaro SS needs to get smaller & lighter, lose the useless rear seat, and get way less ugly.

    This also implies that no “classic” Camaro will exist. Which is probably accurate.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Supra looking pretty good for me right now.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Theres no way a potential c7 buyer is going downmarket to a Camaro.Nevermind thats its probably a great driving experience -but thats all it is. GM marketing wonks would like them to ,but the type of customer they want won’t.They’re more likely to end up in the aforementioned Supra, or possibly a GT 350

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Correct two totally different buyers

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      I’m not sure how many GM performance fans are jumping ship to a Toyota just to avoid a camaro. I agree that there will be some consternation that the Chevy dream car will become an actual dream for some buyers with the c8 generation, but people have been asking for a zora for decades now. I think the amount of buyers lost over the inability to afford/handle a mid engine vette and unwillingness to buy a zl1 instead is going to be minimal.

      Personally, i think the Camaro is getting uglier and uglier, and the inability to see out of it makes it a nonstarter for me. And yes, I have seat time in one – i even managed to parallel park the damn thing (because the owner didn’t want to, go figure). But the general consensus is that the Camaro is better than ever, and apparently the rest of the world likes Chevy’s latest design language. I think it’ll be a fine substitution for those unwilling to go supercar with the c8.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        Is the Camaro really that much harder to see out of than a Vette though? I feel like it’s just held to a higher standard because it’s not a 2 seater sports car. I’ve test driven a 6th gen Camaro and found it no harder to see out of than my Viper. Yeah, not great, but a lot of the comments about visibility are pretty overblown IMO. It’s a performance car, it’s not going to have the greenhouse of a sedan.

        • 0 avatar
          SlowMyke

          I don’t have seat time in the vette or really any of the recent competitors. But at 6’3″ and 185 lbs, i found it uncomfortable to try seeing out of. My aforementioned parallel parking was not a simple task, but doable since i do it enough in other vehicles. I’ve also sat in the back seat and i was also 1 of 5 people crammed into the Camaro for a 2-mile drive once. So I’m not just saying i sat in one once and didn’t like it. I’ve driven several iterations of the Camaro since it’s come back from it’s hiatus. Is it impossible to see out of? Of course not. It’s it stupidly hard to see out of due to questionable styling choices? Absolutely. It’s competition may be just as bad or close to it, but that doesn’t make it ok in my world. A smaller sized person might be just fine, though.

  • avatar
    ObviouslyCarGuru

    Oh boy. Just wait for the problems with this disaster to start rolling in.

  • avatar
    wooootles

    To be fair, they said the Corvette was dead when C5 had oblong tailights instead of round ones.
    They also said it’s dead when the popup headlights was removed for C6.
    I’m excited that this is not some Cadilliac Cien thing, and is a real, (relatively) affordable Mid-engined American sports car.
    The only major downside is no manual, but there’s always a chance they can offer it in the later years.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Two possible perspectives:

    a) GM has walked away from the uniqueness of Corvette. This is an exotic car; there are lots of exotic cars to choose from. GM has killed my lifelong dream of owning a new Corvette. GM has no special expertise or experience with cars of this type and there will probably be some growing pains which I would like to avoid.

    b) Corvette is awesome and this is another step in its transformation to world-class performance vehicle. Whatever they build I will praise it and pay for it and love it.

    I am glad there are people in the world with the lifestyle and the funds to be able to choose a) or b).

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Excellent take. As a ‘Vette owner I wanted them to keep the current configuration just to prove having the engine up front wasn’t some horrible thing.

      On the flip side we have heard for years now that the ‘Vette could never be truly world class until it goes mid-engine.

      With the C7 they fixed the complaints about the crappy interior. Now with the C8 they fixed the complaints about the platform / layout. Thus GM has no more excuses… the C8 better be amazing or the level of hurt will be epic.

    • 0 avatar
      aja8888

      ToolGuy, you may not be able to buy a new Vette, but there are lots of nice, well taken care of older ones out there.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    The hand-wringing is too funny – first, the $50k C5 came out in what – ’96? That was supposed to be the death knell for the Corvette. Then with the $75k C5 Z06 in 2003-2004, that was death knell #2. Then in 2007-2008, the $100k C6 Z06 was death knell #3. Then in 2009-2010 the $125k ZR1 was death knell #4…

    The hottest C8s will be $150k-$175k and they’ll sell every one they make.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I don’t recall any “death knell” talk about any of the stuff you listed.

      I also don’t think people are worried about a $180K “super Corvette” existing. They are worried about the entry price swinging up into 911 territory. GM didn’t only build high-dollar cars in prior gens and the inflation-adjusted starting price has been dancing around $50K for decades.

