The mid-engined Corvette has been rumored for at least 40 years. And even though there have been prototypes and concepts, there has never been the real thing.
That’s all about to change.
The corvette already pushes the boundaries of what a front engine rwd car can do. It blows away cars that are extremely identical to it but costs less than half as much. The next logical step is a mid engine layout so they can show the world you can have a mid engine 600+hp car for under 100k that blows the doors off things that are in the next price bracket.
Chief Corvette engineer Tadge Juechter told us a couple of years ago at Geneva that he and his team have essentially done everything possible with the existing front-engine design, performance and handling wise, so making the big change to mid-engine is the logical next step.
The C8 will be focused on Ferrari as a competitor, except coming in at only one-third of the price. It can be built, sold, and maintained at a more reasonable cost than the Italian exotics. To us, it seems the mid-engine C8 will pull many exotic cues, possibly using the name Zora, and delivering power from either the classic American V8 or a hybrid system.
All models and options are said to be extremely lightweight, in line with GM’s pursuit to eliminate mass. The report states the base model will come before others and is rumored to arrive with a 502 horsepower V8 under the hood, sporting the latest in aerodynamic technology. Later on, the DOHC V8 option will debut pushing around 670 horsepower.
The mid-engined prototypes have been out there for over one year now. Judging by the spied test cars, the C8 seems to be similar in size to the C7 you can currently find in showrooms.
The mid-engine Corvette program is code-named “Emperor,” and according to several sources will be in showrooms by early 2019. It’s expected to be revealed to the public early next year, probably in Detroit at NAIAS.