At the reveal of the C8 Corvette convertible last night, Chevrolet had a surprise in store—the C8.R race car. The automaker didn't reveal any details on its new IMSA WeatherTech series challenger, but it did produce a video that indicates the C8.R is sporting a very interesting engine.
If you haven't yet, watch video of the C8 road car on track, then come back and watch this clip above of the C8.R ripping around the Kennedy Space Center. It doesn't take a particularly sharp ear to notice that the C8.R sounds very different than the street car. Or any Corvette from the past six decades.
For some time now, Chevy has been rumored to be working on a dual-overhead-cam V-8 with a flat-plane crankshaft for the Corvette. A flat-plane V-8 has a different firing order to a cross-plane V-8, giving the former a unique sound. Think Ferrari wail vs. traditional American muscle. Since 1955, the Corvette has been equipped with a traditional cross-plane V-8 of some sort. Even the C8 Stingray uses an evolution of Chevy's famous small block.
By contrast, the C8.R in the clip above—and in others we've featured previously—sounds a lot more Ferrari than, well, Corvette. After the C8's July launch, Chevrolet put up a video on its site (bel0w) that switches between clips of the C8.R and the Stingray street car, conveniently highlighting the big difference in engine note.
If the C8.R is using a flat-plane V-8, there's a decent chance Chevy would offer such an engine in the C8 road car. The IMSA WeatherTech series bases its technical regulations for GTLM cars on the FIA's LM GTE class requirements, which stipulates that in order for a car to be homologated, its "engine must be derived from a series production engine produced at more than 300 units and fitted to a series vehicle from the same manufacturer."
The key word here is "derived." It's vague enough to be open to interpretation. And it's worth noting that the FIA homologation requirements indicate simply that the crankshaft should not be more than 10 percent lighter than the road car unit. Otherwise, constructors are allowed to do what they want—even change the firing order.
So, it is technically possible for Chevy to make a flat-plane version of the Stingray road car's V-8 just for racing. That seems unlikely given the rumors we've heard, but we'll have to wait to find out what the company did for certain.
You Might Also Like