    • 0 avatar
      wooootles

      This is all wrong.
      C5 Debuted around $37k in 96
      C5 Z06 debuted around $48k in 2000
      C6 Z06 debuted around $65k-$70k in 2005
      C6 ZR1 just crested $100k in 2008

      And none of them were crticized for being too expensive for the performance that you get. I don’t think the base C8 with the rumored 500hp LT2 will be priced with R8 or NSX or 911 money. Maybe Cayman money.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    This will be the last Corvette. The vast majority of Corvettes produced since the hatchback was introduced in 1982 have been very practical for two-seaters. Who is the market for this car? Is GM hoping to sell in Ferrari numbers to Ferrari buyers? I recall being told I was too old for the C7, that GM made it look like a Transformer to lure younger buyers instead of middle-aged men. How’d that work out? The C7’s styling aged as does milk and now they’re stacked up unsold like Teslas.

    Anyone remember when the naturally aspirated, manual-only C6 ZO6 was so popular and respected that GM stole its badge for the ridiculous forced-induction automatic C7 ZO6? Smooth move, Ex-Lax.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      They are only stacking up because dealers are ordering them….they want the allocations on the C8 which they will sell well above MSRP for the first year. Whatever they lose on the C7s languishing on their lots will be more than made up.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Wait and see. Dealers are also the ones who kill performance cars by holding onto them until the world has moved on, waiting for the second fool to pay the big mark-up that they heard the first one did. Interest rates are up from the days of free inventory. They’re paying for those C7s now and they’ll pay for them again when they give up on selling them at a small loss. The C8 will be hot for a moment, at best. Word of mark-ups and charity auction prices will spread. Then the dealers will have C8s in stock while they hold out for a big score and the market looks at whatever the next hot car is.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I hope it’s a success but the sad truth is most “GM performance loyalists” can’t afford a 150k car. They’ll probably just spend less and get an 80k Tahoe .Success for this car is dependent on getting someone out of a 911,pure and simple.

    • 0 avatar
      wooootles

      Why is everyone saying that this is a $150k car?

      • 0 avatar
        OneAlpha

        It has to be AT LEAST $150,000 if GM wants it’s target demographic to take it seriously.

        The World’s Worst People.

        Rappers, celebutante fame whores, anti-American autojournos, professional athletes, Latin American drug lords and Eastern European porn kingpins.

        The C8 will also have to abandon and forever disavow those things which defined the Corvette until now – durability, reliability and low cost of ownership.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          “anti-American autojournos”

          You can certainly start your own publication with your pro-American car stance. Or you can just lobby Ford, GM and FCA to MAKE BETTER CARS.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    Leopard pattern with spinner wheels? Is hip hop going cougar now?

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Oh, look.

    GM’s going to repeat the same mistake it made with the fourth-gen F-body.

    Price it out of the range of the people who actually want it, and into the range of those who can afford it but want something more prestigious.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      I missed the pricing announcement, where was that announced?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Bespoke mid engine chassis, fancy tech packed new powertrains. It’ll be expensive. Not to mention a mid-rear layout Corvette will never be able to achieve the volume of previous Corvettes, so cost amortization will be difficult without a high price. The days of selling 25,000 Corvettes a year are over.

      It’ll still be a bargain compared to a the closest Ferrari, but was the Corvette ever competing for buyers with Ferrari?

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        The Corvette is already a bespoke chassis.

        The base engine is an updated LT1, which is exactly what it would be if the C8 were front engined.

        I don’t buy the evidence-free argument that this is a sure sales loser either. Corvette buyers are loyal, which is more than most cars can say. They may whine but they always end up buying.

        Basically, I don’t see the argument where this has to be a significant jump up in base price. GM can still amortize the small block development costs across Camaros, trucks, and SUVs in a way that no other sports car maker can. Mid-engine in itself is not inherently more expensive than front engine. I personally would have preferred to see the C8 remain front engined, and the mid engine supercar be a Cadillac. Even though they didn’t do that, I’m not ready to write off the C8 before it’s even unveiled.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    This is the worlds dumbest automotive move in history. Edsel, Mustang II, exploding Ford(s), Catera, new Blazer, NSX 2.0, they all seem like child’s play when it comes to destroying brands or name plates compared to what this is doing to the Corvette name and General Motors over all. I could not possibly imagine being more fearful of the future than GM dealers must feel now.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I think its still too early to tell, but whatever does come of this will be a bellwether for GGM as a whole.


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