Today Muscle Cars & Trucks has learned that the upcoming 2020 C8 Corvette may be off-limits to much of the performance tuning community because of its unique encrypted ECU system. In effect, successfully flash-tuning, reprogramming and otherwise altering the engine control unit to increase power output will be next to impossible.
Yes, encrypted ECU systems are already in vehicles. But the C8 Corvette is unique in that it features a widely heightened sense of cybersecurity. As a result, it might be impossible to read, write, and/or replace the standard ECU of the C8 Corvette. Major side effects of attempting to do so include “bricking” the car, according to sources.
When a programming event fails, the C8 Corvette is designed to go into what can be essentially described as a “recovery mode.” When this happens, it communicates certain data in order to restore a point that a new programming session can start. Then the ECU can be reprogrammed as normal. In layman’s terms, any foreign code will shut down the Corvette’s computer, and it will need to be rebooted. If one does not have the resources to re-image the ECU of the 2020 C8 Corvette, the vehicle’s as good as a rolling paperweight.
Don’t expect an official comment from Chevrolet anytime soon, as the official details are still classified until such things are disclosed this summer.
The 2020 C8 Corvette will be officially revealed on July 18, 2019 in California. Expect it to have an exclusive DOHC V8 engine, dubbed LT2, paired to an exclusive seven-speed dual clutch transmission. That’s right: no pushrods, and no manual transmission. At least, not at first.
Proportionally, the 2020 C8 Corvette is rumored to have enough space in its “frunk” to accommodate at least one bag of golf clubs. Seeing as some of the executives in charge of developing the mid-engine Corvette enjoy a round of 18 holes as much as they enjoy a round at the road course, we imagine that this was always an essential component of the car’s development. A car that took six decades to manifest itself.