Ahead of this weekend’s Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta, Chevrolet unveiled new technical specifications for the Corvette C8.R race car. Among them was a confirmation at the engine has a dual overhead cam setup with a flat-plane crankshaft, much like the Shelby GT350 Mustang and various Ferraris. This is a significant change for the race car, but it’s also big news for the street version—which is happening.
During the presentation, Corvette racing representatives shared that the engine is a V8 (duh) with 5.5 liters of displacement that produces approximately 500 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque.
This seems in line with what was expected based on IMSA and FIA rules and the Balance of Performance measurements.
The more interesting facts came after the presentation where a Chevrolet representative confirmed to Jalopnik that, due to those rules, Chevrolet will have to produce a street car version in order to race it. FIA rules state that 300 copies of the engine must be produced for the road-going car. That means we’re likely to see a variant of it for a future high-performance Corvette, like the Z06 for example.
The Chevy representative would not confirm that it was destined for the Z06 specifically, but only stated that it “was a future production-based engine.” Take that as you will.
According to a Corvette engineer, the DOHC V8 engine is not based on any current GM engine, but is a new design. It cannot share anything with the LT series of engines due to cam location. The engineer confirmed that it is also not related to the Cadillac Blackwing engine.
We speculate that the engine could possibly have a higher displacement in the street car version, as it’s limited to 5.5 liters here because that’s the FIA and IMSA maximum for naturally aspirated engines. The power and torque levels are lower in the race car for similar reasons and we expect that a new Z06 would likely exceed the 650 horsepower rating of the last generation car.
More details coming as we get them.