If the naturally aspirated V8 is on its last legs, then it’s about to have an almighty send-off thanks to General Motors, which is reportedly working on a high-revving, free-breathing bent-eight for an upcoming C8 Corvette variant.
Car and Driver reports GM has been developing a road-going version of the 5.5-litre engine found in the Corvette GTE racer, the C8.R.
It’s expected the production-ready version of this atmo V8 will be ready to go on sale early next year, slotting into the belly of the Z06 C8.
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Derived from the race unit, the DOHC 32-valve donk is expected to come fitted with a flat-plane crank. For an idea of what this would sound like, turn your speakers up and have a listen to the below video.
Making this engine even more impressive is the fact it’ll reportedly scream its way to a redline of 8500-9000rpm. That’s firmly in Porsche 911 GT3 territory.
Restricted by GTE Balance of Performance rules, the C8.R makes in the region of 372kW. It’s thought that removing the legislated competitive restrictions could allow the road version to send as much as 447kW of power to the rear wheels.
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Transferring that grunt will be an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, sending everything exclusively to the rear treads.
This new 5.5-litre V8 would be quite the departure for the Corvette, as there hasn’t been a DOHC engine fitted to Chevrolet’s sports car icon since the C4-generation ZR1.
Traditionally the Z06 variant is supercharged, with the outgoing C7 generation powered by the LT4 6.2-litre V8 that is also fitted to the Camaro ZL1.
When fitted to the ’Vette, the LT4 produced 485kW, which would be an impressive benchmark for the new atmo engine to exceed.
For the C7 Z06, Chevrolet offered customers the opportunity to team up with a GM technician to build the LT4 which would be fitted to their car by hand.
We sure hope that US$5000 (A$7173) ‘build-it’ option carries over to this new high-revving V8 for the C8 Z06.