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Motor Trend [secret >07.18] Rode C8 and Previously other Vette Prototypes

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  • Motor Trend [secret >07.18] Rode C8 and Previously other Vette Prototypes

    These guys have experienced the C8 shotgun, have written about it, but will publish it on line 07.18. Click back next Thursday.



    EXCLUSIVE: WE DRIVE MID-ENGINE CHEVROLET CORVETTE PROTOTYPES


    Behind the wheel of two naturally aspirated mid-engine Corvette prototypes and riding shotgun in a third DOHC twin-turbo car
    by Words: Frank Markus Photos: David Freers July 12, 2019

    The most striking thing about the earliest of three mid-engine Corvette prototypes on hand for today's drive is its impossibly long 72-degree windshield. Its steep rake helps deliver a 0.325 drag coefficient and really sells the cabin-forward/engine-aft promise of this long-anticipated car, but it seems destined to cause headaches for the climate-control engineers. Then again, with a solid bulkhead almost right behind the front seats, there's a lot less cabin to cool than in the front-engine fastback Corvettes. Its next most mind-blowing feature is the impossibly cool doors. They work like manual versions of the Tesla Model X rear doors, hinged so as not to bump vehicles parked nearby.

    Once buckled in, I light up the 6.6-liter small block V-8 engine and delight at the sound it makes right behind my head. In this early prototype, devoid of full sound-deadening materials, the engine sits transversely, affording my ears the pleasure of some raw exhaust manifold sounds, and they're all worth keeping. With everything related to the mid-engine Corvette project on double-secret lockdown until July 18, 2019, my drive is inside GM's Warren Technical Center, so I can't get up much of a head of steam. Still, the car feels light and lithe, and even with this automatic transaxle possibly sapping some power, it accelerates with ease. In just the few turns I make rounding the reflecting pond, I'm already falling in love with the car's delightfully light steering effort and near Porsche-like road feel. Even when pressed hard through a corner, it remains neutral, although the tail can be brought out with a little throttle-induced oversteer. This is why we've so longed for the Corvette's engine to migrate rearward.




    See all 37 photos
    MORE ON CORVETTE:

    Next I strap in to a later-generation prototype that features a lot of changes relative to the first one—such is the nature of iterating a brand-new design of such epic magnitude as this. The bodywork has changed from composite to aluminum, the nifty "falcon-wing" doors have already been ash-canned in favor of conventional front hinges (Chevy couldn't figure out how to package windows that open), and the engine now displaces 7.4 liters. It's hard to tell if it's the weight reduction or the power boost, but this one definitely feels loads quicker off the line, and although the larger engine weighs a bit more, with most of that burden over the rear wheels, the helm remains delightfully delicate.

    I'm relegated to the passenger seat for my experience in the third-generation prototype, which boasts a twin-turbocharged 5.7-liter DOHC 32-valve V-8 driving all four wheels, with four-wheel steering and fully active suspension. It also gets proper supercar doors that pop out an inch or so and scissor upward. The fixed seats are very raked, and the pedals and wheel move to fit the driver. The seating position corroborates the message the doors send: that this car is itching to take on the Italianate supercars. As we all expect such higher-powered variants of the C8 to arrive long after the initial launch, this prototype feels farthest from being sorted out. The booming engine note, stifled a bit by those big snails, is overlaid with a lot of whirring and popping sounds from various solenoids and motors operating all the high-tech gear, and the active suspension doesn't quite erase every bump. But my chauffeur notes that the top speed is estimated at 225 mph. Expect to pay dearly for this super-'Vette.
    A little more than 13 years after driving and riding in these early prototypes (the XP-882 Aerovette, the XP-895 Reynolds Corvette, and the CERV III), I had the pleasure of riding shotgun in two very late C8 prototypes. Please click back to read about that adventure on the evening of July 18, and click herefor more details on the mid-engine Corvette concepts that paved the C8's way.

    View Gallery
    Last edited by SheepDog; 07-12-2019, 03:58 PM.

  • #2
    They drove the C8 as well (all the major publications and blogs have) but it's under embargo until the reveal.

    That CERVIII was at the first Detroit Auto Show I went to as a high schooler. I remember being terribly upset that they didn't have the stones to build it for sale, lol.

    Comment


    • #3
      Great find - thanks for posting.

      Quite a few major auto mags / blogs were at the same event and already have the press pictures that will be released in mass next week. (this is how most cars leak before official embargo dates) I am quite confident we will see the whole exterior early next week.

      Comment


      • #4
        Lambo doors on the C8 would be neet.

