This weekend marks the Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta, four days of on-track action that lead up to the 10-hour IMSA WeatherTech Championship finale on Saturday, October 12th. Ahead of this race, the team at Corvette Racing announced more of the Corvette C8.R race car’s technical specs before it’s debut, including the confirmation of a flat-plane crankshaft and dual overhead camshafts.
Chevrolet stated that the Corvette C8.R will utilize a 5.5L naturally-aspirated V8 engine, producing 500 horsepower and 480 pound feet of torque in compliance with IMSA engine displacement rules and balance of performance measurements.
According to a report from Jalopnik, the C8.R engine is an all new design, and due to the crank placement it share nothing with the LT series of engines, nor the Cadillac Blackwing V8. But as we originally reported here, General Motors has been developing a line of DOHC V8 engines, and this is one of them.
Despite the all new engine sitting behind the driver, the C8.R and the road going Corvette Stingray share the highest percentage of parts out of any previous generation of Corvette racers. This speaks to how General Motors developed the mid-engined Corvette, and just how competent the street car must be. But there are a few distinct differences, engine aside. This includes a radiator in the “frunk” front storage area, and the C8.R is a full 800 pounds lighter than the 2020 Corvette Stingray.
Now, FIA rules state that 300 copies of the engine found in the race car must be produced for a road-going version of that car. We have been reporting for a while now that the upcoming C8 Corvette Z06 will carry a naturally-aspirated flat-plane crank V8 with dual overhead cams. We anticipate that the engine with be one of the most powerful atmospheric engines per liter that has ever been created.
The dual overhead cam setup with a flat-plane crankshaft, commonly found in mid-engine sports cars from the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini, is what makes glorious wail that supercars are known for. It is quite exciting to know that a production version of the C8 Corvette will have an engine as exotic as its styling, but until then we can’t wait to see the Corvette C8.R tearing up the race track.