Big changes are in store for the next-gen Chevrolet Corvette, called the C8, which is expected in 2020 or so. Endless test mule sightings have the world convinced that the next iteration will be a mid-engined sports car meant to take the fight to everything from the Porsche Boxster to the McLaren 720S. The highly anticipated renewal of General Motors' iconic sports car has Corvette fans treading water, ready to cling to any news that floats their way, and Tuesday, a ponderous raft of information on which to cling surfaced on Corvette Forum.
The poster of the purported leak used a throwaway account to post the information, claiming their business will suffer if they reveal any further information on the car. As the forum is a place that anyone can sign up for, take the following claims with a boulder-sized grain of salt—it may yet be an elaborate hoax.
First off: the Corvette as a brand and its supposed names. The poster claims the 2020 Corvette will assume a brand identity of its own, independent of Chevrolet, and that the model will be available at fewer GM dealers than previous versions. Allegedly, C8 maintenance will be restricted to specialized, GM-approved technicians.
Base model C8 Corvettes will allegedly adopt the suffix "Manta Ray." Trademark filings by GM partially support this; the company bid for the rights on two variations of the Manta Ray name with the intellectual property offices of at least six regions in June of 2015. Both the Manta Ray and "Corvette Manta Ray" names were the subject of filings in the United States and Canada, while only the former was sought with the IP offices of Mexico, China, Jordan, and Europe. These regions' IP offices have granted GM the rights to the name, while neither the U.S. nor Canada have approved GM's exclusive use of either moniker.
Also outlined by the forumer are variants of the Corvette, said to be a grand touring and high-performance variant, named the Grand Tour and Grand Sport respectively. GM has not filed for the "Grand Tour" naming rights with any IP office to The Drive's knowledge, though its stake in the "Grand Sport" name—used on the current C7—is still acknowledged internationally.
Entry-level C8s are said to use an upgraded LT1 V8, making 520 horsepower and 485 pound-feet of torque. It's proposed that this power will be sent to the rear wheels through a dual-clutch transaxle whose development cost reached the combined sum of the automatic and manual transmissions used in the C7. Purportedly, this transmission will be standard to all C8s—no manuals, and no torque converter automatics.
The C8's interior is said to be of a more upscale design, though still not one to rival ultra-luxury manufacturers. Those interested in a further-upmarket interior can look to the Grand Tour model, which is claimed to be a Cadillac-designed product. This version will allegedly emphasize occupant comfort with acoustic glass, heavy-duty sound deadening, standard magnetic shocks, and GM's quietest V8 in its history: the 4.2-liter Blackwing, to be seen first in the upcoming Cadillac CT6-V. Because we know that Corvette-style key fobs with Cadillac logos exist, a Cadillac-finished Corvette is far from out of the question.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is said to be the Grand Sport, whose name will supposedly supersede that of Z06. The forum poster claims this Corvette variant will come in multiple tiers of track-readiness, all of which are said to have magnetic damping as standard equipment, and eventually Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve shocks by Multimatic—manufacturer of the Ford GT. Later on, an approximate ZR1 equivalent is said to be on the way with a 5.5-liter, twin-turbo V8 said to give the car "frightening" acceleration. So frightening, in fact, that GM allegedly hired a team of lawyers whom it consulted regarding the sale of such a powerful car to the general public.
Chevrolet will allegedly advance the Camaro in 2021 to fill the shoes left open by the C7's retirement, and that vehicle is said to be as groundbreaking as the C8 Corvette, but they declined to elaborate, stating info on that vehicle was "for another forum at another time." They also assured readers that an unnamed electric sports car on the way from GM was something that wouldn't disappoint drivers.
Strangely missing from the poster's description of the C8 is the folding roof depicted on the leaked Corvette's (and Cadillac derivative's) key fobs, though this may be excusable based on their apparent lack of familiarity with the car's design and interior. Additionally, links between the Blackwing and the Corvette remain tenuous owing to former Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen stating that the engine would not power the C8 Corvette. That may be explained away with a hypothetical revival of the Cadillac XLR, but it still makes it hard to swallow the idea of a turbocharged Corvette—much less the model as a standalone brand.
The Drive reached out to GM for comment, and we will update we when receive a response.