        Comment


        • #5
          According to Tadge at the Bash 15 months ago, Lambo doors will not happen. However, they could other than Lambo doors yet still have some very unique properties, as in this door opening parent applications and it appearing from some pictures that as the doors swing outward, their outermost ends move upward a little to avoid hitting tall curbs.

          https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...er-door-patent
          GS7 Elkhart Lake Blue, HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5ZZ high wing; 5VM vis CF ground effects pkg; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards.

          Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20+ year members of National Corvette Museum.

          Comment


          • #6
            The c8 doors open upward slightly I believe so they dont hit the curb as you open the low c8 s doors or so its been rumored...

            gm sweats the details well..

            im a huge gm research and development fan..
            Torch Red exterior/ black interior z51 FE4 2LT or 1LT depending on when i get the call..Ill flip a coin at that moment..same for E60

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ZORA 69 View Post
              Lambo doors on the C8 would be neet.
              There will certainly be aftermarket options.
              Current Vettes:
              '68 Lemans Blue 327/350 Convertible
              '91 Turquoise Convertible with Hardtop
              '14 Lime Rock Green 2LT Convertible, Black Top, Kalahari, 7-Speed, Performance Exhaust
              Upcoming Vette:
              '20 Elkhart Lake Blue 2LT Coupe, Natural Interior, GT2 Two-Tone Seats, Performance Exhaust, Front Lift, Carbon Flash Wheels, Engine Appearance Package

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by John View Post
                According to Tadge at the Bash 15 months ago, Lambo doors will not happen. However, they could other than Lambo doors yet still have some very unique properties, as in this door opening parent applications and it appearing from some pictures that as the doors swing outward, their outermost ends move upward a little to avoid hitting tall curbs.

                https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...er-door-patent
                Aston Martins do that. It’s a very cool feature

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mobius View Post

                  There will certainly be aftermarket options.
                  Speaking of options I was looking at the supposed leaked order form on CorvetteForum and I like the 3.62 or 3.8 axle ratios but I was looking at seat options and it says either suede or leather natural dipped. Anyone have a clue what they might be.
                  There is a madness to my method!

                  2015 Z06 Torch/adrenaline
                  2001 coupe Torch/oak R8C
                  79 coupe Silver/oyster
                  All one owner
                  Museum lifetime members

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    From what I understand, "dipped" means almost all of the interior is finished in your selected color, rather than just the seats and door inserts etc like some C7's. As far as "natural" your guess is as good as mine. The article with the leaked order sheet also mentioned various seat belt colors which included "tan". So maybe that's another way of saying "natural". Dunno.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Klinn View Post
                      From what I understand, "dipped" means almost all of the interior is finished in your selected color, rather than just the seats and door inserts etc like some C7's. As far as "natural" your guess is as good as mine. The article with the leaked order sheet also mentioned various seat belt colors which included "tan". So maybe that's another way of saying "natural". Dunno.
                      Cool, thanks.
                      There is a madness to my method!

                      2015 Z06 Torch/adrenaline
                      2001 coupe Torch/oak R8C
                      79 coupe Silver/oyster
                      All one owner
                      Museum lifetime members

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        “Natural” is a new color for the C8’s interior. IMO, it is the replacement for Kalahari. As to whether it is lighter or darker, based on the Carscoops’ pictures I think it is considerably lighter, and having no orange tone to it.

                        Klinn’s discussion about “dipped” is perfect!
                        Last edited by John; 07-12-2019, 06:26 PM.
                        GS7 Elkhart Lake Blue, HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5ZZ high wing; 5VM vis CF ground effects pkg; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards.

                        Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20+ year members of National Corvette Museum.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          6 days left and I can’t wait, it’s been a long long wait.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I know what you mean -- I haven't been waiting for nearly as long as some of you folks, but I'm getting pretty anxious.

                            Also trying to keep my expectations in check. I'm sure there are things that GM won't be ready to share at the reveal, e.g. exact pricing and delivery schedule, and I don't want to come away from the live stream feeling frustrated. Gotta just appreciate what info we do get, especially all the finer details that John and his team manage to snag for us. :thumbsup:

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was talking to GM today and good news, that the time within the hanger after the reveal livestream presentation is over, will be a half hour longer than we first thought e.g., more time for pictures, to talk with GM staff, and/or for us to investigate our particular areas of inquiry.

                              GS7 Elkhart Lake Blue, HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5ZZ high wing; 5VM vis CF ground effects pkg; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards.

                              Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20+ year members of National Corvette Museum.

                              Comment

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