Chevrolet's Corvette C8 R race car isn't just another racing machine -- it's the first clean-sheet redesign for Corvette Racing since the C5 R that dates back to 1999. The engine, like the 2020 Corvette Stingray, sits in the middle, only this one is a flat-plane crank V8 with dual overhead camshafts.
The exotic layout results in a pretty wonderful noise, and those at Road Atlanta for Petit Le Mans this past weekend got quite the treat. The C8 R performed a parade lap around the racetrack and sung its song for all to hear. Thankfully, the International Motor Sports Association's official Twitter published video of the race car doing its thing for everyone to enjoy.
I won't waste time writing words about how wonderful the engine sounds. Just listen to it for yourself.
Chevy confirmed the engine sitting in the middle of the C8 R is a 5.5-liter V8, which is as large as regulations allow. Unlike the C7 R's 5.5-liter V8, it's the crankshaft and cams that make all the difference. With the flat-plane crank, it's easy to hear how the engine revs more freely. Gone is the thunderous noise typically associated with a Corvette race car (and street car, for that matter) in favor of something, dare I say, Ferrari-like.
On one hand, maybe some will miss the explosive noises from a pushrod V8 as it blasts around the track next to Porsche 911s and others. On the other, there's no denying how lovely this new engine sounds. And it's nearly certain this engine will make its way to a production Corvette, since IMSA regulations stipulate racing engines must be homologated in a production car.
Clearly, the eighth-generation Corvette party has only just begun.