Rumours of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette’s engine surfaced long before the car was officially revealed. Initially, the mid-engine makeover was expected to ditch GM’s iconic pushrod cam-in-block mill for a couple new DOHC designs. As theC8’s July reveal grew closer, leaks suggested the familiar 6.2-litre V8 would return, and that’s exactly what happened. However, future variants will almost certainly wield a fabulous new DOHC mill, and if the Corvette C8.Rs unholy shriek is any evidence, it could be epic.

Chevrolet surprised us last week at its 2020 Corvette Convertible reveal with the next ‘Vette race car, which also made its first public appearance. We weren’t given a full tour of the C8.R – in fact we weren’t given anything except a look at the outside, and a promise that it will go racing early next year in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Then, while we were editing ourCorvette Convertible first look video for posting, someone climbed into the race car and fired it up. Fortunately, Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle was ready with a video camera and wow, are we ever glad for that. If you haven’t already, hit play on the video headlining this article and just listen to it scream.

Gallery: Chevy Corvette C8.R

So, what exactly is the engine in this car? It’s widely believed to be derived from Cadillac’s Blackwing DOHC V8, with a displacement of either 4.2 or 5.5 litres. That falls in line with rumours on future C8 production engines for offerings like the Z06, ZR1, and possibly the Zora. Those mills are expected to pack turbocharged power, but it’s possible the C8.R is naturally aspirated. Beyond that, it could pack a flat-plane crankshaft for its high-revving V8, and judging by the ear shattering sound this thing makes, we’d say that’s a distinct possibility. Also, with the sheer speed at which this car revs, it must have an ultra-lightweight flywheel the size of a super-sized soft drink lid.

The C8.R’s rear glass was completely blacked out at the reveal, and the Corvette official who blipped the throttle was completely mum as to just how high the engine could rev. One thing is for certain – we’ve only seen the beginning of the C8 Corvette’s evolution. We can’t wait to learn all about this race car.