Chevy Has Yet to Confirm a 2020 C8.R Race Car - Here’s Why You Should Still Expect One!
The C7.R needs a replacement, and it’s coming in 2020by Ciprian Florea, on
With the new 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette coming to dealerships, it’s safe to assume that GM will release a race-spec model soon. Chevy has yet to confirm that a C8.R model is underway, but we have quite a few reasons to believe that the race car is almost ready to debut.
The C8.R made an appearance at the C8 Corvette unveiling
Wait what? If the C8.R was shown at the unveiling event, how come you missed it? Well, the C8.R wasn’t there in the metal but was showed off in a teaser video.
The camouflaged race car had a more aggressive front bumper, a lowered ride height, and a massive wing on the rear deck.
Some might argue that it could be the higher performance Z06 or ZR1, but the teleprompter flashed the words "mashup of C8.R" as the video played, according to The Drive.
The C8.R was spotted testing at Sebring
The car in the video also looked identical to the Corvette spotted testing at Sebring in December 2018. Yes, Chevrolet has been testing the C8.R for quite some time. At some point, we even thought that it’s the range-topping version of the road-going Corvette, but that wing is way too big for a road car. What’s more, road cars are usually tested at the Nurburgring. Sebring is usually used as a test track for race-spec cars. After all, the C8 Corvette will end up racing at the Sebring 24 Hours in C8.R spec.
The Corvette C8.R will arrive in 2020
The C8.R isn't yet ready to come out an play, but it will arrive in 2020, or in time for the racing series that commence in 2020.
The big unveiling could happen toward the end of 2019. Don’t expect to see it at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, but expect a debut on American soil. Possible events include the 2019 SEMA Show in early November and the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show in late November. Should the C8.R arrive later than that, it could debut on its own or at a special event for race cars.
The Corvette C8.R will replace the C7.R
The mid-engined C8.R will replace a front-engined racer based on the C7-generation Corvette. Called the C7.R, it debuted in early 2014 and went racing the same year.
The C7.R is quite a successful car. It scored wins at Long Beach and Laguna Seca in its first season and scored class wins at Daytona and Sebring in 2015. It also won its class at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, thus scoring the infamous "triple crown." Corvette C7.R also went on to win the drivers’, team, and manufacturers’ titles in the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship in the GTLM class. The C7.R was driven to glory by notable drivers like Antonio Garcia, Tommy Milner, Jan Magnussen, Ryan Briscoe, Mike Rockenfeller, and Kristian Poulsen.
The Corvette C8.R might have a different engine
Although it's based on the road-going C8, the C8.R won't borrow everything from the standard model.
It might even feature a different engine, just like the C7.R did. While the base C7 Corvette featured a 6.2-liter V-8, the C7.R hits the track with a 5.5-liter V-8. On the flip side, the C8’s 6.2-liter mill is Chevy’s only V-8 for mid-engined layouts, so the C8.R might feature a revised variant of this unit. But while it may share the block and some components, most internals will be upgraded for racing duty and enhanced durability. It’s not completely out of the question for Chevrolet to use the 5.5-liter V-8 fitted in the Cadillac DPi-V.R. prototype, also a mid-engined race car. Output-wise, the C8.R will hit the track with around 500 horsepower. The C7.R was rated at 491 horses. All told, the C8.R’s output will depend on the car’s curb weight, as power is strictly regulated in all professional racing series.
The Corvette C8.R will have strong opposition
The C8.R will have a hard time in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, as the GTLM class is contested by a handful of high-profile, potent race cars. Competition includes the BMW M8 GTE, Ferrari 488 GTE, Ford GT, and Porsche 911 RSR. Should the Corvette C8.R also tackle the LMGTE class in the FIA World Endurance Championship, it will go against the Aston Martin Vantage GTE and Ferrari 488 GTE Evo.
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 our full review on the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.