Three C8 Corvette Engines Revealed in Leaked Analyst Document
Could the next-generation Corvette really make up to 850 horsepower?
Hold onto your hats, folks. We have new Corvette information that could forever alter the brand you know and love. Thanks to Corvette Forum user “rsinor” leaking a market analyst document from IHS Markit, and some deep analysis and number-crunching by member “elegant“, we have near-definitive proof of the mid-engine Corvette and its three different engine options.
Yes, the mid-engine Corvette is coming in the next few months, and it will feature three different V8 engine choices.
Let’s skip all the BS and jump straight into the numbers. According to this engine production forecasting document, GM is starting production of two new DOHC V8s at the Tonawanda production facility. One will be a 4.2L, and the other will be a 5.5L. The current 6.2L V8 is also listed as an option.
Breaking it down by model, the current Corvette is listed as two distinct variants: the Y1BC and the Y2BC. The Y1 is the current C7 Corvette, and it’s listed well into the future with 2021 as the last year of motor production. So it looks like the C7 will live at least another three years, but there is no word on a replacement front-engine platform in this document.
Moving to the Y2, or the mid-engine car, it seems like there will be a big split between the three motors. IHS Markit has the 6.2L being the main choice for the car with an average of 14,000 yearly units from 2019 to 2021, with the production of that V8 dropping a bit after that. The 4.2L motor is next on the list with a projected yearly production volume averaging more than 7,000 units. Finally, the 5.5L carries the smallest production quantity with around 5,000 engines per year coming out of the Tonawanda plant.
ALSO SEE: What the Forum Has to Say About This
Now all we have listed is engine size, and nothing about designation. That means that all of the 6.2L engines in the Y1, or C7, platform car includes both standard Corvettes and the supercharged Z06 and ZR1 models. With DOHC engine production numbers being smaller than the 6.2L, it’s easy to assume that these cars will be “higher-tier” models with more power and more performance. In the production outlook, the 4.2L is called out specifically in a Cadillac-use case with twin-turbochargers. We expect both the 5.5L and 4.2L to be twin-turbo in the Corvette as well.
What makes that Cadillac note curious is that “Cadillac Sports Car” is listed in the document, but there are apparently no production numbers for engine counts according to “rsinor’s” original thread. Despite having no engines listed in the year-by-year numbers, they still list an “average production per year” at 300 units. So perhaps this is actually a hint at plans for a Cadillac racing car that won’t see production.
Finally, let’s take a look at horsepower. Short of exact numbers, “elegant” and “rsinor” list “maximum output” of the new engine family (across all displacements) as 850 hp and 720 lb-ft of torque. So it would make sense that the new 5.5L twin-turbo would be the 800+ hp model to move it above the ZR1 in power and performance. But, if you do some backwards math and cut that 5.5L into a horsepower-per-liter measurement, and then apply that to the smaller 4.2L, you get a max output of 650 hp. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that it lines up nicely with the Z06 Corvette.
It would be a smart move for GM to position its new motors in a way that they can still compete with the performance output of the older cars. Who wants a new, and likely more expensive, Corvette that has less horsepower than the old one?
This document and information leak has filled in a lot of blanks for us, but it has also left us with even more questions about the future of our favorite sports car. As always, you can keep it locked here on Corvette Forum to find out all the news on this upcoming model. Any time we get any information, we’ll be sure to let you know. Otherwise, feel free to hit the forums and give us your thoughts on all this. There is a lot of data here to parse through, and there are plenty of ways to interpret it, so feel free to open your mind and share your two-cents with all of us.