The 2022 C8 Corvette IMSA GTLM Championship Edition is the first special variant of Chevrolet’s mid-engine sports car to hit the market. A tribute to the Corvette Racing C8.R’s inaugural season, this dressed up Stingray 3LT is limited to just 1,000 units globally. Despite not packing the same 5.5L flat-plane V8 as the racer, this C8 Corvette does bring some of the C8.R’s style. That said, the new special edition also builds on the Corvette Stingray R Edition that was initially teased back in August of 2020. Recently, we sat down with Corvette Executive Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter to discuss the origins of the C8 Corvette IMSA GTLM Championship Edition.
Always In The Plan
The Corvette Racing C8.R is Chevrolet’s first clean-sheet motorsports design since the C5.R was first introduced back in 1999. Not only is this an exciting proposition in itself, but the race car was actually co-developed alongside the street-going C8 models. As such, Chevrolet always had plans to commemorate the C8.R during the C8 Corvette’s production run.
“The genesis of this car really goes back to way before the start of production, when we were in parallel development with the race car and the street car,” said Juechter in an interview with MC&T. “We knew we wanted to do a special edition to recognize that, we do that every now and then. We have this brand new car we developed, so we wanted to do something on the street that was a direct point to the race car.”
Corvette IMSA GTLM Championship Edition: The Big News For 2022
Now you might think that a commemorative car like this should debut a little earlier in the race car’s career. Juechter may have shined some light on why that car never saw the light of day, and it really comes down to timing. And as it turns out, winning a championship didn’t hurt the creation of the 2022 Corvette IMSA GTLM Edition either.
“It would be dumb of us to do first year out, we already had all of the headlines. So we postponed it a little while and it just worked out,” said Juechter. “We happened to win the world championship the first year, so we could celebrate not just that the race car exists, but that it is extremely successful. It ended up working out, and gives us a little news for 2022.”
A special edition model certainly isn’t a bad way to drum up some attention for your car, especially when not much else has changed. For the 2022 model year, the C8 Corvette receives an engine update, three new paint colors, and adjustment to the aero packages. Beyond that, Chevrolet’s sports car is the same as before. Of course it’s not like the C8 needs any help drawing customers, as it remains one of the fastest selling vehicles in the country.