A Chevy C8 Corvette Shooting Brake Definitely Needs to Happen
What? A mid-engined shooting brake concept? We know it doesn’t make sense and that’s why we like itby Michael Fira, on
Everybody seems to be writing these days just about the Chevrolet Corvette C8, the first production Corvette with the engine positioned behind the cabin and in front of the rear axle. Everyone is raving about the performance figures of the base Stingray model and about the crazy tech that GM poured in its halo car, a car that’s already got its hallowed place in the history books. That’s why we’re already seeing digital artists play around with the C8 and modify it, this being a prime example of computerized freedom: a shooting brake C8. Yes, the engine is still supposed to be in the back there somewhere.
The Chevy Corvette C8 spearheads a new generation of Corvette-badged supercars that try to bridge the gap between a usual supercar and what the Corvette used to be up until the seventh generation, namely a grand tourer. The front-engined layout allowed Corvette owners to carry quite a lot of stuff in the hatch of the car that’s now, essentially, gone since there’s an engine in the same area. While Chevrolet did equip the C8 with a pair of trunks like you usually find on EVs, it’s still not as practical as the C7, and this is where a shooting brake version may be able to amend the situation. It’ll never happen but, if it did, would you want one?
A shooting brake 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 could deliver extra storage room
If you’re among those that have already gotten bored with the appearance of the eighth generation of the Corvette or if you don’t like the new guise of ’America’s Sportscar,’ help is at hand. Talented visual artist Rain Prisk, who’s showed us time and again that his inventive mind knows no bounds as he turned the Bugatti Chiron into a potent off-roader and the first-generation BMW 8 Series into a mid-engined supercar, turned his attention to the C8 and applied one of his signature treatments to the Stingray.
The treatment in question, detailed at walking pace in the video below, is, in short, all about wagonizing a car that’ll never feature a straight roof in its life. Rain Prisk is known for trying to turn any car into a shooting brake concept having done so with the A90 Supra and the Porsche 911, to name but a few of the well-known models that parked in Rain Prisk’s Photoshop booth and left permanently altered.
Sure, a Supra in shooting brake form may make sense as the engine is in the front and even a 911 with an elongated roof doesn’t seem to border with lunacy as the shape of the back end lends itself to the station wagon appearance. But the C8 is a mid-engined car. We guess the artist simply disregarded the obvious and proceeded as if fueled by the desire to make people question his decision and point to the evidently outrageous idea.
As we said, there’s a video attached by Prisk where he details the process of turning the C8 into a shooting brake model. First off, the car gets slammed as close to the ground as possible without blending the wheel arches with the wheels themselves. Then the front bumper gets restyled as the outboard vents that are placed on either side of the main inlet are simply deleted for that familiar C7.R look. The acute angle of the nosecone is increased via shadow work and edge manipulation, and then it’s on to the roof itself.
To transform a normal car into a shooting brake car, all you need to do is connect the tip of the roof to the edge of the car.
In essence, you just extend the roof all the way to the edge of the back end where it ends via a much more abrupt back window. The side window also gets a makeover as the glassed area is enlarged, and the shooting brake C8 receives a rear quarter window. A side vent above the one that carves through the rocker panels is placed just aft of the rear quarter windows to make the profile of the shooting brake Corvette that much more menacing.
Finally, the fixed-wing of the standard car is replaced by a roof spoiler and the original rims make way for some racing-inspired spokes hugged by Pirelli P-Zero rubber. The front three-quarter view that Rain Prisk has showcased isn’t the only view we’ll get of this wacky creation as he pointed out a rear three-quarter image is in the works.
While some people complained, as expected, that the shooting brake design simply doesn’t work on the C8 Corvette (that looks as if it was, actually, front-engined after the transformation), others are a bit more patient and withstand jumping to conclusions before seeing the way the car looks from the back.
We gave the whole thing thought, and we reckon it could work, but it wouldn’t make the car that much more practical.
Instead, it would make access to the engine cumbersome as you'd have a tailgate that would open at a much-reduced radius than the trunk/engine lid on the standard Corvette - which allows access to both the engine bay and the trunk in the back.
Basically, you’d be impeded by the extended roof from properly getting to the engine and, also, the narrower opening would mean you’d have a hard time fitting bigger stuff in the trunk. In short, something like this hardly makes any sense if the engine is mounted in the back but, in a way, that’s why it’s cool. If we’d only do what’s sensible, cost-effective, or logical, we’d end up living in a fun-free environment. Stuff like this keep things entertaining.
