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And They May Very Well Be Legit

C8 Corvette Z06

Some  spy photos of the C8 Corvette Z06 have depicted a camouflaged car with covered wheels. Early speculation is that they were hiding a unique lug pattern, or special brakes. More than likely, however, it was to hide a set of carbon fiber wheels. And now there’s evidence. Presenting Exhibit A: an eBay listing of C8 Corvette carbon fiber wheels from Australia’s Carbon Revolution, with GM-licensed branding, as well.

And no, these aren’t the stolen wheels from the unfortunate C8 wheel theft that happened in Detroit last month. But how these things surfaced for sale on the internet will be an unsolved mystery. They sold for $4,500.

This could all be an elaborate ruse, but there’s more evidence that GM is indeed developing a carbon fiber wheel for the C8 Corvette Z06, which is expected to debut as soon as next year. In 2016, the Detroit automaker held a media event that highlighted various engineering innovations focused on vehicle weight reduction that the company was working on. Some examples were how it figured out how weld together aluminum and steel from a secretive spot welding process, structural composite doors, inner decklid components made of blow-formed magnesium sheet, and carbon fiber wheels.

The prototype carbon fiber wheels at the time reduced 8.8 pounds (4 kilograms) off each wheel, compared to an aluminum set. Officials from GM at the time didn’t say what vehicle these wheels were bound for, but did claim they started the validation cycle for track use, with the hope to develop a wheel strong enough for the road. Naturally, the first vehicle that came to mind was the Corvette. At the time, the first spy shots of the mid-engine C8 Corvette were beginning to surface, starting with the “Blackjack” Holden Commodore Ute mule back in 2015. Regarding the potential uses for carbon fiber wheels, it didn’t take much to piece together what GM could be working on from there.

Carbon Revolution has otherwise developed carbon fiber wheels for Ford Motor Company. They can be found on both the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT350R, as well as the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500.

The C8 Corvette Z06 is expected to feature a flat-plane crankshaft DOHC V8 engine with a displacement of 5.5 liters, and a redline north of 7,000 RPM. The same eight-speed dual clutch transmission found in the 2020 Corvette Stingray will be the only way to change gears. Lastly, the bodywork is expected to feature aggressive aerodynamic improvements over the base Stingray that’s hitting dealerships right now.

C8 Corvette Z06
2021 C8 Corvette Z06 Interior

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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