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C8 Chevrolet Corvette’s ECU to be a tuning minefield

By Trent Giunco, 31 May 2019 News

C8 Chevrolet Corvette

Sources claim General Motors has made the upcoming Corvette’s ECU a nightmare to tune

Making bold statements isn’t a new concept for car companies. And in terms of trying to save a certain model from the tuning world, history is against General Motors.

Nissan emphatically stated upon release of the R35 GT-R that it would be a no-go zone for tuners, claiming that any modifications would detract from the overall package. Hindsight unequivocally disproves the original theory.

However, General Motors is giving it another crack with the upcoming eighth-generation Corvette, with inside sources telling Muscle Cars & Trucks that GM is branding its Electronic Control Unit (ECU) ‘untunable’.

C8 Chevrolet Corvette’s ECU to be a tuning minefield

Said to be using a complex, secure and encrypted ECU (which isn’t uncommon in the industry), the extra security will supposedly stave off the ability to replace the unit – or even read or write to it. If the sources are correct, even merely reading the ECU’s code will be fraught with danger.

While that sounds like waving a red flag in front of the tuning bull, get it wrong and its rumoured to trigger a 'recovery mode', essentially crippling the car with the computer needing to be rebooted to eradicate the unauthorised code.

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Ultimately, like the iconic R35 GT-R, this approach is unlikely to hamper the efforts of tuners; where there’s a will, there’s a way. Given the popularity of aftermarket, go-faster kits for the current C7 Corvette, it seems unlikely that the C8 won’t be tinkered with.

The upcoming model is already a massive departure from the front-engine, rear-wheel drive Corvette formula, with Chevrolet confirming its mid-engine layout.

As reported by Wheels in April, the C8 could receive a 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 (renamed LT2) with around 370kW initially, with room for higher-spec units with forced induction in the future. A seven-speed dual-clutch is also supposedly on the menu.

Official confirmation of the C8 Corvette’s specifications will be revealed at the launch in California on July 18.

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