The idea of a Chevrolet Corvette with the engine in the middle originated over 50 years ago, but the actual C8 Corvette also had a lengthy development period. GM executives and C8 team members recently gave an in-depth presentation on the new supercar at the National Corvette Museum’s 25th Anniversary celebration, and it included some interesting information on the C8’s creation.
We’ve seen some early C8 concept sketches thanks to an anonymous Motor1.com reader and former GM designer who shared them with us, but this video gives us all kinds of backstory on the process. We have the clip set to start at the 26-minute mark with Kirk Bennion’s presentation on exterior design. Bennion is the C8’s exterior design manager, and he opens the talk with something of a bombshell. When Chevrolet debuted the C7 Corvette way bac in January 2013, there was already a full-size C8 clay mockup being evaluated at GM’s secluded design studio.
Gallery: Official C8 Corvette Design Progression
The presentation then talks about preliminary sketches and scale-model development to explore different design flavors. A dozen small models were built – each taking roughly two weeks – and the presentation further talks about three of those transitioning into full-size clay demonstrators. They all share similar design cues with the hood and glass, but the side intakes were quite different. One of the designs incorporated large intakes at the top of the wheel wells that are strikingly similar to what we’d eventually see on the Ferrari 488 Pista. Could GM have had some inside information there?
The presentation continues through the process of fine-tuning the C8’s look until we arrive at the car that was finally unveiled in July. The production car has been the subject of both praise and criticism, and we can’t help but wonder if the new Corvette could’ve looked better had some of these other design elements played a larger role in the final product. In any case, we’re impressed with how much information GM has shared about the C8’s development, and we’re looking forward to seeing what else is the Corvette’s future.