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 confirms what previous spy shots of the interior showed: The driver’s primary control isn’t really a wheel at all. A flat bottom is nothing new, but it’s unusual to see a distinctly flat-topped tiller.
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 quick steering as well.
The semi-square shape also echoes 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 frame the modernized Corvette crossed-flags 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 to work the dual-clutch automatic transmission, while other obvious inclusions include volume up/down buttons on the lower right side and a button to activate the voice-control feature. The right spoke looks to house controls for infotainment, while the left spoke has the 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 previous spy images, the four-way toggles clearly had a chrome selector in their center. In this new photo, they appear to have been blacked out, which could be trim-dependent—or perhaps Chevy is keeping those secret until the reveal.
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 to learn about what secrets this steering squircle 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.