GM’s new Corvette is so powerful, it’s warping the frame in tests, report says

By Nathan Bomey (USA TODAY)

The redesigned 2020 Chevrolet Corvette’s new engine is reportedly so powerful that it’s compromising the vehicle’s structural integrity in testing, causing General Motors to delay the car’s reveal, according to an industry report.

Sports car fans have been anxiously awaiting the debut of the eighth generation of the Corvette, which got its last total overhaul with the 2014 Corvette Stingray.

But the 2019 Detroit auto show, which would have provided a major global stage for the vehicle’s unveiling, came and went in January with no reveal.

What gives?

Well, it sounds like GM engineers are scrambling to get the vehicle ready for prime time, in part because they made it so powerful that the vehicle is bumping up against physical limitations.

A 1953 Chevrolet Corvette. The Corvette concept roadster was a big hit at the 1953 General Motors Motorama, so Chevrolet put the fiberglass-bodied two-seater into production.General Motors via AP

Classic-car insurer Hagerty reports that a Corvette prototype with a twin-turbocharged, 8-cylinder engine is generating 900 to 1,000 horsepower and is causing a “structural distortion of the aluminum spaceframe” during tests.

“The twist in back was enough to fracture the glass hatch covering the engine,” Hagerty reports. “Be glad this flaw was discovered in advance of your top speed runs in Chevy’s designated Ferrari-beater.”

At those speeds, the new “C8” sports car would be faster than the 2019 ZR1 performance model, which GM has bragged is the fastest-ever ‘Vette at a top speed of 210 miles per hour.

The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, seen here at the 2019 Detroit auto show, is the fastest-ever Corvette with a top speed of 210 miles per hour. (Photo: RYAN GARZA, Detroit Free Press via USA TODAY Network)

Other bugs, including electrical issues, are also still being worked out, according to Hagerty.

The fastest Corvette ever: 2019 Corvette ZR1 tops 210 mph

GM representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

The Corvette is widely expected to debut as a 2020 model. 

The current version ranges in price from $55,495 to $128,900.

Hagerty estimated that the redesigned model will start in the range of $60,000 to $70,000 and get a 6.2-liter, 8-cylinder engine with at least 500 horsepower, which would be about 50 more than the current base version.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.

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