Watch: C8 Burnout Mode, Read: Flying Car Mode, Real-Wing Prototype

One of the trademarks of the Corvette is the ability to do a big smokey burnout on demand. But with the engine in the back and a dual-clutch box, can you still spin the rear tires? Turns out that GM’s Corvette engineers thought about just that issue and they have a solution for you. Sort of. Turns out that adding that much traction comes with some complications.

YouTube burnout hero and ‘Vette-kart pioneer Cleetus McFarland was at the launch of the C8 last week, and as someone who knows how to let her rip, tater chip, it was one of his first questions to the GM staff. Turns out you can hold in both of the C8’s shift paddles and it’s the same as pushing in the clutch pedal. Let go of the paddles and it’s like dumping the clutch. Burnout time!

Except for one problem. With 305-wide tires on the back and 245s in the front, and the engine sitting on top of the drive wheels, there’s more traction pushing it forward than holding it back. The car just drags the fronts. For now. We’re sure that someone will get a handle on it sooner rather than later.

After watching the C8 try and burn out, the Detroit Free Press has a look at some of the ways GM worked hard to hide the C8 prototypes during testing, including a flying car mode and some quick-acting car coverers.

When they were first testing a rear-engined mule, the engineers had a Holden Ute where they packed an engine and C8 suspension into the pickup bed. From outside, it looked like a fancy Maloo. Nobody could guess that Blackjack was sporting an engine in the rear for secret sneaky testing.

The regular production-ish Holden nose caused a strange aero problem for testing. It made lift at the nose because of the changes to the design. Engineers needed the vehicle to be balanced for testing, so they made a rear wing that was actually a wing. It generated lift, not downforce, to make sure that the aerodynamic profile was balanced front and rear.

Once the real body was ready, even hiding it with camouflage wasn’t enough. Spy photographers would come in helicopters trying to catch the car. So drivers would test with a window cracked, listening for the choppers. Once they could hear one, they’d jump out and throw a cover over it. The testers learned to quickly re-fold the cover for optimal unfolding.

Testing of the magnetic ride system revealed a Corvette-specific oddity. Get all four wheels airborne traction control thinks the car is on ice and slows it down. Which you’d want on the road, but not in the track. So when the front wheels are airborne the shock sensors tell the rest of the car and flying car mode engages, telling traction control to hold off for a moment.

 

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