Here’s the Chevy Corvette C8.R Testing at Sebring
The new mid-engine race car is put through its paces on the tough Floridian trackby Michael Fira, on
We’ve been talking endlessly about the upcoming Chevrolet Corvette C8 and, also, the race-going C8.R. Fans of old are lamenting about how it’s not really a Corvette if the engine isn’t in front of the driver, but this might not be the only problem the old guard will have with the new car. As we can hear in this new video captured at Sebring Raceway, the C8.R tries to sound like a Ferrari 488 GTE which suggests the push-rod V-8 might be a thing of the past, at least on the race car.
Chevy’s been busy testing the C8, that will be the first production mid-engine Corvette ever made, for over a year. At the same time, the guys at Pratt & Miller are racking up the test miles of the C8.R mules that should taste competition for the first time at the 2020 Daytona 24 Hours race.
Anyone fancies a Corvette that almost sounds like a Ferrari?
Pratt & Miller, the manufacturer of Corvette racing cars that are meant to race under the banner of the works-backed Corvette Racing outfit, is out testing the C8.R barely three weeks after the aging C7.R made its last race start this year, in the FIA WEC 6-hour race at Shanghai International Circuit, in China.
The place of the test is the notoriously grueling Sebring Raceway, the host of America’s first proper endurance race which dates back to 1952. The track, originally built on the grounds of a military airbase, still features some of the concrete slabs that were put there when the base, known as the Hendricks Army Airfield, was built almost 80 years ago. That’s what makes the track so tough on suspension, dampers, and, ultimately, the cars as a whole and why it’s a key track to go to.
Up until the end of their factory-backed involvement in top-flight sports car racing, Audi would come year in and year out at Sebring to test their cars although they couldn’t run the 12 Hours race beyond 2013. The same applies to Corvette Racing, a team that now holds the accolade of being one of the (if not the) longest-lasting factory-backed efforts in professional sports car racing. As 11-time winners of the event, Corvette Racing knows that doing an endurance test at Sebring is paramount to a car’s development.
That’s why the video you can watch below was filmed at night by one ’Lanky Turtle’. He somehow got inside the perimeter of the 3.74-miles-long road course to film the Corvette C8.R in full camo being pedaled around Green Park. What’s odd about the whole thing is that the car, with endurance lights and everything, doesn’t sound like a Corvette.
Instead, the C8.R produces a high-pitched noise that got people thinking that, at least on the race car, Chevy has decided to drop the push-rod V-8 in favor of a double-overhead-camshaft setup.
This would radically change the way power and torque is being produced and it would mean the new race car revs significantly higher, which is what we can hear.
Also, it may be that Chevrolet and Pratt & Miller decided to go with a flat-plane crankshaft instead of the traditional cross-plane arrangement for the race car. We’ve heard rumors before of a new, high-tech engine that should arrive with the upcoming C8 and this could be the race-tuned version of that unit. If we are to believe the information we can gather from some CAD renders that got leaked, the new engine will be twin-turbocharged with the turbos placed outside of the engine block and not in between the two cylinder banks. Insiders say that the new twin-turbocharged unit will come in two displacements: 4.2-liters and 5.5-liters.
Meanwhile, the traditional 6.2-liter pushrod V-8 will be kept but, seemingly, it won't be the engine of choice for the race car.
Expect to see the road-going version at the next North-American International Auto Show in January.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the C8.R out and about. Back in August, the car was pictured testing at the scenic Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Those pictures were taken during the day but there was no video. Now we know for a fact that the next ’Vette will look revolutionary and will also sound very different, at least with that new V-8 onboard. Meanwhile, expect the C7.R to try and capture another crown in the 2019 season of the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship that’s bound to be its last. The old girl is still competitive, though, battling for the win at Le Mans in 2017 - and narrowly missing it in a duel with Aston-Martin - and, more recently, carrying Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia to a second consecutive driver’s title at the end of the 2018 IMSA season.
Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Zora.
Read our full review on the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.
Source: Auto Blog