Don Sherman at Hagerty said he "gave the bushes another relentless beating to compile an updated report" on what's been happening with the mid-engined C8 Chevrolet Corvette. Since it appears that General Motors is throwing a gaggle of new tech at the next generation of America's sports car, it's not shocking that there have been some teething problems. One issue was the electrical gremlins that made news in December. At the time, reports said excessive draw required a redesign of the coupe's wiring system.
Sherman's intel corroborates electrical trouble, saying it's part of GM's adoption of a new writing architecture. GM product chief Mark Reuss talked about the Global B electrical system in 2015. A Reuters report said Global B would "move much of a vehicle's computer power to the ... cloud," and in doing so enable over-the-air updates. To ensure privacy, it's said GM conferred with Boeing and military contractors about network security. Sherman wrote that "100 or more computer modules per vehicle communicate on CAN (computer area network) bus," and Corvette engineers are — or were — having a tough time getting all those nodes on the same team.
A second delay came from the power unleashed by the top-tier twin-turbo model with 900-1,000 horsepower, thought to be the Zora trim. Hard work on the throttle twisted the aluminum spaceframe enough to crack the backlight. A poster on Mid-Engined Corvette forum wrote that this is an old issue, solved when GM put its Cray supercomputer to work to beef up the chassis. A poster over at Corvette Forum said insiders told him "that it is literally frightening to floor" the throttle in the hi-po model, and that GM "had a team of lawyers in to advise on the legal perils of selling such a potent vehicle for street use."
Another matter Sherman mentioned we can't even label a problem. Supposedly, designers had "some unspecified bone of contention" with the development engineers. But unless the designer also happens to be the engineer, that happens all the time on every vehicle. What might matter most is that at the end of last month, spy photographers caught a convoy of prototypes in San Diego carrying Corvette engineers Tadge Juechter, Harlan Charles and Alex MacDonald. And a week ago in Yuma, Arizona another convoy included none other than Mark Reuss in one of the passenger seats. Corvette watchers take this to mean the program is back on track.
We'd been told to expect a standalone reveal sometime this year, and Sherman thinks that could go down at the 25th anniversary celebrations of the National Corvette Museum at the end of August. His intel figures the base, 500-hp LT2 V8 version will come in between $60,000 and $70,000. LT6 and LT8 V8 models will goose the output in steps, up to around 1,000 horses. When the eventual hybrid arrives, it's said the electric motor powering the front wheels will "consume the (front) trunk space otherwise used to carry two sets of golf clubs in the base model." That sounds suspect to us, but we'll all find out soon enough. All will wear the Stingray badge, but Zora could be applied to the capstone trim.
Paperwork another user on Corvette Forum found has been taken to mean the C8 will start production in December. The country's largest Corvette dealer, Kerbeck Chevrolet in Atlantic City, New Jersey has begun accepting $1,000 refundable deposits for a place in the C8 line, and has put double-digit discounts on C7s in stock, with discounting also happening elsewhere as dealers try to reduce a huge C7 backlog. We suppose that means things are getting warmer. A little warmer.