Just under two weeks remain until Chevrolet unveils what could be the most anticipated car in decades, but the automaker isn’t kicking back for a summer vacation. That is, unless you consider absolutely hammering C8 mid-engined Corvette prototypes at the Nürburgring a relaxing vacation. We’re not sure about the relaxing part, but we’ll say this – the 12-minute video feature above looks like an outstanding petrolhead vacation to us.
Carspotter Jeroen on YouTube was camped out at the Green Hell, and while Americans were eating hot dogs for the Independence Day holiday, these American-made Corvettes were subjected to what’s easily the hardest workout we’ve seen thus far on video. From start to finish we’re treated to C8 prototypes figuratively and literally getting pushed to the limit on the Nordschleife’s many corners. Dare we say, there are even a few close calls at Brünnchen – the infamous right-hand hook at roughly the 10-mile (16.1-kilometer) mark – where the car goes very wide onto the curb. We’re also treated to some full-throttle runs down Döttinger-Höhe, which brings us to another interesting aspect of this latest Corvette sighting.
Gallery: C8 Chevrolet Corvette Hard Testing At The Nurburgring
A recent report from Muscle Cars and Trucks claims the new ‘Vette will indeed launch with the familiar 6.2-liter pushrod V8 used in the current model. It apparently won’t be a straight carryover, however, and it won’t be called LT1. The report cites anonymous GM sources as identifying the engine as the LT2 – basically, the existing engine reworked to fit within the C8’s mid-mount layout. The current LT1 produces 460 horsepower (343 kilowatts), but it’s possible this LT2 could generate a bit more in its new format.
Frankly, this news matches up to what our ears have been telling us for months now. A recent C8 engine compilation video gave us plenty of auditory cues that, for at least some of the prototypes, the sound was extremely similar to the current C7 Corvette. This flat-out Nürburgring video offers the best engine sounds we’ve heard thus far, and it sure sounds like a naturally aspirated Chevy pushrod mill to us. That’s not to say the new DOHC V8 won’t arrive later in higher-spec models – in fact, the Muscle Cars and Trucks report goes on to say a hybrid model with over 1,000 horsepower is in the pipeline. That car is likely a few years away at least.
Near term, the new C8 Corvette launches on July 18 at a special event in California. Motor1.com will be there with live photos and video as it happens.