You may have just seen history—several hours before you should have.
A stream of vibrant red Corvette C8 images just leaked their way online, apparently following a story that snuck in early by Esquire. We have no way of officially confirming that these are the real deal, but they look pretty dang close to the real eighth-generation, mid-engined, long-awaited thing. The story is now down, but several outlets reported seeing it live on Apple News before corrective measures were taken.
The rear end, with its eerily Camaro-esque lights, matches the leaked image we saw earlier. Courtesy of an aerial shot, we now can see that the decklid is topped with a newly angular Stingray logo, and that the exhaust tips are indeed squared-off. Visible through the engine cover is a carbon frame we haven’t seen before; it’s most likely an engine mount, but the carbon fiber could extend further.
Aerial shots looks like this flaming red ’Vette depicts the base Stingray, but the front- and rear-three-quarter shots show some black trim pieces that could indicate the higher-performing Z51 package. For the C7 ’Vette, the Z51 package was also available at launch, adding enhanced tires, wheels, brakes, suspension tuning, exhaust, cooling, and more aggressive gearing. However, the images here don’t present the larger wheels and slotted rotors we’ve seen in spy shots, so there’s a chance the enhancements we see are purely aesthetic.
Speaking of red trim, the conspicuous red stripe marking the center of the recently-released steering wheel supports the argument that we’re looking at a legitimate Z51-trim C8. At the very least, all the glossy trim bits—forming the center of the front diffuser, skimming up the side skirts, and framing that massive side scoop—pile up aesthetic cues to further bling-out the base model. Together with the slim-spoked wheels and the curiously molded rear spoiler, Chevy seems to be sneaking performance styling cues in all possible corners of this ’Vette (found the ones in the corners of the rear lights yet?).
If Esquire’s original story is to be believed, the C8 Corvette’s LT2 V-8 bristles with 495 hp, 470 lb-ft of torque, and a face-warping sub-3.0 second 0-60 time. (That 0-60 figure, however, seems suspect unless there is some electric motor witchcraft going on; a mid-engine, rear-drive 562-hp McLaren 570S does the sprint in the same time, but it has a carbon tub and likely costs way, way more money.) As far as we know, this whole C8 range will come equipped with an eight-speed dual-clutch transaxle.
And because you’re probably wondering too, no, we’re not sure where you’d manage to store that removable top, given that there is now a gigantic engine where the old one hid. It would be pretty cool to find out it can fit inside the frunk somehow.
So you tell us—are these images legit? Is this the most radical Corvette to date? In just a few hours, we’ll know for sure.