So yesterday’s spy photos of the Mid-Engine Corvette C8.R that was being tested by the Corvette Racing team at Road America caused quite a stir. The photos were shared by SportsCar365.com, who also posted a sound file of the same car later in the afternoon.
I know a lot of the Corvette faithful aren’t particularly happy this morning as it does feel like the end of an era for the Corvette Racing team as we know it. And I am torn as well because much of the identity of the Corvette C7.Rs (and those previous generations that paved the way) is the sound of that big V8 that is so distinctive from any other competitors in racing today.
But I also get that we can’t continue to race with a dated platform where our only hope for being competitive is relying on Balance of Performance changes to make it all fair. So let’s drop the emotions for a moment and take a closer listen to what is probably likey the future of Corvette Racing’s new powerplant.
Most pundits have been saying that this is indeed the sound of a turbo-powered car and after listening to various sound clips, I would have to agree. The prevailing wisdom of those following the development of the street versions of the Mid Engine Corvettes has been they will start with the 6.2 liter LT1 for the base car and then future models would have a turbo 5.5 liter DOHC V8 that makes about 600-hp and another 5.5 liter turbo DOHC V8 that makes around 800-hp.
As the Corvette Racing team has years of development and testing in their own 5.5 liter naturally-aspirated V8, it would seemed like a given that the engine would follow. But perhaps the team is looking to skip-ahead to a turbo-powered V8. Such a move would then give Chevrolet the opportunity to have a race-proven version of a turbo DOHC V8 that would follow the “Track to Street” engineering approach which is a major reason for racing the Corvettes anyway.
I mentioned that this morning to a Corvette Racing enthusiast and said that if that’s the case, then the team would most likely need a waiver to run a “non-production” DOHC V8 its first year. His response? If Ford complains, they can go pound sand! True that!!
If a turbo DOHC V8 is what the team wants to run, then it doesn’t make much sense to test the car with their current 5.5 liter V8. So like I said, it does appear we are coming to the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.
After listening to the sound clip from SportsCar365.com, I decided to make some additional audio files for comparison and SoundCloud makes it real easy for comparing the differences. Below is the C8.R, the C7.R, the Ford GT Ecoboost V6 and the street Mid-Engine Corvette prototype which was captured on the track a couple months back doing quick take offs and acceleration testing.
(After listening to each clip, SoundCloud throws up a box that says “hear more on soundcloud”. Click the X in the top right corner to re-listen to the sound file).
Ford GT Twin-Turbo V6 Ecoboost
Prototype Mid Engine Corvette testing on the track
I know which one is my favorite, but then we don’t always get what we want. What’s your take on the sound of the mid-engine Corvette C8.R versus these other exhaust-note clips? Let us know in the comments below or head on over to the Mid-Engine Corvette Forum and discuss with like-minded Corvette enthusiasts.
[SPIED] The Mid-Engine Corvette C8.R Spotted Track Testing at Road America
[VIDEO] The Mid-Engine C8 Corvette Performing Quick Take-Offs on the Track
Corvette Racing at Road America: Another Double Podium for Corvette C7.Rs