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C8 Corvette With Turbo Rotary Engine Swap Could Turn Into "Modern Aerovette"

The LT2 small-block V8 is good enough for the Stingray. Not only does the 6.2-liter motor pack a bigger punch than the LT1 in the previous generation of the Corvette, but the mid-engine configuration translates to less drivetrain loss, sharper handling, and quicker acceleration off the line thanks to the rear-biased weight distribution.
I begin my 4 Rotor C8 Corvette Swap! Modern Aerovette Incoming! 20 photos
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Early next year, the C8 Z06 will treat us to a flat-plane crankshaft and a screamin’ redline. The Grand Sport is supposed to hybridize the LT2 engine, the ZR1 should add a pair of turbos to the LT6 engine in the Z06, and finally, word has it the Zora will add an electric motor at the front for e-AWD and close to 1,000 hybrid horsepower.

However, a certain someone isn’t interested in any of that eight-cylinder nonsense. According to his YouTube description, “Rob Dahm loves rotary engines.” He loves them so much that Rob wants to put a four-rotor turbo rotary in the C8 Corvette!

Before getting too exciting and jumping to the video to find out what’s what, we must highlight that Rob is only stating what he plans to do. The YouTuber doesn’t have a C8 Corvette on his hands, nor does he plan to buy a brand-new one right now.

In other words, you’ll have to wait a year, two, three, maybe five years before the rotary C8 Corvette actually happens. Ignoring the clickbait-y title of the video Rob has posted on YouTube, the man is right about the “modern Aerovette incoming” part.

Back in the early 1970s, two rotary engines from the Chevrolet Vega were joined together as a four-rotor lump with 420 horsepower on deck or thereabouts. Known as XP-895, the concept car in question received the Aerovette moniker after receiving a 400-cu.in. (6.6-liter) Chevrolet V8 in 1976. The question is, why didn’t the rotary stay?

Well, try to think of a certain embargo/crisis that happened in the ‘70s. As oil prices kept rising, General Motors couldn’t make a case for Wankel engines any longer. The Malaise Era became a thing, and as you know, horsepower ratings took a nosedive.

On that bitter note, the Aerovette series of concepts do share more than just a common ancestry with the Corvette. Not only were they developed under the guidance of Zora Arkus-Duntov, who wanted a mid-engined sports car time and again during his stint at General Motors, but the Aerovette had a mid-engine layout as well.

Initially greenlit for 1980 production, the Aerovette could have morphed into the C4 Corvette had the 1973 Oil Crisis didn’t take its toll on the U.S. and the rest of the world. Frustrated with the accounting-driven management team, Zora called it quits with General Motors in 1975.

His successor – Dave McLellan – is the man who decided on a front-engine layout for the C4 Corvette over reasons such as tradition and cost.

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