Next-Gen Mid-Engine Chevy Corvette Spied In Sinister C8.R Guise Lapping Road America

In case you haven't already heard (or have been living under a rock for the past two years), the next generation Chevrolet Corvette is going to a mid-engined sports cars. After 60+ years with a front-engine, rear-wheel drive configuration, General Motors apparently feels that it's time for a change to better compete with the exotics from Europe.
c8r corvette 1

Although there are numerous images circulating around the internet of the production version of the C8 rolling around on public roads, these new photos are the first we've seen of the new C8.R. Like the C7.R that came before it, this is the race-ready version of the Corvette that will be hitting the racetrack.

Let's first start off with the looks of this beast. Although the body panels are covered in digital camouflage, you can still make out its angular good looks and massive side intakes ahead of the rear wheels. The ginormous rear wing, however, is simply for track duty, so don't expect for the standard C8 Corvette to come with such flourishes.

c8r corvette 2

When the C8 [expectedly] launches next year, it will initially be powered by the carryover 6.2-liter small block V8 that currently powers the C7 Corvette. However, it will also be available later with an all-new turbocharged 5.5-liter flat-plane DOHC V8 engine. That engine will send power to the rear wheels with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. 

The revised C8 version of the 6.2-liter V8 is reportedly good for nearly 500HP (up from today's 455HP). The 5.5-liter is reportedly good for in excess of 800hp, and a smaller 4.2-liter turbocharged V8 will reportedly pump out around 650HP. It's expected that the C8.R will use a race-tuned version of the 5.5-liter V8 engine along with a hardened transmission for track duty.

If the rumors are accurate, the C8 Corvette will make its debut early next year at the Detroit Auto Show.