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Chevy Corvette C8 fuel economy figures revealed


Every day or two, we learn new fun facts about the eighth-generation, mid-engine Chevy Corvette — just this week, for example, we’ve learned that if you park it on the street, it won’t all be there when you come back; that Chevy’s first-year production is going to be down by 20%, given that its first production year is just a few months long; that C8 Numero Uno is worth $3 million when you pack a Barrett-Jackson auction hall with rich folks ready to give that entire sum to charity; and that what is potentially the Z06 with a flat-crank V8 sounds oh-my-God awesome.

Now we’ve learned the C8 Corvette’s fuel economy numbers. And they’re impressive.

Our Joel Stocksdale is at a dinner this evening with Chevy folks down at Daytona, where Ed Piatek, the Corvette’s chief engineer, revealed that the car’s EPA fuel economy numbers will be 15 mpg city, 27 mpg highway. The EPA is expected to release the official figures next week. We won’t know a combined mileage number until then.

This, from the 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 that produces 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.

By way of comparison, the most economical C7 Corvette Stingray got 16 mpg city, 25 highway, 19 combined. That’s with a 6.2-liter V8 and a seven-speed manual transmission. (The C8 is automatic only, of course.) And that powertrain on the outgoing model was less powerful than the C8’s, at 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque.

So we’ll see all of that confirmed next week. And who knows what else next week brings.

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C8 Chevy Corvette torque limit during break-in explained by Tadge Juechter


The chief engineer for the C8 Chevrolet Corvette, Tadge Juechter, made an appearance on Jay Leno’s Garage last November with a 2020 Corvette convertible. During the drive portion, after Leno gave the ‘Vette the whip, Juechter mentioned that the C8 Corvette is “torque managed,” meaning that the software limits torque output until the driveline has done 500 break-in miles. Juechter didn’t go into more detail, and Leno seemed to think the torque management was a pre-production issue. Corvette Blogger picked up on a thread at Corvette Forum where a member submitted a question to the forum’s “Ask Tadge” series. Forum user JVP wanted to know from Juechter, “Can you elaborate on the purpose for that [torque management], and explain to folks what happens at 500 miles? Does the engine’s full output happen automatically due to programming or is it something that will require a maintenance visit?”

The engineer replied in detail, first explaining that GM has recommended a 500-mile break-in period “for as long as I can remember,” then revealing that he would go even further and “try to be patient for 1,000 miles.” On the C7 Corvette, to give owners a guide to driving responsibly while the driveline components bedded in, Juechter said engineers programmed “a variable red line on the tach to give drivers a visual indication on when it would be advisable to take it easy on the car. We used it for the first 500 miles of driving and when the engine was coming up to operating temperature after break in was complete.” Drivers had the car’s full power available at all times, though, and used it in spite of the visual warning. He said that led to “customers not observing the break in guidelines and then returning the car to the dealer with complaints of gear noise or differential whine.”

The switch to a mid-engined layout and more horsepower in the C8 Corvette means the driveline and gearing cope with more force, weight, and traction. Juechter’s team decided to go further in encouraging new owners to give the car’s components a chance to seat properly. In first and second gears, software reduces torque by about 25 to 30 percent for the first 500 miles. That means that, at most, torque drops to 329 pound-feet compared to the normal 470 lb-ft – still enough, Juechter says, to “easily spin tires on some surfaces.” Doing so “limits the [worst] of potential break in wear,” yet even so, “We will still be asking customers to stay well off max torque and speed for the first 500 miles.”

The honcho didn’t answer the question of whether full torque is released after the car reaches 500 miles or a maintenance visit will be required, but our guess is that the electronics will know what to do. And as forum member Ragtop 99 pointed out further down the thread, the C7 owner’s manual also recommended driving at varying speeds, a personal recommendation being, “If you have to be on the highway for a long stretch, use the paddle shifters to alternate between 5, 6, 7, and 8th gears so that you don’t stay in 8th for long periods of time” during break-in.

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