The 2019 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show has been concluded this week, and we’ve seen a lot of many great things that graced the annual auto show. One of the highlights of this year’s SEMA was the Chevy Corvette C8.R, which made another public appearance. The race-going version of the mid-engine Corvette C8 was as intimidating in the metal as its engine sound, and that’s partly because of its high-revving flat-plane crank 5.5-liter naturally-aspirated V8 mill.
Fortunately, Youtube’s Chevy Dude was able to get his hands (literally) on the C8.R at the SEMA Show and film it up close. You can watch the headlining video of this story to watch that.
As expected, the C8.R differs from the road-going Corvette by a lot, including a host of carbon fiber parts and massive wing. As the C8.R uses a smaller Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox, there’s a lot of room for a racing specific diffuser at the back. We’ve also learned that the C8.R rides on a set of custom 18-inch Pilot Sport GT competition tires.
Another deviation from the road-going Corvette is the C8.R’s front storage compartment, which now houses a single centrally-mounted radiator.
The Corvette C8.R is the first brand-new race architecture for the ‘Vette since 1999. Its predecessor, the C7.R, used a lot of C5 elements while the latest C8.R shares a lot with its road-going version.
What it doesn’t share with the normal Corvette C8 is the flat-plane crank 5.5-L naturally-aspirated V8 of the C8.R. It’s good for 500 horsepower (373 kilowatts) and 480 pound-feet (651 Newton-meters) of torque in compliance with IMSA rules, inching the normal C8 by 10 hp.
The Corvette C8.R will make its track debut in January at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, at the opening round of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.