Its been three years since we've seen the first prototypes of the eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette testing out the new mid-engine layout, and with the unveiling only one month away, it's a good idea to gather all of the rumors up that we've seen from different outlets, this way we have an idea of what to expect.
First things first, engines. Car and Driver says that the base Corvette will have a 6.2-liter V8 producing around 500 horsepower. This is likely to be a variant of the LT1 that is in the current C7 Corvette. Z06 models will make use of a 5.5-liter, double-overhead cam, "totally a variant of the Blackwing", V8. This engine is also rumored to use a flat-plane crankshaft.
The high-performance models are assumed to be carry the "Zora" name, as opposed to the current "ZR1" name. This is to pay homage to Zora Arkus-Duntov, the chief engineer for the Corvette for several years. These models are expected to use a twin-turbo V8, but those rumors get even more interesting because the Zora is rumored to be a 4WD Hybrid, like a Porsche 918 Spyder. Predictions are that a combined system output would be around 1000 horsepower, but I imagine the number will be in the 850 to 900 horsepower range.
Next, let's talk about transmissions. In 2016, Car and Driver reported that the C8 Corvette would use a Tremec-built, seven-speed dual clutch automatic. Of course back in 2016, that would be fine, but I wouldn't be surprised to find an eight-speed dual clutch transaxle sending power to the rear wheels. There are plenty of rumors that the C8 Corvette will be an automatic only, and as much as I'm willing to say that these rumors are false, two points can be made to address this two-pedal rumor.
The first point is that, according to the National Corvette Museum, 78 percent of all 2018 Corvettes were automatics, so logically it wouldn't make sense to produce a newer seven-speed manual, or the first eight-speed manual in a mass produced car.
The second point, is that Chevrolet still makes a front-engined, rear-drive, manual, V8 coupe/convertible, it's called the Camaro. This would be an interesting move for the company, as we've already seen the new Camaro, so it would make sense that it remains the traditional muscle car qualities, while the Corvette positions itself to take on the likes of Lamborghini Huracan, Audi R8 and Ferrari 488 and beat them at their own mid-engined game.
Now we should address pricing. Several outlets are saying that the base Corvette is going to be in the $60,000 to $70,000 range and I'd wager that to be about right, but I'm gonna say that it'll start around $65,000 to $70,000. The current base Corvette is $55,900 and reasonably equipped it's $60,355. Now, I'm not a businessman by any means, but I can't imagine Chevrolet making this massive change to the Corvette without giving it a truly world-class interior. If they use similar plastics and switchgear to other lower Chevrolet products, then I can imagine a lower $60,000 price tag, but that would be a bold move putting interior bits in from the same company that brings us the Malibu LS. Higher end models like the Z06 and Zora, I can only will be around $90,000 and $130,000 respectively, but I wouldn't be surprised to see $100,000 for the Z06, and a fully-loaded Zora top out around $160,000.
Lastly, I want to address GM as a whole, and how absolutely ridiculous it would be to dump all of this money into the Corvette to make it into a mid-engined supercar and not invite Cadillac to the party. Enter the Cien concept.
The Cien concept came out in 2002, which also happens to be a mid-engine supercar, that I could only see using a similar arrangement of engines and having a proper three-tier lineup that matches Cadillac's current performance lineup. The base Cien could use the Blackwing V8, which we already know can put out 550 horsepower, which would be a big step up over the base C8 Corvette, a Cien V would use the same 5.5-liter DOHC V8 that's planned for the Z06, and maybe that's where the story ends. Cadillac is rumored to be using the "Blackwing" name for it's high-performance versions of the CT4-V and CT5-V, but calling the absolutely bonkers, potentially 1000 horsepower Cien a Blackwing, without the Blackwing engine, doesn't sound right. But that's just my thought.
Ultimately, this entire article could be proven wrong in thirty days, and I would be okay with that. The C8 Corvette is going to be a huge hit, and generate incredible amounts of publicity for GM, who needs all the help they can get after their massive layoffs and cuts to their sedan lineups.
What do you think of these rumors? Comment Below!