Throwback Thursday: Chevrolet’s Experimental C3 Turbo Corvette

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In all the generations of Corvette, America’s beloved sports car has never had one simple performance item: the turbocharger. In the ZR1, it had a compressed engine, but in the form of a supercharger. With modern technology aiming squarely at the turbo as the way of the future, is it about time that GM and Corvette re-visit the idea of intake air compressed by exhaust gasses?

With that in mind, Road & Track recently revisited this 1980 experimental turbo Corvette, which just precedes the Buick Grand National, although the two are not really related in any way. While the Buick used a V6, the Corvette stuck with the tried and true 350ci V8 motor. The turbo was an AiReasearch T3, similar to those used in the Mercedes 300SD diesels of the time, but the V8’s internals were strong enough to be left mostly standard, even with an extra 7 psi being thrown their way. It was, of course, just an experiment, and was never intended to be a production model. Rated at “about 13 seconds” in the quarter mile, it could eke out a good amount of power, especially for how emissions regulations strangled the cars of the early ’80s.

What do you think? Is there room for a turbo under a future Corvette’s hood?

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

Via [Road & Track]

Patrick Morgan is an instructor at Chicago's Autobahn Country Club and contributes to a number of Auto sites, including MB World and 6SpeedOnline.

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