Earlier this month, Chevy surprisingly revealed its new Corvette C8.R. At the same time, the automaker said that the IMSA GTLM class series is about to enter a new era. Many were still curious about the C8.R at the time, since there were no full details about its specifications.
Scheduled to race at Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 25 next year, the C8.R is definitely not a standard Corvette. It has been changed to align its nature with the regulations of the sports car endurance race. The changes were also intended to make the car more potent by enhancing aerodynamics, improving stiffness, and making the car lighter.
Actually, the car is pretty much the same as the road-going Vette. It’s built on the 2020 Stingray frame, but it’s lighter and stiffer, features a lower center of gravity, and has even weight distribution over the wheels. So the C8.R is higher in performance and more stable than its “civilian” cousin.
The difference also lies in the engine – the race car packs a 5.5-liter naturally-aspirated V8 heart instead of the 6.2-liter V8 used in the production model. The number of cylinders is the same though. Smaller doesn’t always mean weaker, that’s what we understand here, as the C8.R’s engine makes 500 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque instead of 495 hp and 470 lb-ft.
The race machine is also equipped with a different transmission. It’s not the regular eight-speed dual-clutch, but an Xtrac six-speed sequential racing gearbox. This allows the installation of a specifically-designed rear diffuser.
The Corvette C8.R is fitted with a set of 18-inch Michelin Pilot Sport GT competition tires. It will rely on its super bright headlight system during the dark times of the endurance race. The Chevy isn’t the only competitor built based on the production model, but the rest of the cars participating in the IMSA GTLM class come from similar origins and they’re all bound to follow the rules of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.