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The Corvette gets a 32-valve, flat-plane V-8 (in the C8.R) – Hemmings Daily Briefing

Published in blog.hemmings.com

Chevy drops the first DOHC V-8 in a Corvette since the 1900-1995 ZR-1 into the C8.R racer, NASCAR says it could go hybrid starting as soon as 2022, and a closer look at automotive photographer James Lipman. Happy Friday!

The Corvette C8.R packs a 5.5-liter flat-plane V-8

There’s no rule that says a Corvette has to have a pushrod engine. It’s just that, well, that’s how almost every Corvette has been since the first V-8 went under the hood. Now, of course, the engine isn’t under the hood – it’s under the rear hatch. And in the recently-revealed C8.R racecar, that engine has four valves per cylinder and a flat plane crank. Blasphemy? Who cares. This thing sounds wicked (listen for it at the end of the above video).

V-8 engines with a flat-plane crank fire at 180-degree intervals instead of 90-degree intervals. It’s a scheme frequently used by Ferrari and also found in the current Ford Mustang Shelby GT350. The upside is lower rotating mass, due to less counterweight needed on the crankshaft, which allows for higher revs. The downside is more noise (if you call that a downside) and more vibration issues.

The C8.R, according to Chevrolet’s press release, has a displacement of 5.5 liters and makes 500 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. Compare that to 495 hp and 470 lb-ft in the road-going Stingray’s 6.2-liter LT5 V-8. The C8.R’s engine is artificially restricted due to IMSA’s rules to balance performance among all the competitors. Odds are that the unrestricted potential of this engine is even more than the race trim, which means we can’t wait to see it make its way into a production model.

We’ll see the C8.R’s racing debut on January 25, 2020, at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona

NASCAR goes hybrid

1952 Hudson Hornet club coupe

Above: not a hybrd.

“Race on Sunday, sell on Monday” is a concept long relegated to the history books. Today’s stock cars share little in common with the model names they carry in tribute. But a trend in the showroom might actually work back into the NASCAR: Hybrids. What? Yes. Speaking to TechCrunch, NASCAR’s Jeff Probst said “We’re pushing to go full hybrid. I don’t know where the balance nets out for us long-term, but some form of hybrid technology is certainly on our radar…after 2021.” The TechCrunch story goes on to say that while nothing is set in stone yet, the idea would be to debut hybrid technology on shorter ovals and road courses where braking would allow for more energy recovery, while eventually going to hybrid gas-electric power for the whole series.

Check out these good pictures of cars

 Closing out our week we bring you the photography of James Lipman, via a profile on Petrolicious. The article chronicles Lipman’s start in photography in England and how it evolved to shooting for several automotive brands and print magazines. What the story doesn’t mention is that Lipman once drove a used scooter cross-country to his current home in Los Angeles. Really, he did that. A gearhead’s gearhead, Lipman is one of the good ones, in terms of both his professional work and a genuine friendly personality.