Is there enough room and will there be an aftermarket solution anytime soon?

The 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette may feature a brand-new engine, but it’s not significantly more powerful than the C7 Corvette. At 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet, the C8 Corvette boasts an extra 35 horses and 10 pound-feet over the C7 and leaves room for a more powerful version. A couple of higher performance variants will definitely follow, but the big question is, can the new LT2 V-8 engine be supercharged or turbocharged?

Is There Space To Supercharge the Chevy C8 Corvette’s LT2 V-8?

Here's What Nobody Is Telling You About the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Stingray
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Unless it develops a really compact blower for the C8 Corvette, Chevy will a hard time fitting a supercharger

The LT2 is closely related to the LT1 in the C7 Corvette and the latter has already been supercharged. So it would make sense for the LT2 to be able to accept a blower as well. However, while the LT1 was conceived for front-engined applications, the LT2 is for mid-engined duty. The layout application changes a lot of things, including the ability to be connected to a supercharger. The main issue is space.

Superchargers are usually mounted on top of the engine block. This requires extra space that’s usually obtained by fitting a bulged hood. However, this application makes sense on front-engined cars. Things change dramatically when the engine is mounted behind the seats, just like in the C8 Corvette. Needless to say, there is some space between the top of the engine and the hatch, but not that much. Unless it develops a really compact blower for the C8 Corvette, Chevy will a hard time fitting a supercharger under the hatch.

Chevy could also modify the hatch in order to obtain more room, but it will also have to solve some cooling issues. At the end of the day, a new engine with a more compact design might be a better option for supercharging.

Will an Aftermarket Company Come Up with a Supercharger for the C8 Corvette and When Will it Happen?

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C7 by Hennessey High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The C7 Corvette, for instance, was modified by a handful of companies, including Hennessey Performance

If the past is any indication, the C8 Covette’s naturally aspirated V-8 should be the subject of aftermarket supercharging. The C7 Corvette, for instance, was modified by a handful of companies, including Hennessey Performance. The Texas-based firm released no fewer than five supercharged upgrades for the C7 Corvette, all based on the naturally-aspirated, LT1 V-8. By adding a high-flow supercharger system, a high-flow supercharger intercooler, and engine management updates, Hennessey increased the 6.2-liter V-8’s output to various stages. There’s the HPE650 with 653 horsepower and 642 pound-feet, the HPE700 with 708 horsepower and 673 pound-feet, and the HPE750 with 751 horses and 734 pound-feet. The HPE800 is even more powerful at 804 horsepower and 745 pound-feet, while the HPE1000 cranks out a whooping 1,008 horses and 918 pound-feet of twist.

Hennessey HPE650 Hennessey HPE700 Hennessey HPE800 Hennessey HPE1000
Horsepower 653 708 751 1008
Torque 642 673 734 918

The latter cranks out more than double the output of the standard C7 Corvette and hits 60 mph in an incredible 2.5 seconds, 1.3 clicks quicker. Its top speed is also rated at more than 220 mph. The HPE1000 is more powerful and quicker than Chevy’s very own C7 Corvette ZR1, which says a lot about the tuning abilities of Hennessey Performance.

Can the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette's LT2 V-8 Be Supercharged?
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Hennessey announced that upgrade packages for the C8 Corvette are coming soon

Granted, the big question here is whether Hennessey will be able to supercharge the mid-engined C8 Corvette. Well, Hennessey is no stranger to working on mid-engined cars. As of 2019, it offers upgrades for a wide range of midship sports cars, including the full McLaren lineup, Lamborghini Huracan, Audi R8, and the Ford GT. Granted, the McLarens and the Ford GT come with forced induction from the factory, but Hennessey offers turbocharging options for naturally-aspirated sports cars like the Huracan and the R8. Needless to say, it shouldn’t be an issue to do the same for the C8 Corvette. It might not be cheap, but it’s definitely doable.

Hennessey isn’t the only company that’s likely to supercharge the C8 Corvette. Callaway Cars has been modifying Corvettes since the late 1980s. It developed various upgrades for the C7 Corvette, including a shooting brake body modification and a supercharger that increased the LT1’s output to 627 horsepower.

There’s no official word on when Hennessey or Callaway will offer upgrades for the C8 Corvette, but the former already made an announcement that upgrade packages for the 2020 Corvette C8 Stingray are "coming soon." Hennessey also confirmed that it will offer "a line of high-performance upgrades" for the mid-engined sports car, so we can expect packages with both naturally aspirated and supercharged upgrades. The Hennessey C8 Corvette could roll out by the end of 2019, as soon as the firm is able to purchase cars for testing and development.

Is the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette tunable?

Here's What Nobody Is Telling You About the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Stingray
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Rumors claim that the C8 Corvette might have a heavily encrypted ECU module

Like most vehicles on the market, the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette is tunable to some extent. While supercharging or turbocharging the 6.2-liter V-8 might be an issue, the engine’s output could be increased via ECU tuning. Some rumors claim that the C8 Corvette might have a heavily encrypted ECU module that will not accept aftermarket modifications. This is reportedly an attempt by Chevrolet to prevent aftermarket tuning. Chevy has yet to make an official statement about that, but it’s likely to happen since its Duramax-powered trucks and the C7 Corvette ZR1 come with similar features.

Does this mean that the C8 Corvette will be impossible to tune via ECU? Not necessarily. Hennessey Performance managed to crack Chevy’s encryption for the C7 Corvette ZR1 and launched a beefed-up version of the sports car in April 2019. However, John Hennessey said that it took almost a year to crack the ECU, so while it will be doable, it will take a lot of time to hack the C8 Corvette’s ECU protection.

Given that Hennessey already has an official announcement about updates for the C8 Corvette, it’s safe to assume that the company will find a way into the "system" and increase output via either supercharging or ECU tuning.

Final Thoughts

Can the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette's LT2 V-8 Be Supercharged?
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While the odds may seem against a more powerful C8 Corvette fitted with the LT2 V-8 engine, we will see such variants in the future. Sure, Chevrolet may opt to drop a new engine in the upcoming Z06 and ZR1, but tuners like Hennessey will probably manage to fit a supercharger or a pair of turbos under the hood. ECU optimization will also be possible, despite Chevy’s efforts to lock the system.

Further reading

Can the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette's LT2 V-8 Be Supercharged?
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Wait, the All-New 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 is Priced How Much?!

The 9 Mid-Engine Corvette Concepts That Didn't Make it To Production
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Read all about the mid-engined Corvette concepts that never made it to production!

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Read our speculative review of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Exterior
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Read our full review of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1

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Read up on the 1953-1962 Chevy C1 Corvette

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Check out our review of the 1963-1968 Chevy C2 Corvette

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Read our in-depth review of the 1969 Chevy Corvette 427 C3

2001 - 2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (C5)
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Read up on our review of the 1997-2004 Chevy C5 Corvette

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Read up on the 2005-2013 Chevy C6 Corvette

2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Check out our full review of the 2014-2019 Chevy C7 Corvette

The 9 Mid-Engine Corvette Concepts That Didn't Make it To Production
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The 9 concepts that led to the mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette C8

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