With the unveiling of the C8 Corvette IMSA GTLM Championship Edition, we got a look at the biggest change coming to the Corvette lineup for 2022. Aside from three new color options, some changes to the aero packages, and a $1,200 price hike, the standard 2022 C8 Corvette Stingray remains relatively unchanged from 2021. Of course not every change is something that you’ll be able to see on a configurator. Alongside the new special edition model, GM confirmed that the latest Chevrolet Corvette models will also feature an updated LT2 V8 engine. The automaker specifically noted that the changes are centered around the engine’s direct injection fuel system, but we were interested to learn more. As such, we sat down with Corvette Chief Executive Engineer Tadge Juechter to hear the whole story.
2022 C8 Corvette: Engine And Emissions
“It’s driven by emissions regulations,” said Juechter in an interview with MC&T. “There’s this constant cadence of emissions reductions that applies to all internal combustion engines. This was the time, and we stepped up to meet it. It’s a particulate emissions figure, so we had to revamp the fuel injection system to get better atomization of the fuel, and have fewer waste products.”
As you might have expected, ever-tightening emissions regulations are behind the tweaks coming to the 2022 C8 Corvette’s LT2 V8. And while we do live in an age of downsizing and turbocharging, the new age small-block isn’t exactly an egregious polluter. On the highway, the EPA says that the C8 will turn 27 mpg, which is certainly better than most other mid-engine supercars. Furthermore, Juechter noted to MC&T that the C8 Corvette didn’t emit a ton of particulates to begin with, but that the allowed figure is being shrunk to nearly zero on the regulatory side. Thankfully for Chevrolet Corvette faithful everywhere, GM still has a few tricks up their sleeve. Alongside the updated fuel system, the tweaked LT2 V8s will also feature a re-calibrated and enhanced Active Fuel Management system. This should theoretically keep the regulators at bay for the near future.
Performance Remains Unchanged
When it comes to making changes like this to an engine, engineers always run the risk of losing out on some performance capabilities. Whether it comes as the result of regulations or not, buyers aren’t going to be interested in seeing the horsepower and torque output of a vehicle go down from one year to the next. 2022 C8 Corvette buyers won’t have to worry about that however. The LT2 V8’s output remains steady at 490 horsepower in standard spec, and at 495 horsepower with the optional Performance Exhaust equipped.
“Usually when you have to do something that tampers with an optimized combustion system, what happens is you lose power, lose torque,” said Juechter. “But we were able to carry over horsepower and torque figures and still meet the emissions.”
As we move into the 2022 model year, the C8 Corvette has made some changes once again. That said, this engine update is the only change that didn’t come from customer desires. Knowing how good Tadge Juechter and his team are, we’re sure that the difference between the variants of the LT2 V8 engines is unrecognizable. If you’re an environmentalist however, it seems like the 2022 model is the Chevrolet Corvette for you. That is until the upcoming E-Ray makes its way onto the scene.