Emelia Hartford blew up her 2020 C8 Corvette

Kieran Bicknell
Emelia Harford C8 Corvette

YouTubers often push the limits of their cars in the name of chasing performance (and viewing) figures, though sometimes these modifications go beyond the limit of the car’s capability, as Emelia Hartford discovered the hard way.

Emelia isn’t the only YouTuber to be running a new C8 Corvette, however she is one of the first to blow theirs up by adding a twin turbocharger setup to the LT2 V8 engine in the C8.

What’s interesting is that prior to destroying the engine on her C8, Emelia explains that the transmission is only rated by GM up to 664 ft-lb of torque. This is a problem, as she openly admits that they have “exceeded [this figure] drastically” – anyone else smell a disaster cooking?

She then goes on to explain that when ‘exotic’ cars such as the C8 are subjected to a twin-turbo setup, they are meant to upgrade the clutch and the transmission to handle this additional power.

Road testing begins at 11:16

Data logging ends in disaster

In preparation for the 1000-mile road rally that Emelia had entered the C8 into, she wanted to run a few ‘pulls’ on the street in order to get some data logged.

On her first launch, it seems that the LT2 V8 wasn’t happy with handling all of the additional power from the twin-turbo setup, despite it appearing initially A-OK as the C8 flew off the line.

After the launch, the V8 developed what Emelia thought to be ‘valve tick’ (often caused by a broken valve) which was a major cause for concern, meaning the data logging session was postponed.

C8 Corvette Borescope
Diagnosis showed that the C8 had broken a cylinder

Diagnosing the problem

Arriving back at the garage, further inspection revealed that it was in fact far worse than a bent valve, with a borescope examination revealing that one of the pistons had actually cracked in half. Ouch.

What’s baffling here is that Emelia openly admits that they knew they were pushing the performance of the motor and the transmission. She goes on to say that they knew pushing the LT2 motor so hard was going to result in a ‘bad time – so why not just build it properly in the first place?

So what does the future hold?

Emelia does however say that if they break it, they’ll just build it stronger. With the goal of getting the C8 Corvette to a 9-second quarter mile, they will have to not only replace the broken piston but also upgrade the transmission and a significant amount of the engines internals to handle the power.

Interestingly the comment pinned by Emelia states that “The engine is already in the lab getting stronger. No sympathy needed here. Can’t wait to show you all what’s coming next” so let’s expect to see more of the C8 in the near future.

About The Author

Kieran is a former Dexerto writer. He joined Dexerto in 2020 to lead the new area of cars coverage on the website, a burgeoning vertical which he influenced and developed. He is a passionate motoring fan, and an expert on all things automobile, reviewing countless new cars from manufacturers and giving an informed opinion.