Report Says Mid-Engine Corvette to Replace C7 in Late 2018
The idea of a mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette is not a new one. Renowned engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, commonly referred to as the “father of the Corvette,” crafted a number of mid-engine prototypes in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and every handful of years since there’s been published claims of a mid-engine Corvette’s arrival. So far, all empty promises. The latest claims, however, go into remarkable detail about one such clandestine Corvette, and if true, they say it’s bound to arrive and replace the current-generation car in 2018. Traditionalists, shed a tear. The report, released by Car and Driver, claims that the next-generation of Chevrolet Corvette (C8) will be showcased at the 2018 Detroit auto show (as a new 2019 model) with production set to commence later that year, at which point the much loved C7 ‘Vette will be phased out in favor of the new mid-engine variant. The engine in question? According to C/D, this 2019 model year C8 ‘Vette will launch with an updated version of today’s pushrod V8, outputting between 450 and 500 horsepower, followed later by a new quad-cam V8. The price? Between $80,000 and $100,000, with the new V8 claiming the higher end of that price range. RELATED: Here's What the Mid-Engine Corvette Could Look Like
The report goes on to say that the current C7 Corvette won’t be quietly retired, but instead given a high-powered final edition send off, potentially meaning a new ZR1 variant on the horizon (alleged to debut in 2017 at the Detroit auto show). Fast forward to 2020 and the C8 Corvette is claimed to add a hybrid “E-Ray” version with electric motors powering the car’s front wheels.
All this may come as disturbing news to the Corvette faithful who have long praised the American sports car’s unchanging front-mounted V8 recipe, however it seems odd that Chevrolet would fully replace one car with the other. One would think that both versions could coexist beneath a new Corvette family tree, as this would seemingly maintain the crucial market space between the Camaro pony car and what is claimed to be a Corvette mid-engine supercar.
To ensure the Corvette supercar is developing properly though, Car and Driver states that its prototypes are keeping good company at GM’s proving grounds in Milford, Michigan, rubbing shoulders with a pair of Ferrari 458 Italias, two Porsche 911 Turbos, a Nissan GT-R, and a BMW i8 in its sports car test fleet.
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Of course, Chevrolet has not commented on or confirmed any of these claims, so unless the car is captured in a spy photo any time soon, we’re likely going to have to wait for Chevy to spill the beans. That said, the all-new 2017 Ford GT ought to be feeling quite the cold sweat right about now.
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