With its new mid-engine layout, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 is a huge break from tradition. However, there are aspects of the iconic nameplate still left open to change, such as the powertrain and drivetrain.
Chevrolet Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter recently sat down with Autoline After Hours to talk about the new 2020 Vette, and during the interview, he provided a few hints of things to come – including a possible all-electric Vette and all-wheel-drive Vette.
The EV question was asked about 18 minutes into the interview, but Juechter dodged by saying that GM doesn’t talk about future products. Still, he doesn’t flat out deny the possibility either.
“Corvette is part of General Motors, and part of General Motors’ mission, from the top of the company, zero-zero-zero. So zero emissions is part of our mission,” Juechter says. “Now that’s a future state, we’ll get there eventually. That’s our job, to continue to work towards that.”
Of course, the question of how and when GM will get to zero emissions remains up in the air.
Then, around 29 minutes into the interview, Juechter is asked about possible engine alternatives considered during development for the C8. The Chief Engineer answers by saying that General Motors asked customers about doing a four-cylinder or six-cylinder Corvette, but the answer was crystal clear.
“We were roundly booed at that suggestion,” Juechter confesses. Instead, the iconic Small Block V8 was needed to maintain continuity for the nameplate.
“If you’re changing everything else about the car radically, having [the Small Block V8 as a] touchstone, that bit of familiarity,” Juechter said.
What’s more, the space available in the back of the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette allowed the 6.2L LT2 V8 to fit nicely from a packaging and sizing standpoint, and even helped to allow for better “breathing” in terms of intake and exhaust.
Finally, around the 48-minute mark, Juechter was asked about the possibility of building an all-wheel-drive Chevrolet Corvette.
“Having 60 percent of the weight on the rear almost feels like all-wheel-drive,” Juechter answered. “It’s amazing how much traction the car has. We have had some customers say they would like to have all-wheel-drive, so it’s always kind of in our process. Maybe some day.”
Juechter adds it’ll be interesting to see if the release of the C8 will quell some of those requests for an all-wheel-drive Chevrolet Corvette, given the extra traction provided by the mid-engine layout.
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