The Mid-engined Corvette C8.R was spotted hotlapping Road America and these guys got exclusive photos and audio from GM’s “secret” testing.
The American supercar class of 2019 is looking and sounding strong now that someone’s was brave and daring enough to grab their telephoto lens and Zoom H1 and hoof it over to Road America. According to Sportscar 365 on their exclusive reporting on the Mid-engined Corvette they caught testing from earlier today (Aug. 8, 2018) it looks like GM took a major turn away from naturally aspirated power and went turbocharged V8. Have a listen to the wonderful sounds of this American-bred hypercar absolutely caning it around four-mile asphalt road course below.
This switch to turbocharged power isn’t all that surprising given that most of the LM GTE cars which the Corvette races against, have all gone turbocharged. Porsche will be the only LM GTE car running naturally aspirated power which might work to their favor on certain racetracks given conditions that would stress a turbocharged powerplant.
— AutoRepairTech.co (@AutoRepairTechs) August 8, 2018
— Jalopnik (@Jalopnik) August 8, 2018
Still, the Corvette C7.R, although competitive, for most of the IMSA 2018 season has been relegated to second and third place finishes behind it’s arguably more capable competition, most notably the Chip Ganassi turbocharged Ford GT.
With the C7 Corvette getting a little, “long in the tooth” and GM wanting to get back to their winning ways for upcoming seasons, it looks like a change in power plants was needed.
In my opinion, going mid-engined is already a rapid departure away from being a traditional Corvette, why not slap in something non-traditional while you’re at it. Heck, it might not even be called a Corvette. Although turbocharged by aftermarket outfits, the Corvette has never benefited from turbocharged forced induction although the liberal use of supercharging was never out of the question (see current and former ZR-1 trim levels.)
Fans of Corvette Racing will certainly miss the distinctly American rumblings of their 5.5L NA race engines as they dominate the track in former seasons but change was inevitable. I’m sure GM will find some way to tune their turbo V8 to still deliver that distinct guttural engine note despite having its sound neutered by exhaust gas catching turbos.