Mark Urbano  Cars and Driver
Read everything we know abou Corvette C8 here with a medium engine.
Underground is the constant low-frequency motion of a small Chevy block that rises and falls through its range of revolutions. It is intermittent, but for a short time, the shift from the eight-speed Tremec transmission to a double clutch – accelerated by cutting the engine spark – to which the bolt is attached. And now, finally, the source of this thorn – fifth generation 6.2-liter V-8, called, of course, LT2 – comes from behind our heads.
We are riding a rifle in the middle of the Corvette Stingray engine for the development of rural roads in Michigan. The three cars in this convoy represent the full width of the Stingray chassis. Has base car FE1; FE3, which includes a Z51 package with Passive Shock Absorbers and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires; and FE4, the highest level Stingray, combining the Z51 package with magnetoretical adaptive shock absorbers. Like the C7 before it, the C51 Z51 package adds limited slip electronic differential, larger (iron) brake rotors and jaws as well as different transmission ratios. But now every C8 Corvette gets an engine equipped with a dry crankcase. Driven by chief engineer Tadge Juechter and car manager Alex MacDonald, the C8s are officially here to go through the final tailpieces to differentiate driving efforts around the car, Sport, and Tracking modes. Unofficially, engineers and, to some extent, the cars are here to share the history of the rear of the Corvette, the technical details and the ability to drive the first Corvette to put the engine behind the driver and the passenger. The fact that we are the first rider who is not GM, in the car, okay, it's just juice.
But it is a very difficult environment to be impressed. Cars are still in camouflage – both inside and outside – and we are balancing questions from the interview, taking notes and a voice recorder at the same time. Besides, the risk of inferring conclusions from what we know that the average power car should be good – to be a victim of the placebo effect – is real.
However, the first time that its new two-wing steering wheel is turned in order to reach a modest speed through the T-cross, the C8 is light and desirable to rotate, which is common only for cars with a centralized table behind passengers. There is speed, sharpness that is obvious only in this layout; the wheel rotates and the car rotates immediately and directly into the corner. If C7 was a turkey in the air, capable but convex, then C8 is a falcon – fully purposeful and missionary.
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Moreover, each stroke of the blades is filled only with a muffled swamp from the exhaust pipe when the next gear is engaged. This is a monumental advance from the previous eight-degree planetary automaton equipped with a torque converter, which can now be withdrawn from the museum where it belongs. He demonstrates the effectiveness of the DCT by tripling the left paddle three times in succession, triggering three bold lowered switches.
Maybe the most obvious dynamic change from the passenger seat is the ability of the C8 to lower the power while rotating. Leaving the narrow barriers on the next 90-degree intersection, McDonald bravely knocks the throttle. This is a move that would drive C7 – any C7 – rigid against the indomitable hand of physics where the car has only a choice between tire rotation or enhanced stability control. Instead, with more than the weight of C8 above the drive axle, we start effortlessly and unevenly forward and around the corner, breaking into a second gear before the C7 can be shaken by the upset. This new Corvette stability is clearer than the passenger seat, as the slower and predictable rotation of the C7 is from the driver's seat.
You are better to have fast hands
And this is what no one says: the point that no engineer of Corvette or, in this case, none Chevy's representative talks about it. Corvette with a medium engine is probably more difficult to manage Corvette. Moving the table to the middle means that the need for faster hands is real and that catching a less stable car requires faster responses. This is the two-edged sword of physics, the potential load of the softening Corvette.
But it probably will not be. The reality is that the Corvette team is filled with capable, invested engineers, armed with the generous technological power of the General. They will undoubtedly set the performance management of the C8 to catch the smallest grip and balance of their new athletic chassis. They will do this to save the insights of thousands of Americans, while saving YouTube viewers with the inconvenience of millions of disparaging comments. C8, in a way different and better than C7 before it, will probably be a remarkable car.