If you like the idea, you should get a Corvette C7 instead
While the C8 Stingray with all of its 495 horsepower at 6,450 rpm and 470 pound-feet of torque at 5,150 rpm (with the performance exhaust in place) isn’t a good platform for a shooting brake-style build, the outgoing Corvette C7 is because the engine is placed in front of the cabin (but still in the middle, if you think about it, as the engine bay is behind the front axle). With no engine in the back, there’s no problem if you extend the roof all the way to the edge of the spoiler and just draw an angled hatch to connect things.
The cool thing is that the C7 shooting brake is a reality.
In early 2017, Callaway, the company founded by Reeves Callaway that specializes in the tuning of GM products (as well as racing them from time to time), unveiled the Corvette AeroWagen. The kit costs $14,990 on top of whatever you pay for the donor Corvette C7. If you want the extended roof section and the C-pillars to match the color of your C7, then you must add $2,980, and an ’AeroSpoiler’ can be had for just $1,995.
The end result is cheeky looking, no question about that, and you do get a bit more cargo space (but if you fill the trunk you won’t see anything in the rear-view mirror) while visibility is otherwise unchanged. And there’s more! The ’AeroWagen’ is more slippery than a standard C7 and, if you bother to get your ’Vette transformed into a shooting brake, you have the option of strapping in it one of Callaway’s famed performance packages for just $17,995 extra.
You can choose between the SC627 627 horsepower engine or the SC757 with - naturally - 757 ponies on tap. Oh, and the wheels will be different when Callaway hands it back to you, as well as some interior touches, and the key fob.
Road & Track tested the Corvette ’AeroWagen’ with the audacious SC757 update in place that features a 2.3-liter supercharger that can be seen through the hood (like on the C6 ZR1), a new high-flow intake, improved intercoolers, and a different exhaust for added aural pleasure. You also get 107 pound-feet of twist over what the standard C7 Z06 offers (but the ’AeroWagen’ transformation can be applied to any C7, including the ZR1). The cool thing is that, because Callaway manufactures every bit in-house, the car is covered by warranty on top of what you get from the dealer. In fact, there are dealers that directly sell Callaway Corvettes - but we’re sure you already knew that.
Road & Track concludes that "driven back-to-back with a stock Z06, the SC757 feels like it’s running around under some kind of gravity-reducing force-field," before pointing out that the power isn’t what makes an ’AeroWagen’ really stand out - that’s the job of the roof which is a huge piece of molded carbon fiber. That helps to keep the weight down which you’ll notice when you mash the loud pedal and witness as the SC757 makes the ’Vette vault forward and reach 60 mph from a dead stop in 2.8 seconds.
Now, we can’t end this piece before mentioning another shooting brake C7, one a lot more exclusive than the Callaway-built ’AeroWagen.’ Announced in December of last year, the Bitter-designed Corvette Shooting Brake features what looks like a bespoke rear end complete with a modified diffuser, thick C-pillars for the extended roof, as well as sculpted rocker panels, a bigger vent aft of the front wheels, and new rims. We don’t know much about this project other than the scarcity of the car: Bitter will only build 20 of them in all, and the possibility of it emerging at the 2020 Geneva Auto Show. Will anybody be interested in anything based on the ’old’ C7? Let’s wait and see.
|Type:||LT2 6.2L V8 VVT with direct injection and Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation)|
|Bore & stroke (in / mm):||4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92|
|Block Material:||A319-T7 cast aluminum with cast-in iron cylinder liners and nodular main bearing caps|
|Oiling System:||Dry sump-type (7.5-qt. capacity); includes oil-spray piston cooling|
|Oil Type:||Dexos 2 0W40 synthetic|
|Cylinder Head Material:||319-T7 cast aluminum|
|Combustion Chamber volume:||59cc|
|Valvetrain:||Overhead valve, two valves per cylinder; dual-equal variable valve timing.|
|Valve Size (in / mm):||2.13 / 54 hollow (intake) & 1.59 / 40.4 sodium filled (exhaust)|
|Fuel Delivery:||Direct injection with Active Fuel Management: Max pressure: 2,175 psi (15 Mpa / 150 bar)|
|Firing Order:||1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3 (all cylinders); 1-7-6-4 (with deactivation)|
|Throttle body:||87mm single bore (electronic)|
|ECU:||GM E99 (32-bit processing)|
|Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm):||SAE-certified to 495 / 369 @ 6450 rpm (with performance exhaust)|
|Torque (lb.-ft./ Nm @ rpm):||SAE-certified to 470 / 637 @ 5150 rpm (with performance exhaust)|
Read all about the mid-engined Corvette concepts that never made it to production!
Read our speculative review of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1
Read our full review on the 2017 Callaway Corvette AeroWagen.
Source: Rain Prisk