Should Chevrolet Offer a Turbo Corvette from the Factory?

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Turbo Corvette

C8 might be the first production turbo Corvette to date. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

We’ve come a long way from the turbo craze of the ’80s. To the point where turbocharged engines aren’t just lag-filled, unpredictable thrill rides, but viable performance engines. And they’re quickly becoming the choice of most major automotive manufacturers. Heck, turbos are in everything from pickups to luxury sedans these days. But they’ve historically been missing from one very important car, the Chevrolet Corvette. And one Corvette Forum member, Heavy Vetting, is curious to know why.

“As far as I know, when it comes to factory forced-induction, Corvettes have always shipped with superchargers. What are your thoughts on why GM has never embraced turbocharging for their factory-hopped-up Corvette offerings?”

As most of you know, Chevy has experimented with various turbo Corvettes in the past. But they’ve just never made it to production, for whatever reason. And our members have their theories as to why. Which range from sensible to downright comical.

“Because they don’t blow, they suck?” reckons Phanni.

Turbo Corvette

For Big Lebowski, turbos have just historically seemed like a foreign car thing. But that’s quickly changing.

“Good question. Nothing against it, but SC always felt “AMERICAN” and turbo always seemed import. Not sure why, but as others have said, a turbo looks to be on the horizon for Corvette (on the C8R at the very least).”

But Thunder22 has another, possibly viable theory as to why we’ve never seen a turbo Corvette.

“V8s with 90 degree angles are wide, and turbos usually sit on the side of an engine. Superchargers sit on top and it’s easier to put a bump in the hood than widening the chassis. Which is why you see turbo V6s and 4s, they’re smaller blocks.”

Turbo Corvette

Seems legit. But Patches notes that things have changed in recent times.

“True. But some of the latest generation turbos/exhausts, such as the ones from Mercedes, are nestled in the valley between the heads so the packaging has become almost as compact as a SC. The leaked C8 CAD drawings depict this same configuration. So we may well see this as one of the higher end C8 power plants.”

Larry Myers points out that space has in fact played an important factor in this decision, historically speaking.

“At the C6 ZR1 reveal, somebody asked Tom Watson. The response was there was insufficient room to accommodate the large diameter piping associated with turbocharging.”

Regardless of what’s happened in the past, it does look like we’ll see a turbo Corvette soon. So the only question left to ask is, does this have you excited at the prospect? Head on over here and let us know!

Join the Corvette forums today!

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Corvette Forum, Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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