We previously covered what’s needed to prepare the new mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8 for a day at the track, going over the recommended checklist of items to keep the Bow Tie brand sports car in tip-top condition while clipping off the apexes. Part of that checklist includes the recommendation that owners add an extra two quarts of fluid to the C8 Corvette transmission. GM says it isn’t necessary to remove the extra fluid after the track day is over.
Naturally, this lead to some follow-up questions – for example, we wanted to know why GM doesn’t simply add those two quarts of fluid on the assembly line.
To find out, we reached out to GM for an answer. According to the automaker, the reasoning behind the decision is multifaceted, with the lower factory C8 Corvette transmission fluid level reducing overall mass, fluid cost, and transmission spin losses for the majority of customers that do not track their cars. What’s more, the lower transmission fluid level also results in slight improved fuel economy on the road.
This makes sense when looking at the numbers. For example, each quart of C8 Corvette transmission fluid currently costs $42.90, which means adding about $100 to every 2020 Corvette produced if GM added the extra fluid at the factory. If GM builds 20,000 units of the new Corvette for the 2020 model year, that means an extra $2 million just in transmission fluid, which isn’t even required for those owners that don’t track their vehicles.
General Motors recommends that any transmission level set or change be performed at a dealer, and that the C8 Corvette transmission fluid and filter should be changed after every 24 hours of track driving. As a reminder, the C8 Corvette is equipped with the all-new M1L eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and uses specialized ACDelco Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) Fluid-FFL-4 fluid.