GM Greed: No Assistance To Aftermarket Tuners Trying to Crack Open the C8 Corvette - story fullscreen Fullscreen

GM Greed: No Assistance To Aftermarket Tuners Trying to Crack Open the C8 Corvette

GM has no intention of helping aftermarket tuners make the C8 better

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The Chevy C8 Corvette is officially one of the most un-tunable vehicles on the road today. It’s not because it’s already powerful enough or because mechanical engineering prevents it. And, the C8 can be tuned to some extent, such as throwing in a bolt-on supercharger, for example, or however this record-breaking C8 Corvette managed to reach 1,000 horsepower. But, in terms of conventional tuning, aka, ECU remapping, tuners are essentially out of luck and probably will be for some time to come unless someone manages to crack the code.

GM Doesn’t Want You To Tune the C8 Corvette

GM Greed: No Assistance To Aftermarket Tuners Trying to Crack Open the C8 Corvette Drivetrain
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Back in 2019, before the C8 Corvette was officially launched, we learned that not even Hennessey would be able to tune the C8 Corvette because of its encrypted ECU. Needless to say, the aftermarket world has tried its best to work with GM to get access to the ECU or manage to break through its security, but so far nothing has really worked.

Now we’ve learned that GM isn’t interested in helping aftermarket companies at all, with exception of Callaway, and only then to a minor extent.

This latest news comes via Muscle Cars & Trucks, which had a sit down with the Corvettes Executive Chief Engineer, Tadge Juecther. In short, GM has went overboard in terms of its cybersecurity measures between the Global B electrical architecture and the C8’s ECU. In short, and as MC&T put it, “Engine tuning [the C8] is nearly impossible without running a ton of aftermarket computers in tandem with the factory ECU – otherwise known as a “piggyback”. The process isn’t exactly without serious compromises, either, often involving a rats nest of wires, and major drivability issues.”

GM Greed: No Assistance To Aftermarket Tuners Trying to Crack Open the C8 Corvette Exterior
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According to Juecther, “our business model doesn’t really cater to the aftermarket, we have to do all the things internally between Corvette just like any other General Motors product. Our desire is to make the car as hack proof as possible to protect our customers.”

From this point on, it was pretty much Juecther going on and on about protecting customers and preventing hackers from taking over your car. When asked if GM would at least help a select group of tuners with the C8 Corvette, his answer was disheartening at best. “The answer is essentially no. We’re not going to give everybody kiers to the backdoor into our modules to do whatever they want. We think the best will figure it out.”

GM Greed: No Assistance To Aftermarket Tuners Trying to Crack Open the C8 Corvette Exterior
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At this point, most of the report sounds like little more than what GM’s legal department has drafted up for Juecther. From the outside, it seems that GM would rather force customers to buy more expensive C8s that will be available down the road or take advantage of any performance upgrades eventually offered through Chevy. Either way, if you own a C8 Corvette, don’t expect any tuners to be able to do much for you anytime in the near future, and you can thank GM for that.

Source: Muscle Cars & Trucks

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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