News on the industry’s worst kept secret keeps on surfacing, and the latest has to do with what the first-ever mid-engined C8 Corvette will be called. Or what at least one variant will be called, anyway.
The Stingray name is nearly as old as the Corvette itself. Originally debuting on a concept car designed by the legendary Peter Brock in 1959, the Corvette Stingray (also spelled Sting Ray back then) faded out in 1976 before coming back in 2013 with the launch of the C7. It continues to serve as the entry level nameplate of the Corvette family, which includes the wide-bodied Grand Sport, then 650 horsepower Z06, and topped out by the 755 horsepower Corvette ZR1. The C7 Corvette Stingray comes from the factory with a minimum of 455 horsepower and carries an MSRP of just under $56,000. It is America’s best selling two-seat sports car.
The C8 Corvette is not expected to be too far a jump in overall price – appealing to much of the same budgets that feed the popularity of the marque. But that’s where the similarities are expected to end. Along with the mid/rear-engine placement, it’s likely that the C8 Corvette will have a dual-overhead cam V8 engine instead of the familiar small block V8, based of videos of the car pacing the Nurburgring. The C8.R Corvette race car also sounds wildly different from the C7.R, further pointing to a departure from engine traditions. Additionally, patent filings point to a dual clutch transmission system, and a clutch-by-wire electronic manual transmission system. These transmissions are also different from the 8-speed single clutch automatic, and familiar seven-speed manual we see today. The steering wheel on the C8 Corvette also has been spied with a flat top, mimicking the wheel of a race car.
GM trademark filings also point to other Corvette names likely to come. These include Corvette Manta Ray, Corvette E-Ray, and the mysterious Zora trademark – derived from Zora Arkus-Duntov, the “Father of the Corvette.” With these names in mind, along with the currently used Grand Sport, Z06, and ZR1, we could be in for a breadth of C8 Corvette variants for years to come. Stay tuned for more.