Winter Testing the 2020 Mid-Engine Corvette


New Spy Photos Give Us Our Best Look Yet of Next-Gen Corvette

New spy photographs reveal a mid-engine C8 Corvette undergoing cold weather testing.  The images, which were originally taken on Friday, January 5, 2018 by KGP Photography, give us our best look yet at what Chevrolet has in-store for us in its next-generation mid-engine Corvette.

While this latest batch of photos still features a heavily camouflaged C8, some of the car’s shape-concealing coverings have been removed, giving us a glimpse at more of the carbon-fiber than ever before.  Until now, almost all of the renderings of the 2020 mid-engine Corvette have been based on educated guess work – that is, until last month when a series of CAD renderings of the C8 surfaced on the internet.

At First Glance

Since then, the world has been clamoring for a look at the next-generation Corvette, and now we’ve finally got one.  The biggest question now is: What do these new images show us?

Rear Wheel 2020 Mid-Engine Corvette
2020 Mid-Engine Corvette during winter testing. (Image courtesy KGP Photography)

We start by looking at the most exposed elements – the wheels – and discover some interesting developments there.  The latest iteration of the C8 wheels feature five spoke wheels not unlike those found on the current-gen Corvette The wheels are finished in black an feature a machined-silver stripe along their outer lip.  More interesting than that is the rear wheels, which appear to feature a two caliper braking system.  The calipers, mounted at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions respectively, appear to be mated to steel rotors.

While its impossible to say for certain, this wheel setup could well-represent the final, production version of the wheel, strongly suggesting that this camouflaged Corvette could be an actual production-model prototype.

Moving to the rear of the car, another item we finally get a glimpse at is the rear valance and the exhaust tips. The exhaust tips themselves are very reminiscent of earlier Corvette models (fifth-generation and onward) though they’ve been re-positioned to the ends of the valance panel.  This layout is consistent with the exhaust configuration found on other mid-engine exotics.

2020 Mid-Engine Corvette
The 2020 Mid-Engine Corvette features rearview mirrors that are placed further from the chassis than on earlier generations. (Image courtesy KGP Photography)

Exposed Surfaces

The other areas of the car that were left exposed during this test drive include the roof and rearview mirrors.  The roof does have the familiar seam line just ahead of the B-pillar, indicating that the C8’s roof will once more be removable.  Given that mid- and rear- engine cars often have limited storage (trunk) space, it makes us wonder where the removable roof would be stored when not on the car itself.  An open-air driving experience is certainly one of the best parts of the Corvette, so hopefully the engineers behind the mid-engine model have figured out a way to incorporate storage of the roof panel during open-air driving.

As for the rearview mirrors, they appear to extend out further than those found on the C7 CorvetteThe reasoning for the larger mirrors is likely due (at least in part) to the fact that the driver is further forward in the car than on earlier-generation Corvettes.  Because of the wider haunches on the car combined with the increased percentage of car that is physically behind the driver’s seat, it makes sense to increase both the size of the mirror and the distance that they are placed from the A-pillar.  Again, the extension of the rear-view mirrors away from the car is commonplace on mid-engine exotics.

2020 Mid-Engine Corvette Rear
Rear end view of the 2020 Mid Engine Corvette. (Image courtesy KGP Photography)

Under the Hood

Thanks to information gleaned from the previously released CAD drawings (click here for more information), the C8’s mid-engine configuration appears to be developed around a twin-turbo V8.  Theories across the internet (based largely on the analysis of the CAD drawings) suggest that the C8’s engine size could range from a 4.2 Liter to a 5.5 Liter twin-turbo DOHC engine.  It has further been hypothesized that the larger engine could produce as much as 850 horsepower.

The fact that General Motors has elected to continue testing the new Corvette in the snow suggests that GM is performing validation testing on a new engine platform.  If General Motors IS in the process of developing either of the aforementioned engines as part of the new Corvette platform, the type of testing that is shown in the attached images would be necessary to prove engine viability in all weather conditions.

Of course, all of the information related to the type of engine platform is sheer speculation at this point – and we’ll have to wait until Chevrolet provides more information before anything can be validated.

As for the rest of the C8 Corvette?  It’s hard to imagine what the car truly looks like under all the camouflage.  The heavy wrappings that obscure the car from view are covered with all sorts of vents, bumps and divots which are likely there to break up the lines and to mis-direct anyone trying to develop a rendering of the finished product from the images that are available today.

That said, there are a couple of other small items worth noting.  For one, the front grille that can be seen thru the front mesh looks remarkably similar to the grille that was recently introduced on the 2019 Corvette ZR1 The headlights, though concealed, do offer a glimpse of the headlight placement, and suggest that the car may include full time headlights/running lights during normal operation.  Similarly, the rear taillights appear to feature LED lights, though the final design/shape of the taillights has yet to be determined.

While these images offer enthusiasts our best view yet of what the next-generation Corvette will look like, there is still so much we can only guess at…including when the car will be officially unveiled to the public.  If the car were to be unveiled this year, the most likely venue for the reveal would be obvious – the 2018 North American Auto Show in Detroit.  However, as the show is less than a week away, its hard to imagine that the car will be revealed this year.  Most likely, the 2020 C8 Corvette will makes its grand entrance this time next year, but you just never know what surprises Chevrolet may have in store!

Please check back with us at Corvsport.com for all of the latest information on the C8 Mid-Engine Corvette.

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