The profile view of the upcoming mid-engined Corvette reveals more details about its design
by Jay Ramey, 27 May 2019
It has become common practice for automakers to release photos of their upcoming cars in camouflage, as teasers for upcoming debuts. There are a few good reasons for this: it gives automakers greater control over the details of the car's interior or exterior, it happens in a controlled environment where every element is choreographed and it lets them build buzz ahead of the debut.
For a car as important as the C8 Corvette, we were virtually guaranteed some of these teasers in camo. And Chevrolet really delivered, taking a spin around Times Square in New York in a camouflaged C8. The automaker also released a few other angles of the car, allowing readers of tea leaves to get a three-dimensional impression of the car's surfaces.
Once again harnessing the power of Computing machines and their spinning reels of magnetic memory tape, we have peeled back some of the camo from the side view of the mid-engined Corvette, imagining what it could look like once all the camouflage comes off this summer.
And once we did that, we were able to make a few observations about the proportions of the upcoming Corvette.
With the camo still on the C8 Corvette is still hiding a few things, especially around the large intake incorporated into the door. It's possible that there will be some additional surface features behind the B-pillar we don't know about.
The most surprising element of the C8 design is just how long the wheelbase of this car will be, due to its engine placement. Specifically, there is a vast distance between the edge of the door and the rear wheel arch that will require some surface feature just to break it up, visually, so that it doesn't look slabby or featureless. The engine intake incorporated into the doors will give that area of the car some depth, but the surface from the end of the door to the wheel arch certainly invites some additional design feature or contrasting color to break it up.
Another surprising feature we noted in the camouflaged profile view of the car is the amount of vertical surface that will inevitably look too bulbous unless offset with a two-tone paint. In effect, the C8 will likely need black side-sills, front lip spoiler and diffuser to look visually lighter, instead of being painted in a single color. Try to imagine the C8 in white instead of yellow -- it may not look particularly slender in that color. This is why we expect the C8 to be far more color-sensitive than the current-generation model.
There are still a few mysteries about the exterior look of the C8 that haven't been solved -- we've really seen about 80 percent of the surface features so far. The biggest single mystery, of course, is what the rear fascia will look like, and how the taillights will stretch into the rear wing of the car.
Another mystery is how the rear glass hatch will open: Chevrolet has kept the glass covered in a black tarp in the photos it has released, to keep prying eyes off the engine. The doors, meanwhile, are expected to have handles underneath the intake strake, so you'll have to reach underneath that surface feature to open the door. It's a neat trick, and it will help keep the surface visually clean.
We expect the camo to be scraped back a little more ahead of the C8's debut on July 18 of this year.