All the rumors and talk of the next-generation C8 mid-engine Corvette just took its first official step toward reality. Chevrolet for the first time publicly confirmed the upcoming C8 Vette, staging a PR stunt by driving a lightly camouflaged prototype through Times Square yesterday afternoon. Emblazoned on the side of the low and wide mid-engine sports car? The date Chevrolet has chosen for the official reveal, 7/18/2019.
The first official photos of this C8 prototype come just a week before the New York International Auto Show, with GM CEO Mary Barra hitching a ride in the passenger seat on her way to make an announcement at the Siller Foundation charity gala. Driving the camouflaged C8 was Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter.
Chevrolet has also produced a new page on its website just for C8, inviting those interested to sign up to receive the latest updates. In the limited text on the page, Chevy is already calling for this car to set a new performance bar for the Corvette nameplate by saying “It’s the sum of each generation before it, but will stand alone as the new standard of performance.” Strong words when the current C7 ZR1 is quite competitive on the world stage.
The July 18 debut will likely be the base Stingray model, which we suspect will be powered by a 6.2-liter pushrod LT2 V-8 making at least 500 horsepower, utilizing a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. LT6 and LT8 V-8s are expected down the line for later Z06 and ZR1 variants, along with twin turbocharging and, potentially, hybridization. Currently there has been no information pointing to the availability of a manual transmission option.
Pricing is nothing more than rumors and speculation currently, but based on the specs Hagerty has seen we would place the base Stingray around the $60,000 mark. This would be an increase from the current C7’s base price but would still keep the Corvette as a relative performance bargain—especially when comparing to other mid-engine sports cars like the Acura NSX or McLaren 570S.
GM’s press release indicates that the “final production seventh generation Chevrolet Corvette” will be auctioned off this summer, benefitting the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. That bit of information quashes rumors that Chevrolet would continue selling the C7 Corvette alongside the C8.
The C8’s now-official arrival confirms years of suspicion and speculation from the auto industry, following the car’s absence at the Detroit auto show this year due to alleged delays. The mid-engine Corvette has been a topic of conversation for decades, but the tone of the conversation changed in the last few years when it started to really look like a reality. Developments and patent filings continued to provide hints, but in general, it is impressive the amount of information that has not leaked about this massive shift in Corvette tradition.
With the July reveal we will likely learn when sales will begin, but expect the C8 mid-engine Corvette to arrive in showrooms by the end of 2019.