Some of you may be familiar with an automotive journalist by the name of Don Sherman. In his own right, the man has a career that spans decades, earning him notoriety and a reputation as a credible source for future product exposés. This is especially true when it comes to the C8 Corvette. Sherman was first to disclose that GM was working on a mid-engine Corvette roughly five or so years before the automaker was ready to pull off the cover. That pattern continues up even to today, where he, over at Hagerty, has leaked to the world each and every expected C8 variant in the coming years. These include the new ZR1, Z06, Grand Sport, E-Ray and first-ever C8 Corvette Zora.
MC&T has also reported exclusive facts circulating around these upcoming Corvette supercars back in the summer of 2019. But now, there’s more details to peruse over. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought an indefinite stop order from GM that ripples through its supply chain. This includes the C8 Corvette Zora, which is still five years out, according to the report. Presently, all builds of the 2020 Corvette are suspended, and as we’ve first reported, the C8 Corvette Stingray Convertible is likely to get punted into the 2021 model year. Which is fine, as the 2021 model year will add several hot features that the 2020 model year Corvette Stingray simply doesn’t have. Another silver lining to consider is that all of this down time can be seen as padding for more quality validation, which the C8 has reportedly struggled with out of the gate.
Below is a chart from the report, speculating a five-year timeline of what we can expect for the C8 Corvette:
|2021||6.2L 16V OHV LT2 V8: 490-495 HP, 465-470 LB-FT||RWD||RHD Corvettes For Export, C8 Stingray Convertible|
|2022||5.5L 32V DOHC LT6 V8: 650 HP, 600 LB-FT||RWD||C8 Corvette Z06|
|2023||6.2L 16V OHV LT2 Hybrid: 600 HP, 500 LB-FT||AWD||C8 Corvette Grand Sport|
|2024||5.5L Twin Turbo 32V DOHC LT7 V8: 850 HP, 825 LB-FT||RWD||C8 Corvette ZR1|
|2025||5.5L Twin Turbo 32V DOHC LT7 V8 Hybrid: 1000 HP 975 LB-FT||AWD||C8 Corvette Zora|
The powertrains are nothing different from what we’ve previously reported, but these details further galvanize expectations. If Hagerty is to be believed, the C8 Corvette Zora will likely indeed be the all-wheel-drive 1,000 horsepower hypercar of legend, leapfrogging the C8 Corvette ZR1 as the top dog in the Chevrolet performance car lineup.
There is a surprise, however. It appears, according to the report, that the C8 Corvette Grand Sport will be the baby Zora in the lineup, with an all-wheel-drive hybrid system using the LT2 V8 of the Stingray and a battery back that will run along the center of the vehicle. An electric motor will occupy the front storage cavity found in the Stingray, and will power the front wheels. It’s been previously believed that this variant would wear the “E-Ray” name. It still could, as GM still owns the trademark to the name. But for now, we’ll take Sherman’s authority on the matter until we inquire with our own sources. Like in the C6 and C7 generations, the Grand Sport will follow the Corvette Z06, likely borrowing its wider body and looks.
Sandwiched between the C8 Corvette Z06 and the C8 Corvette Zora will be the C8 Corvette ZR1. Despite the hype of the Z06 coming just around the corner with the introduction of a flat-plane crank screamer of a V8 engine, and the 1,000 hp capstone Zora, we can’t sleep on the ZR1. This is because of all the performance variants, the C8 ZR1 is expected to be the fastest mid-engine Corvette around a road course, with an astonishing output of around 850 horsepower from a twin-turbo LT7 V8. It will be unassisted by the added heft and the complexity of an AWD hybrid system that will power the Zora. This should give the ZR1 a superior power-to-weight ratio compared to the Zora, and a big enough horsepower gap from the Z06 to leave it behind on the straightaways.
Speaking of the C8 Corvette Z06, it will continue the tradition of sharing themes found in the Corvette Racing cars. Its DOHC flat-plane V8, for example, is being teased in the C8.R, which unfortunately is left in to wait in the stable until the coronavirus pandemic blows over.
Because the LT6 V8 is utilizing a flat-plane crankshaft, its fuel cut won’t happen until a screaming redline approaching 9,000 RPM. For comparison, the fuel cut on the LT2 small block V8 engine found in the C8 Corvette Stingray is 6,600 rpm. While the chart above is educated speculation, power will indeed likely come in over 600 horsepower. The Z06 will also introduce supercar features like optional carbon fiber wheels, as well as a massive rear wing similar to the C8.R, and the Porsche 911 GT2 RS used to benchmark test it.
Dealers are already taking deposits for the 2022 Corvette Z06, if you’re interested.
The C8.R previews the next Z06