Without a press release or fanfare, Chevrolet casually dropped the first official interior view of the soon-to-be-revealed mid-engine C8 Corvette. While it’s simply a photo of the steering wheel mounted to a stand, it reveals curious details about the driver’s primary control—namely, that it’s not really a wheel at all.
Clearly, its shape isn’t round. A flat bottom is nothing new, but it’s unusual to see a distinctly flat-topped tiller. The sides of the C8 steering “wheel” seem to be canted, too, giving the piece a somewhat hexagonal shape.
Steering wheels are traditionally round because it’s easiest for the driver to slide through their hands. A flat-sided wheel helps provide a more confident grip, but the vehicle it’s installed in has to have fast steering so the driver isn’t constantly working around the kinks. This shape hints that—unsurprisingly—the C8 will have sharp, fast, steering. We’ve seen similarly shaped wheels installed in other cars before, and those had ridiculously quick steering as well.
The semi-square shape also harkens to the exhaust tips we recently saw in a spy photo of the C8’s rear end. Of note as well is the two-spoke design, an unusual layout which helps make more space for the driver’s hands. Those down-sloping spokes are likely a design tie-in to the modernized Corvette twin-flag logo proudly displayed in the center of the leather-trimmed hub. This also appears to be the first time a Corvette steering wheel will have a centering stripe at the 12 o’clock position.
Other clues can be gleaned by examining Chevrolet’s photo. Big, shiny paddle shifters are installed on the back. It’s still unclear whether the C8 will be available with a manual transmission. Paddle shifter-shaped toggles were installed on the back of manual-equipped C7 Corvette wheels, so this doesn’t guarantee much, although an automatic (potentially a dual-clutch) will certainly be offered.
Otherwise, we see a few obvious inclusions, like the volume up/down buttons on the lower right side, and what look like heated steering wheel and mirror toggles on the left. On the right spoke looks to be controls for infotainment, and on the left cruise control switches. However, a closer look adds to the confusion. In earlier spy shots we’ve seen varied iterations of these four-way toggles as Chevrolet tested different options. In those spy shots, the four-way toggles clearly had a chrome selector in their center. In this new photo, they—bafflingly—appear to have been blacked out in in aftereffects. What’s Chevrolet trying to hide?
The sole visible chrome button is on the left side. It’s larger than the others and appears to have a checkered flag icon in the middle. We’d guess it’s some sort of drive mode selector, but given the various button arrays we’ve seen in spy photos of the center console, this could be a redundant control, or something else entirely.
Trust that we’re as curious as you are about what secrets this steering not-wheel holds for the C8 Corvette. We’ll find out soon enough, as we head to Orange County on July 18 for the official launch event. Stay tuned for more.
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