The C8 Corvette is not only the first mid-engined Corvette, it’ll also be the first generation of Chevrolet’s iconic sports car to feature all-wheel drive and hybrid power.
Motor Trend has revealed some insider information from a senior GM official about the upcoming Z06 and range-topping ZR1 variants. Both powertrains are a marked departure from the Corvette’s traditional pushrod power.
The Z06 will use a twin-turbocharged, double-overhead cam V8 based on the C8.R race car’s engine. The ZR1 will up the ante by adding a performance hybrid system to fill in torque gaps, boosting power to a heady 900hp (671kW).
The new DOHC V8 will reportedly use a flat-plane crankshaft instead of the cross-plane design more commonly seen in American V8s.
Note the ZR1 will use a performance hybrid system, so don’t go expecting Prius-level fuel economy. Motor Trend reports the C8 Corvette’s “frunk” will accommodate a pair of electric motors with active torque vectoring. The ZR1, therefore, will have power delivered to all four wheels.
Where the battery will sit isn’t clear, though Chevrolet engineers will likely want to mount it as low as possible to maintain the Corvette’s low centre of gravity.
Though the Corvette has famously used pushrod V8s since the C1 Corvette of the 1950s, this won’t be the first time a DOHC V8 has appeared under the bonnet of a Corvette. From 1990 until 1995, Chevrolet offered a Lotus-engineered, DOHC V8 in the first-ever Corvette ZR1.
Reportedly, the Corvette’s new DOHC V8s are unrelated to the 4.2-litre twin-turbocharged Blackwing V8 used exclusively in the Cadillac CT6. The Blackwing produces 372kW and 778Nm in the CT6 Platinum and 410kW and 850Nm in the CT6-V.
Cadillac president Steve Carlisle was said to be insistent GM’s luxury brand have its own engine, though the Blackwing faces an uncertain future. The CT6’s US factory, Detroit-Hamtramck, was slated for closure but has been granted a reprieve.
Nevertheless, GM hasn’t publicly committed to the CT6’s ongoing production in the US and, unlike the CT6 itself, the Blackwing V8 isn’t being manufactured in China.
The CT6 is already somewhat of an orphan, GM opting not to use its unique Omega platform for any other vehicles.
Now, a separate report from Motor Trend confirms that, in addition to being excluded from the Corvette, its Blackwing V8 also won't appear under the bonnet of the next generation Escalade or the upcoming, range-topping Cadillac CT5-V.