All V8s, all the time. You’re tuned to Corvette radio.
Friends, we are so ready for the new mid-engined Corvette to just get here already. Our first spy photos of this new Chevrolet supercar go all the way back to 2016, and since the beginning of 2019, it seems like the automaker is actually trying to draw attention to prototypes. We haven’t just seen test cars, we’ve literally seen convoys of camouflaged C8s all across the United States. We’ve heard more than a few of these cars as well, giving us a taste of the V8 power beneath the Corvette’s mid-mount engine cover.
Lining up all those video links in a single article to compare engine sounds between the various prototypes is something we’ve toyed with. Fortunately, the Corvette has no shortage of diehard fans and our friends at MidEngineCorvetteForum.com tipped us off to the video at the top of this article, crafted by a YouTuber named Chris Brian. This clip pools together dozens of C8 sightings where the car’s exhaust note is clearly audible, totaling over four minutes of V8 music.
And you know what? Listening to various clips in a single, fast-paced video, we can definitely hear some differences between some of these prototypes. That shouldn’t come as a surprise – it’s long been rumored that the C8 will offer a range of V8 engines including a new DOHC 4.2-liter mill based on Cadillac’s Blackwing. A crazy-powerful Corvette – possibly a hybrid – generating upwards of 1,000 horsepower (745 kilowatts) is also expected, and there’s still debate about the base model C8 launching with either a naturally aspirated DOHC engine or the familiar 6.2-liter LT1 powering the current C7.
Honestly, identifying engines on prototypes solely by exhaust note is as much a guessing game as anything else. Changes in exhaust systems can make the same engine sound completely different, but still, our ears detect three distinctive notes in this clip. There’s plenty of lower-speed, low-end rumble that’s not unlike the current 6.2-liter V8, and we also hear some throaty tones with some rasp that could originate from a DOHC mill. And then we have the C8 race car prototype that comes in at the 42-second mark, delivering an unholy shriek that sounds unlike any Corvette we’ve ever heard.
Whether it’s a familiar pushrod, a new DOHC V8, alien technology sourced from Area 51, or all of the above, the Corvette’s future sounds promising.