Someone Compiled a 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Exhaust Soundtrack and It’s Drool-Worthy
With a number of engine options on the table, the C8 will have soundtracks for all tastesby Michael Fira, on
We’ll find out soon if the most hyped GM product of the last few decades will live up to everyone’s sky-high expectations. Until we get to take the C8 out for a spin, however, let’s warm up by listening to its exhaust notes, compiled together in one telling video that comes to assure us that America’s Sportscar hasn’t lost its soul as it transitions from a front engine layout to a rear mid-engine layout. At least as far as the acoustics are concerned, anyway.
Are you bored of seeing various spy shots of the Chevrolet Corvette C8 mules somewhere in the world testing? Be it at the Nordschleife, down a highway in Michigan, or snaking through some back roads in Ohio, we’ve all had more than enough of these sightings. It’s always the same, camouflaged silhouette, always the same black tarps across the tail section, and let’s not talk about the various renders. That’s why we’re straying away from the visual side of things and focusing on what our ears can pick up. What engine is in that mule? The auditory quiz shall begin!
Some said the iconic sound will be gone, but this video shows the opposite
The Corvette C8 will be shown to the whole world for the first time on July 18th, 2019 and with the date still being some three weeks away, we’ve got plenty of time to dedicate a few more lines to the eighth generation of Chevy’s halo car. This time, it’s up to the ears to do the detective’s work as YouTuber Chris Brian took on the tortuous task of reviewing most (if not all) of the C8 footage we’ve got and then extract sequences that best showcase the car’s exhaust notes. Then, he pieced everything together in one tidy clip that’s about as long as your favorite pop track.
The video’s got it all: low-speed passes that allow us to hear the burble of what may be the base model C8 powered by the push-rod LT2 V-8, highway pulls, and even some footage from Sebring Raceway where Corvette Racing tested a mule of the C8.R that’s bound to debut at the Roar Before The Daytona 24 official test session next year. We can distinguish at least two different engine notes among the road-going mules, but you must remember that, nowadays, automakers can make a car sound in a thousand different ways by placing valves that open and close within the exhaust or by modifying the manifold and other parts.
If the mules sound the way they do, you shouldn't assume that the production models will sound the same too - GM may try to trick us in the sound department as well.
The important thing is that we reckon GM is well aware that Corvette fans and buyers don’t want the C8 to sound dull or to lose itself in a crowd of similar-sounding cars, so it’s safe to assume the mid-engine supercar will have a soundtrack to back its performance figures. Talking about performance figures, the base model will be, as mentioned, most likely powered by an updated version of the 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 that also powered the C7.
In the C8, however, it will be called LT2, and it will put out somewhere between 500 and 520 horsepower.
For the record, in the C7, the LT1 puts out 455 horsepower at 6,000 rpm (five extra are unlocked with the active exhaust in place) and 460 pound-feet of twist at 4,600 rpm. We expect the torque rating to also go up a notch.
The C8 Z06 will potentially come with a 5.5-liter V-8 (with a flat-plane crank) that’s been referred to as the LT6. This is said to be a naturally aspirated engine although there’ve been rumors floating around about a choice of two twin-turbo engines, one for the Z06 (4.2-liters in capacity) and one for the ZR1 (5.5-liters in capacity) with the power ranging between 600 horsepower and as much as 800 horsepower. In a world where the Mustang Shelby GT500 puts out 760 horsepower, an 800 horsepower Corvette doesn’t seem that amazing although that’s already almost 50 horsepower up on the C7 ZR1 whose 6.2-liter LT5 V-8 cranks out 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque.
Of course, the talk of the town will be the range-topping version, one that's supposedly going to sit above the ZR1.
This would be a first in the Corvette range as, historically, the ZR1 has been the range-topping model. If there will actually be a faster Corvette above the ZR1, it’s rumored that this model will actually benefit from hybrid technology, an electric motor combining with the twin-turbocharged V-8 to put out anywhere between 900 horsepower and over 1,000 horsepower. To put it into perspective, the baddest ’Vette in 1969, the mythical ZL1, conquered the world with almost 500 horsepower under its hood. We reported earlier this month that Hennessey won’t be able to tune the Corvette C8 but if a 1,000 horsepower version is in the pipeline, we reckon performance enhancements might be the last thing the C8 will need!
