A lot has already been written about future derivatives of the mid-engined Corvette even though the C8 is still in the inaugural model year. While Chevy has obviously been coy on details regarding the lineup’s expansion, plenty of reports have tried to see into the future of the Z06, ZR1, and the other members of the family.
Fast forward to this week, Hagerty claims to have the scoop on how the sports car will evolve in the years to come after gaining access to a document that fell into their “editorial laps” thanks to what they refer to as “industry leakage.” Chevy will get the ball rolling with the right-hand-drive Corvette scheduled to enter production for the 2021 model year, which we already know will bring some minor tweaks to the C8 formula and it could be the first model year for the convertible.
|Model Year||Engine||Power (est.)||Torque (est.)||Likely Application|
|2021||LT2 6.2-liter 16-valve OHV||490-495 hp||465-470 lb-ft||RHD Corvettes for export|
|2022||LT6 5.5-liter 32-valve DOHC||650 hp||600 lb-ft||Corvette Z06|
|2023||LT2 6.2-liter 16-valve OHV hybrid||600 hp||500 lb-ft||Corvette Grand Sport|
|2024||LT7 5.5-liter twin-turbo DOHC||850 hp||825 lb-ft||Corvette ZR1|
|2025||LT7HP1 5.5-liter twin-turbo DOHC hybrid||1,000 hp||975 lb-ft||Corvette Zora|
The 2022MY will allegedly usher in the Z06 with a 5.5-liter flat-plane-crank V8 engine rumored to rev past 8,000 rpm. Hagerty claims the 32-valve LT6 engine will develop a healthy 650 horsepower and 600 pound-feet (813 Newton-meters) of torque, but bear in mind these are estimations made by the publication. If these numbers are accurate, it would mean the naturally aspirated engine would match the horsepower of the old 6.2-liter supercharged Z06 while being down on torque by just 50 lb-ft (68 Nm).
More Electric Corvette Evidence:
For the 2023MY, the report alleges Chevy will introduce the Corvette Grand Sport with a hybrid version of the LT2 that will take the output up from the current 495 hp and 470 lb-ft (637 Nm) available with the optional Z51 package to a more than generous 600 hp and 500 lb-ft (678 Nm). That would represent a major increase considering the front-engined Grand Sport had 460 hp and 465 lb-ft (630 Nm) from its 6.2-liter LT1 V8 engine.
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The hotter ZR1 is earmarked for the 2024MY with a twin-turbo LT7 5.5-liter engine set to develop a massive 850 hp and 825 lb-ft (1,119 Nm). It is believed the engine in question is the same one used by the Z06, but with a couple of turbochargers added for good measure. Looking at the old ZR1 with its supercharged small-block V8 6.2-liter LT5, its mid-engined successor would pack an additional 95 hp and 110 lb-ft (149 Nm).
The ZR1 won’t remain the flagship variant this time around as Hagerty alleges the new range topper will be the Zora to honor Zora Arkus-Duntov a.k.a. the “Father of the Corvette” and an advocate of the mid-engined layout. The icing on the sports car’s cake is said to use an electrified version of the LT7, good for an astounding 1,000 hp and 975 lb-ft (1,322 Nm). The report specifies it’s due for the 2025MY, meaning it should go on sale at some point in 2024.
The Best Is Yet To Come:
Needless to say, take all of these details with the proverbial pinch of salt as it’s too early to know for sure what Chevy has in tow for its spicy C8 models. Even if the timetable is accurate, it’s still subject to change in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The mid-engined Corvette got off to a rough start because of the GM-UAW strike that delayed the start of production, which came to a halt shortly after due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Chevy has built fewer than 2,700 cars and there’s a good chance the convertible will have to wait for the 2021MY scheduled to enter production in September.