2020 Chevrolet Corvette (C8) spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
For the first time, Chevrolet's next-generation C8 Corvette has been spotted in race car form. It will likely follow the ".R" naming scheme of previous generations, thus we're looking at the new C8.R. And it's not only mid-engined, it sounds like there's a turbocharged V-8 mounted in the there.
Spy shots published by Sportscar365 on Wednesday revealed the C8.R for the first time testing in full camouflage at Road America. According to the report, it's the first time the C8.R has hit the track publicly outside of testing at General Motors' Milford Proving Grounds.
From the photos, which only show the car's rear, it remains difficult to pick out any specifics. But, there's decidedly less cladding, which lets our eyes pore over a chiseled rear end with plenty of angles, a massive rear diffuser and wing, and two single exhaust pipes. We also spot ventilation mounted at the middle of the car for the engine that lurks beneath.
Speaking of the engine, Sportscar365 also recorded trackside audio of the C8.R and there's most definitely a turbocharged engine present. The current Corvette C7.R racer runs a naturally aspired V-8, and if the C8.R does sport forced induction, it will be the first Corvette racer to do so. The engine's tone is very similar to the Ford GT's, yet deeper, since a V-8 is almost certainly present. Listen for the glorious-sounding downshift around the 15.0-second mark.
A Car and Driver report from May suggested the road-going C8 Corvette will sport three engines, one of them being a twin-turbo 5.5-liter DOHC V-8 engine. If the rumor proves true, the 5.5-liter V-8 could be the engine we hear in the audio. The other engines are expected to be an uprated version of the C7 Corvette Stingray's 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 and a naturally aspirated version of the 5.5-liter DOHC V-8. A hybridized V-8 with close to 1,000 horsepower may be in the cards, too.
The brand has not confirmed any information, nor has Chevrolet acknowledged the C8 Corvette's existence.
It's unclear when we'll see the mid-engine C8 Corvette make its debut, but the 2019 Detroit auto show is a possibility. However, the C&D report noted a spring 2019 debut. The C8.R will likely show face in late 2019 after the C7.R performs one last time at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans.