From disagreements on where to take the mid-engine C8 Corvette, to a whole new electrical system to sort out, will the wait be worth it?
It’s been quite the waiting game with the upcoming C8-era Corvette. We thought it would bow at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, but it didn’t turn up. We thought we’d start seeing the mid-engine ‘Vette in the showroom around early summer, but such arrivals have been delayed to at least December 2019. What’s the holdup?
According to Hagerty, there are three reasons for the wait, each one increasing in absurdity.
The first reason we’ve heard before: the electrical system. The specific detail there is that GM is moving all of its vehicles to the new Global B electrical architecture, with the C8 being among the first. As reported by Reuters in 2015, the Global B architecture would allow for a given GM vehicle’s computers to be able to update over-the-air via cloud computing. We figure that if your icon is going to blaze a new path, why not do so with new technology, right?
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The second reason is quite the twist, literally: the new C8 is so powerful that it’s bending itself out of shape. During testing of a prototype with the near-1,000-horsepower twin-turbo V8 on board, the Corvette’s aluminum spaceframe experienced enough structural distortion that the rear glass covering said engine cracked. The Drive adds that the engine’s so scary powerful “that GM has supposedly consulted with lawyers about the potential risk of selling something so fast.”
The final reason for the delay is one that’s as old as time itself: designers clashing with engineers. Though Hagerty‘s sources didn’t go into specifics, the publication speculates the clash could be over “a visibility issue, some ergonomic shortcoming, or a cockpit design problem” with the C8.
Speaking of speculation, Hagerty believes the C8 will finally make its world debut at the 25th anniversary of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky August 28 through 31. Once the mid-engine ‘Vette arrives in the showroom, the publication says a base model will be around $60,000 to $70,000, a hybrid variant will be available, and the top-end “Zora” C8 will have active aero.
In the meantime, if you ever wanted a C7 on discount or want to be the first to own a C8, Hagerty says the largest Corvette dealer in the U.S., Kerbeck Chevrolet in Atlantic City, New Jersey, is taking $1,000 deposits for the new ‘Vette, and taking off 12 to 17 percent off current ‘Vette stock. What a time to be alive.