By my deeds I honor him, V-8.
That's what Chevrolet's engineers/Cult of the V-8 members must have been chanting as they worked on the new engine powering the C8.R race car based on the mid-engine Corvette, as it looks to be an impressive bit of kit.
Chevy late on Thursday confirmed the engine as a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V-8 with dual overhead cams and a flat-plant crank, a configuration common to the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and some of Ferrari's greatest mid-engine cars. Just listen to the beast in the promo video below.
The best part is that we'll see the engine, or more precisely a version of it, in a future road car. Per the technical regulations of the GTE class in which the C8.R is set to compete in, the engine “must be derived from a series production engine produced at more than 300 units and fitted to a series vehicle from the same manufacturer.”
This was backed up by a Chevy spokesman who confirmed to Jalopnik at the C8.R briefing that the new 5.5 is a “future production-based engine.”
The spokesman didn't say where the production-based version would end up, but the smart money's on it being in the next Z06. Rumor has it that a twin-turbocharged version of the engine is also in the works and destined for the next ZR1.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8.R race car
In compliance with the regulations, the engine is limited to 500 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque in the C8.R. It's also mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission. The chassis is the same as the Corvette road car, though there are modifications made to meet regulations. Other features include custom aero and 18-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport GT competition tires.
Corvette is one of the most successful nameplates in endurance racing. It's enjoyed multiple class wins in the top events including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 12 Hours of Sebring and the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The new C8.R will likely carry on that tradition as it competes in the GTE class of the World Endurance Championship and equivalent GTLM class of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
After a preview showing at this weekend's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the car's competition debut will be the Rolex 24 at Daytona next January, which is the opening race of the 2020 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. There, it will go up against race cars based on the Ferrari 488 (or possibly F8 Tributo), Ford GT, and Porsche 911.