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Chevrolet Corvette Chief: C8 Gets Reduced Torque During Break-In
By Jonathan Lopez from GMAuthority

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 is an absolute monster right out of the box, offering supercar levels of performance thanks to its mid-mounted 6.2L LT2 V8 engine. However, anyone who buys a new 2020 Vette will need to adhere to the official break-in process to ensure all those mechanical bits are properly bedded, as outlined by Chevrolet Corvette Chief Engineer, Tadge Juechter.

In a recent Q&A session over at Corvette Forum, Juechter was asked to elaborate on the new C8’s break-in process. Juechter responded by first saying that a 500-mile break-in period was recommended for all General Motors vehicles, and not just the Corvette.

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“Any machinery that has moving parts, whether they have point contact, a rotational interface or slide against each other will ‘bed-in’ over time,” Juechter explains in his response. “What that means is, no matter the manufacturing process, two interfacing parts will find their own equilibrium.”

Juechter goes on to say that the parts will “[refine] each other’s surface texture until they reach a steady state,” and thus reduce things like vibration, noise, and general wear.

The Chevrolet Corvette Chief Engineer then talks about the break-in process for the Chevrolet Corvette C7, which included a variable redline in the tachometer as a visual indicator for the driver to “take it easy on the car.”

“We used it for the first 500 miles of driving and when the engine was coming up to operating temperature after break-in was complete,” Juechter said. Engine output was not limited on the C7 with regard to the break-in period or non-optimal operating temperatures.
Unfortunately, some buyers still went all-out immediately after purchasing a C7. “We have too many videos of people doing burnouts off the dealer lot or showing up to a track (both road course and drag strip) with near zero miles,” Juechter said. “Taking any green and cold engine to max torque and speed can cause undesirable wear patters that could affect engine operation over the long term.”

Juechter also said such behavior could affect the rest of the driveline, including the transmission and differential. He even says some customers have returned to the dealer complaining of gear noise and differential whine after not following the suggested break-in guidelines.

As such, the break-in process for the Chevrolet Corvette C8 is more robust, which is particularly important when considering the greater torque multiplication (and thus, greater driveline load) compared to the C7.

“We decided for the first 500 miles to limit maximum torque in first and second gears,” Juechter explains. “The torque reduction is roughly 25 to 30 percent depending on which transaxle (standard or Z51) and which gear.”

Meanwhile, engine speed and redline are not limited. “So the torque reduction limits the worse of potential break-in wear, but it is not a panacea,” Juechter says. “We will still be asking customers to stay well off max torque and speed for the first 500 miles. We know it is hard to stay patient when such performance is available, but it will pay off in the long run.”
 
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