The new C8.R Corvette racer has debuted with a 5.5-L flat-plane crank V8 with 500 horsepower.
We knew that something special was going to be found under the hood of the new C8.R, we just didn’t know what. Rumors pointed to a flat-plane crank, double overhead cam design with a possible turbocharger that might have been built around the Cadillac Blackwing motor. Previous spy footage certainly revealed that it wasn’t going to be the typical pushrod engine that debuted on the regular 2020 Corvette Stingray.
With today’s announcement, Chevrolet has revealed that it indeed is a flat-plane crank DOHC V8 with 5.5-liters of displacement and 500 horsepower. That gives it just 5 more than the standard C8 with the performance exhaust system. It also gets 480 lb-ft of torque, which is 10 more than the road-legal C8.
Power and displacement on the C8.R are designed to meet IMSA and FIA regulations, which has another special side effect. As pointed out by Jalopnik, FIA regs require that at least 300 road-going cars feature the same engine in order to meet homologation. This means that the same 5.5-L flat-plane crank, DOHC V8 will make its way into a production car that you can buy.
Jalopnik expects that engine to appear in a performance version of the new Corvette such as the Z06 trim. Expect it to be bigger and more powerful too--likely around 650 hp in its final road-going form.
Other modifications compared to the road-legal C8 include a larger radiator placed where the frunk is normally located, a 6-speed sequential gearbox instead of the usual 8-speed DCT (and to make room for the big rear diffuser), and a stiffer, lighter chassis compared to the 2020 Stingray.
The C8.R will debut at the Rolex 24 Hour race at Daytona on January 25th, but before then we'll get to see it this weekend at the Petit Le Mans race in Atlanta.