Along with flying cars and hydrogen fuel cells, the mid-engined Corvette occupies the most spurious level of automotive rumor-mongery. GM has a deep, rich history of flirtation with the idea of a mid-engine ‘vette (too deep and rich for us not to commission a forthcoming brief history from Paul Niedermeyer), but even in the last three years the engine configuration of the C8 Corvette has attracted intense speculation. In October of 2007, Motor Trend kicked off the modern era of mid-engine ‘vette rumors with a lengthy piece which “revealed” that
GM vice chairman Bob Lutz reportedly has been pushing for a mid-engine C7… We hear Lutz is backing down from his support of a mid-engine C7, though other powerful GM execs reportedly still favor it. Those at GM who prefer an evolutionary, front-engine C7 are facing a tough battle.
Almost exactly a year later, MT took it all back. With GM facing bankruptcy and bailouts, plans for a new Corvette were put on hold and the RenCen pendulum was swinging back towards an evolution of the front-engined C7. And yet now, with bankruptcy still less than a year in GM’s past, the mid-engine Corvette rumors are bubbling back up again.
With rumors circulating that 10 GM studios from around the world were submitting designs for a new Corvette, AutoWeek spoke to some unnamed GM execs about ‘vette’s future, and unwittingly (or not) resurrected the oldest running line of speculation in auto-dom. AW’s scoop: the forthcoming C7 “will be the last of the traditional, old-style Corvettes,” according to a “senior GM insider.” In 2016, the C8 will launch with
a radical re-engineering, centered on a more fuel-efficient, [Ed: wait for it] mid-engined V6 powertrain, a lightweight alloy body and a more compact footprint.