The mid-engined, eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette is the worst-kept secret in Detroit.
Though the company hasn’t even acknowledged the model’s existence, we have a very good idea of what to expect from it thanks to a steady stream of rumors, spy shots, trademark applications, insider information, and industry whisperings. Photos posted on Instagram by user rhurren505 have given us the best look yet at Chevrolet’s upcoming, supercar-baiting coupe.
The prototype spotted in Port Huron, Michigan, by the eagle-eyed Instagram user is still fully clad in camouflage, but we can tell it still looks like a Corvette when viewed from the front. The angular design and the swept-back headlights create a visual link between the current-generation Corvette (pictured above) and its successor. The front end is much smaller because designers didn’t need to carve out space for a jumbo V8 engine. This time around, the ‘Vette’s heart will beat directly behind the passenger compartment.
The photos clearly show the Corvette’s proportions will shift dramatically. The space between the passenger compartment and the rear wheels appears much bigger, and if you look closely you’ll spot a gaping air intake that helps keep the engine cool. The back end looks taller, and it’s dominated by air vents through which heat escapes from the engine bay. The coupe exhales via quad square exhaust tips that remind us of the fourth-generation model. Even with the camouflage on, the eighth-generation Corvette looks ready to take on European exotics.
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Figuring out what is hidden underneath the body requires examining months of rumors. It will have an engine, this much we can guarantee, and it will likely be an eight-cylinder one. Motor1 believes the most basic engine will be an evolution of the current car’s 6.2-liter V8 tuned to deliver 530 hp. Mid-range models will receive a twin-turbocharged, Cadillac-derived, 4.2-liter V8 with 650 hp on tap. Finally, the flagship Corvette will boast a 5.5-liter V8 twin-turbocharged to a monstrous 850 hp — that’s about 100 horses more than the lineup’s current flagship. Rear-wheel drive and an automatic transmission will come standard, but Chevrolet might keep a seven-speed manual gearbox on the list of options to satisfy the small but vociferous group of enthusiasts who want to shift their own gears.
Credible reports claimed Chevrolet would present the eighth-generation Corvette during the 2019 Detroit auto show. GM Authority learned the model has been delayed due to a major electrical problem uncovered during testing that requires redesigning the electrical system from scratch. In the wake of the problem, Chevrolet has allegedly chosen to bypass the auto show circuit altogether and instead introduce the next Corvette during a standalone event tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2019.
Sales will begin for the 2020 model year, and pricing will start under $100,000. Stay tuned, we expect more details about the eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette will trickle out over the coming months. And, who knows, some of them might actually come directly from the manufacturer.
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