By on March 16, 2015

Roar Before the Rolex 24

Aside from IMSA’s Daytona Prototype class, dreams of a mid-engine Corvette will remain as such according to the icon’s chief engineer.

AutoGuide reports Tadge Juechter said as much when interviewed during an episode of “Autoline After Hours,” when the engineer was asked about the rumored “Zora” mid-engine Corvette meant to challenge the Ferrari 488 GTB and Lamborghini Huracan:

I’ll have to check that out, because I know no such car exists.

Juechter did say General Motors thought about moving the engine to a mid-rear configuration with the C7, but ultimately declined when doing so meant “sacrificing too much everyday driving comfort.”

The possibility for such a beast may still be there — if our experience with the upcoming 2017 Ford GT is anything to go by — but for now, the closest anyone will get to that unicorn is through an IMSA Driver Membership.

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20 Comments on “Juechter: No Mid-Engine Corvette Exists...”


  • avatar
    danio3834

    Big surprise. This rumor has surfaced every generation since the C3.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      Yet, it’s always reported as – this time it’s going to be different. What makes people believe it every time? Is it some secret hope for the return of the Corvair?

      I suppose if you could answer that, you would also answer why people vote the same and expect different results.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      Mid-engine Corvette? Suddenly, it’s 1973!

  • avatar
    Marone

    “Juechter did say General Motors thought about moving the engine to a mid-rear configuration with the C7, but ultimately declined when doing so meant “sacrificing too much everyday driving comfort.””

    This doesn’t even make sense to me. Mid-engine doesn’t equate to poor comfort by default. Sounds like you have incompetent engineers.

    • 0 avatar
      Keith_93

      Makes sense to me. What would be an example of a mid engine car that has “everyday driving comfort”?

      • 0 avatar
        Marone

        As compared to a Corvette? Really? Cayman/Boxster, Toyota MR2, Acura NSX, Lotus Elise/Evora (yes, a matter of opinion), Audi R8, BMW i8, Ford GT, Alfa 4C (also opinion), and others as a start.

        • 0 avatar
          Keith_93

          How many of these cars are currently manufactured?

          Agreed that a Corvette doesn’t come up in the dictionary next to “comfortable car”.

          • 0 avatar
            Marone

            “How many of these cars are currently manufactured?”

            I understand some are out of production, but whether or not they are still being manufactured is irrelevant to the argument. My point is that plenty of manufacturers make or have made well driving mid-engine cars. To say it gives up driving comfort on a Corvette of all things seems silly and misdirected.

          • 0 avatar
            raph

            Exactly, mid-engine cars tend to be the province of exotic or near exotic manufacturers but as a volume model by a major manufacturer it never ends well.

            Most people simply prefer the familiarity and dynamics of a front engine rear drive car even if they don’t have a clue as to what makes a mid engine and front engine ear different.

        • 0 avatar
          ccd1

          Marone, you beat me to the punch with the examples (and did a better job than I was going to do).

          The big question is what will GM do for an encore from the C7/ZO6??? The C7 with 460 hp and about as much torque is either at (or well past) the amount of hp and torque that makes any sense for the street. The engineers could up both, of course, with the next iteration of the Vette, but why would anyone care? The same goes for reduced 0-60 times

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          I guess you have not driven a C7 then. Yes it is low to the ground and the interior is snug. So are the cars you mentioned to varying degrees. But the modern Vette is quite comfortable in the softest setting. The seat is excellent. Reasonably smooth ride. More that reasonably in fact. Nice stiff structure. Fact is that the level of comfort is amazing when you consider the incredible handling limits. Truly a have your cake and eat it too ride. By any metric.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      I know, right? When I think of Ferrari 458, the first word that comes to mind is “comfortable”. So comfortable, in fact, that Ferrari has abandoned all of their front-engine GT’s.

      • 0 avatar
        Car-los

        I think they are probably scared of changing a profitable and successful formula. They know Corvette sells and so every time that they come up with a new generation it’s a lot safer to just fine tune it and update it.

        And by looking at the great success the C7 is they are probably happy they didn’t change the formula.

    • 0 avatar
      j3studio

      I think Tadge put it a little poorly. I think it may be making him a little crazy that he’s just delivered the C7 StingRay and C7 Z06 and folks are already thinking about what’s next.

      What a C5 and newer Corvette does buy you that many other sports cars don’t have is a fairly spectacular amount of storage space for long distance travel and “normal” daily driving. Even the C5 _convertible_ has 11 cubic feet of space with the top down – comfortably getting us back and forth across the United States over 18 days several years ago.

      The other thing to understand is that the addition of magnetic selective ride control as an option from 2003 on makes “civilian” Corvettes _very_ comfortable for long distance driving. I would not buy a new Corvette without magnetic selective ride control.

      • 0 avatar
        energetik9

        I rented a C6 Corvette recently. “Spectacular amount of storage space” is a stretch at best. I had two suitcases. The trunk was so shallow I had to keep one suitcase in the front seat. I could only fit my garment bag in the back and only with some extra puch on the trunk lid to get it shut. It was comical and overall, I found the space pretty useless. I think it would be safe to say that a Corvette has more than some, although I think luggage space would be pretty low on my list of priorities for a car in this segment. Some mid-engine cars have two trucks or at least 1 truck and some additional space behind the seats.

        Yes, the magnetic selective ride control is nice, but truthfully, most any car in this segement these days has selective ride control or at least offers it as an option.

        • 0 avatar
          j3studio

          We own a C6 “narrow body” coupe. Your suitcases must be pretty thick – we’ll be on the road for 15 days straight and 6,000 miles or so next month and will have plenty of space …

          … it is my wife’s daily driver. It has carried many pots of mums at once, up to eleven bags of mulch, etc. Luggage space may be low on your list of priorities for this kind of car, but it is definitely something we consider when we buy.

  • avatar
    Keith_93

    How many of these cars are currently manufactured?

    Agreed that a Corvette doesn’t come up in the dictionary next to “comfortable car”.

  • avatar
    NotFast

    He didn’t deny a mid-engined car, just a mid-engined Corvette. :)

  • avatar
    MeJ

    I still think there will be a mid-engine Corvette for the next gen. What do people expect him to say? He’s not going to admit they’re working on one right now when it’s probably 2-3 years out. I believe I’ve heard him say many times”…we don’t talk about future product…”
    There’ll be a mid-engine Corvette in the near future. It’s really the only natural progression for the car.

  • avatar
    gzuckier

    I suspect it will never happen and the next big version change will be electric motors in each wheel hub.

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