If all these rumors turn out to be right, it means Chevy won’t have one sports car, it’ll have a fleet, with each version of the Corvette C8 ready to take the fight to a different batch of rivals: the base model will battle your average 992-generation 911, the NSX, and the R8, the Z06 will tussle with the 992-generation 911 Turbo, the McLaren 570S, or the Huracan, while the super-powerful ZR1 will fight against full-blown supercars like the Ford GT and the McLaren 720S. Now, if the ’Zora’ (as it’s often been called by fans and the media) will also be a thing, then Chevy will bring the Corvette nameplate up in the rarified air of the hypercar club and we might see it pitted against stuff like the Ferrari SF90 Stradale with all of its 986 horsepower. It makes for some science-fiction reading right now, but we’ll let the time to discern fact from fiction.
Besides loads of power, the C8 will sport independent suspension with the familiar magnetic ride control system.
The contact patch will be made up of 245/35ZR19 front tires and 305/30SR20 rear tires although it’s unclear if rear-wheel steering will be part of the deal. Having said that, active aerodynamic elements within the splitter as well as in the back could make it into production.
The gearbox will also be an improvement over what’s available right now. The seven-speed unit will be replaced by an eight-speed dual-clutch one, but the manual seems to be gone. Expect 0-60 mph times to drop as the Corvette becomes a bona fide supercar. A base model C8 should reach 60 mph in less than four seconds while a ZR1 should be about a second faster while also having no problem in exceeding 210 mph if you have enough runway to use. As a comparison, a standard C7 StingRay needs 3.7 seconds to reach 60 mph while a Z06 will get from naught to 60 mph in just three seconds flat, 0.4 seconds quicker than the C6 ZR1.
All in all, the C8 is set to be a breakthrough vehicle in GM’s history, and this will come at a cost - it will be over $10,000 more expensive than the C7 it replaces if the estimates are correct. Now, this isn’t a surprise for anybody who knows that a mid-engined supercar will always be more expensive than a front-engined grand tourer, but some Corvette fans might still be turned away by the price hike.
But this might not be the biggest worry for the new Corvette, one that’s had more than its fair share of troubles during its gestation period. Jim Mero, Corvette’s long-time test driver who also took time to explain why the C7 never went below seven minutes on a lap around the Nordschleife, said on the Overcast podecast that he’s worried about the Corvette C8.
He argued that it was the suits at the top of the board that pushed (after decades of unfulfilled attempts) for a mid-engined Corvette as it provided better visibility and was more stable.
The engineers on the development team, Mero said, had to "reinvent the wheel" as a result since the mid-engine layout is inherently less practical and the Corvette must remain a practical car that can carry at least one golf bag in its trunk - reports show that it can carry two, actually.
Mero underlined that moving to a mid-engined layout wasn’t "necessary" to keep the Corvette moving forward as the front-engined layout was still on par with its mid-engined rivals from Audi, Acura, Ferrari, and even the rear-engined Porsches were "smoked" by the fastest C7s, according to Mero who was part of the team who conducted these comparative tests away from any camera or set of curious eyes. He does concede, however, that the C8 will be "crazy popular" and that’s what GM needs since the Corvette’s clientele is aging and Chevy wants to attract a younger audience with the C8, one that would otherwise buy a Lambo or a Ferrari. Let’s see how it all pans out in a few months’ time.
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 of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1
Read up on the 1953-1962 Chevy C1 Corvette
Check out our review of the 1963-1968 Chevy C2 Corvette
Read our in-depth review of the 1969 Chevy Corvette 427 C3
Read up on our review of the 1997-2004 Chevy C5 Corvette
Read up on the 2005-2013 Chevy C6 Corvette
Check out our full review of the 2014-2019 Chevy C7 Corvette