If you weren’t excited about the upcoming performance versions of the all-new, eighth-generation Corvette before, you should be now! General Motors seems to be bringing their A-game on this one, let’s take a look at the reasons we believe the second edition of the C8 will be one to be remembered!
When setting the bar for the 2020 Stingray, the Corvette Team tested their new creation against the 911 Turbo S, one of the best all arounders in the industry. Most reviewers only gripe with the Turbo S was that it is perhaps too good, too geared toward grand touring and missing the drama that made early 911’s that wore Turbo and Turbo S badges legendary. Early evaluations of the new Corvette seem to indicate that they nailed the all-around sports car/GT benchmark. The only way to describe this new Corvette is a cultural phenomenon with people lining up for the privilege to buy one. Other members of our society though, are waiting, with varying degrees of patience for the more hardcore versions of the mid-engine ‘Vette that are laser-focused on the driving experience and track times to show up at their preferred Chevy dealer.
The assumed Z06 that has been spied testing recently is aiming to satisfy the latter group and Chevrolet’s engineers have brought out some serious hardware for benchmarking purposes this time around. Two separate times, the Zs have been spotted with the 911 GT2 RS, a car that set a record lap of 6:47.3 at the Nürburgring when it was new. That is a full 14 seconds faster than any American road car has ever lapped the ‘Ring, and 42.6 seconds quicker than the 2020 Stingray did on the “Green Hell.” This checks the “hardcore” and “lap time” boxes. Those of us who are more interested in the X-factor of driving experience also received some very welcome hope when those “G”06s were caught on video with a Ferrari this weekend.
The video of the Corvettes prancing with a horse on I5 was blurry, making it difficult to decipher exactly which Ferrari it was that the engineers were testing their new baby against. Our original guess was that it was the twin-turbo 488 GTB which was built between 2015 and 2020 and is due to be replaced by the new F8 Tributo this year. Further inspection leads us to believe that GM actually bought a used example of the high-water-mark 458 Italia from 2010-15 as the yardstick with which they will measure their most recent efforts.
As shown in our handy graphic, the rear reflectors are the biggest giveaway that we are looking at the outstanding naturally aspirated 458, and not its twin-turbo successor (also note the angles in the license plate mounting area and the curves at the top of the vents next to the tail-lights).
This is important for several reasons, the chief of which is a hint as to what is lurking under the glass of the first performance variant of the eighth iteration of America’s Sports Car. If they are planning on keeping the C8.R’s engine naturally aspirated in its homologated road-going form, the 458 is the obvious Ferrari to compare to. If they were going with turbos right away, the 488 or a McLaren 720S would be the wiser choices for a target vehicle. Either way, you can expect the car to retain the Corvette’s traditional rear-wheel-drive architecture as the 458, 488, and GT2 RS all send their power to their rear wheels only. Like it or not, an AWD Electric Hybrid is most likely on the horizon, but don’t expect to see it on this car based on what they are driving it around with.
This is a “Red Lobster” level car!
The 2020 version of the Plastic Fantastic and its penchant for McDonald’s became a recurring joke around here during its testing phase because almost all of the spy shots and videos that were sent our way featured camouflaged C8 mules around the golden arches. Well, it seems that GM really has a special occasion vehicle planned for the next Z06 because the engineers on this project have shunned Mickey D’s and were seen enjoying endless shrimp and cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster. If the Stingray is a McDonald’s car and Chevrolet is upping the Z06 to Red Lobster level, this car is going to be extraordinary!
All joking aside, Chevrolet does seem to be taking the development of the mid-engine Corvette’s bad-boy model extremely seriously and enthusiasts will be the benefactors of all of their hard work. Our anticipation couldn’t be higher!
[SPIED] Two C8 Corvette Z06 Prototypes Were Caught with a Ferrari Merging onto I5 in Valencia
[SPIED] C8 Corvette Z06 Prototypes Testing Alongside a Porsche GT2 RS in California
[POLL] What Do You Want to Power the Next Corvette Z06?