Chevrolet has unveiled more technical details behind its Corvette C8.R ahead of its ceremonial lap at Petit Le Mans over the weekend.
The American carmaker debuted the new mid-engine race car last week, alongside the 2020 Corvette C8 convertible. It is the first clean sheet race car released by the company since the Corvette C5.R in 1999.
The Corvette C8.R is also set to make history by becoming the first mid-engine Chevrolet racer to take part in the International Motor Sports Association's (IMSA) GT Le Mans class.
Chevy Corvette C8.R Specs
The new Chevy Corvette C8.R is tailor-made to suit the IMSA's engine displacement rules. It features a 5.5-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine that can produce up to 500 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque.
For its design, the new mid-engine sports car borrows some elements from its 2020 Corvette Stingray cousin. The carmaker said the C8.R has the highest percentage of vehicle parts between its production and finalized race car than any previous generations of Corvettes.
"It was important for us to develop the new race car alongside the production car, so that each product could properly take advantage of the new architecture," Corvette chief engineer Ed Piatek explained.
"The benefits of this mid-engine supercar, including its incredible balance and connected-to-the-road feel, will be obvious on the street and the track."
To make the Corvette C8.R more conducive for racing environments, Chevy designers and engineers had to tweak some components of the Stingray's design. They were able to come up with innovative ways to utilize every part of the car.
One example is the engineers' placement of a single centrally mounted radiator at what used to be the storage compartment of a production Corvette. They also added ultra-bright racing headlights to the area where the radiators for a production vehicle are located.
The Chevy team developed a compact Xtrac 6-speed sequential gearbox to create enough room at the rear for the C8.R's diffuser.
Other key elements the Corvette C8.R engineers and designers had to work on were improving the race car's aerodynamics, increasing its stiffness, and lowering its weight compared to previous Corvette generations.
The Chevy Racing Team's Three Decades Of Competition
Jim Campbell, VP of Performance and Motorsports at Chevrolet U.S., discussed how the company's anticipation of finally having a production-based mid-engine Corvette worthy of a race.
He said the launch of the Corvette C8.R is the result of a partnership between the GM Engineering, Propulsion, Design and Corvette Racing teams.
With Chevy's racing team set to enter its 30th year of competition, Campbell said the company is excited to begin its next chapter.