The mid-engined Corvette is coming. Here's everything you need to know.
More anticipated than the Toyota Supra and every new Star Wars film combined, the mid-engined Corvette will make its debut after more than a half-century of teasing. Don't worry, we have plenty of photos and videos as proof of its existence. Though all of the prototypes we've seen so far remain covered in camouflage, it's exciting to see the mythical sports car on-road nonetheless.
Rumor has it that we could see the new Corvette next year, with an on-sale date of 2020. While we all impatiently wait, here's everything you need to know until then.
What Is It?
It all started with a prototype; in 1964 Zora Arkus-Duntov – father of the Corvette – built the XP-819, a mid-engined vision of what the Corvette could be. Multiple mid-engined Corvette prototypes and more than 50 years later, and we're finally seeing the first production models in action.
Our first official look at the mid-engined C8 Corvette came in 2016. Soon after that, it seemed like photos and videos of the vehicle popped up monthly. Our most recent look took place in Colorado. With each photo and video, we get a closer look at what will eventually become the production-version of the long-awaited Corvette.
By all accounts, it will be the most-hardcore version of the vehicle ever. It will come with a range of power options – potentially even a hybrid variant – and could be Detroit's answer to European super coupes like the McLaren 720S, Ferrari 488, and others.
What Does It Look Like?
Just because the engine is moving behind the cockpit, don't expect a huge departure from the current design language. Our rendering artists have imagined the new C8 Corvette with elements borrowed from the current C7 model.
Prototypes don't give us a ton of hints as to its final design, unfortunately. Most of the vehicles we've seen on road wear heavy camo. Some close-up shots of the Corvette from May, though, gave us our best look at the final product. The body maintains its signature sporty shape, what appears to be production wheels can also be seen, while sharper headlights and a more lengthy rear separate it from the current generation.
What's Under The Hood?
Chevy hasn't confirmed any performance details for the mid-engined Corvette yet, but reports suggest that the coupe could come with three engine options. The entry-level engine will be a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 producing somewhere around 460 horsepower (343 kilowatts). A version of the 4.2-liter biturbo V8 from the new CT6 V-Sport will allegedly carry over, producing near 650 hp (485 kW) in the Corvette. A range-topping biturbo 5.5-liter V8 could produce up to 850 hp (634 kW). Rumors of a 1,000-hp (745-kW) hybrid version have also been circling, but there isn't a ton of evidence to back up those claims.
How Much Will It Cost?
The current Corvette Stingray can be had for just $55,495. The range-topping ZR1 model, which is a relative performance bargain, starts at $118,900. Prices for the mid-engined Corvette, though, vary wildly. Some reports suggest it could start for as little as $70,000, while others say it could cost as much as $150,000. With a range of engine options, it's possible those numbers could represent both a starting price and a range-topping option.
When Will We See It?
Yes, Chevy has been teasing us with the mid-engined Corvette for more than a decade. But this time it's definitely going to happen – and it could show up as soon as next year. Reports suggest that the Corvette will make its debut in 2019 and will go on sale in 2020. Our best guess would be a showing at the Detroit Auto Show in January (the last one in January, in fact), given that the show is just a few blocks from corporate headquarters. But a debut later in the year wouldn't surprise us either.