Some tuners will be allowed to tweak the ECU while others will be banned.
The rumour mill has been working round the clock pumping out yet-to-be-confirmed details about the highly anticipated Chevrolet Corvette C8. There have been a plethora of reports about the engines, gearboxes, and other oily bits concerning the very first ‘Vette to have the powertrain mounted behind the seats. In recent days, we’ve been hearing rumours of an “untunable” engine control unit (ECU) installed by Chevy to prevent aftermarket specialist from fiddling with the engine.
Is that true? Well, some people will tell you there’s no such thing as an uncrackable code. What we do know for a fact is what GM President Mark Reuss recently revealed while talking with Muscle Cars And Trucks, the same website from where the original report about the ECU being hard to tune emerged last week.
Gallery: C8 Chevrolet Corvette Spy Photos
“We are going to do everything we can to protect our customers from a cybersecurity standpoint,” said Reuss. He went on to mention the next-generation Corvette will use a newly developed Global B electrical architecture first announced back in 2015. The "digital vehicle platform" as it's been referred to by GM will offer support for over-the-air updates and will be implemented in a series of future products.
Getting back to what Mark Reuss said during the interview, he told Muscle Cars And Trucks the “[2020 Corvette C8 ECU] is very, very well done in terms of being able to connect” while opening up the possibility for “Super Cruise, AV, and EV.” That doesn’t mean the C8 will be going fully electric anytime soon, although some form of electrification is expected further down the line. Side note – a pure electric Corvette already exists in the C6-based, 800-bhp Genovation GXE.
He also talked a bit about tuners in relation to the car’s software system regarding which of them will be allowed to fiddle with the C8’s ECU and which will be prohibited from tinkering with the software: “I don’t wanna cut anybody out from an aftermarket standpoint, but we have to pick and choose who are the good guys.”
Time will tell whether tuners will be able to tweak the ECU in their quest to extract more power, which by the way is rumoured to max out at 1,000 bhp for the range-topping hybrid model. The electrified variant is expected to arrive at a later date, and even if the four-digit horsepower will turn out to be true, aftermarket specialists will still want to dial the output up a notch.
As we’re sure the entire world knows by now, the Corvette C8 will finally premiere on July 18.