Mid-Engine Corvette Closer Than Ever
It is no secret that GM has flirted with mid-engine Corvettes for decades. Until now, the company has lacked the motivation, consensus, and/or resources to move to a mid-engine layout.
However, this is the new GM.
The feds are no longer calling the shots and the General has been upstaged by Ford for too long. GM now possesses the financial wherewithal, control, and competitive spirit to harness its resources and once again compete for the title of America’s finest sports car.
In 1992, the Corvette’s leadership was challenged by the Viper. Dodge’s V-10 supercar failed to eclipse the Corvette in America’s imagination and GM could afford to ignore it. However, in 2005, the Corvette was unseated by the Ford GT as America’s finest sports car. The two products are not direct competitors, but GM has nonetheless been frustrated by its penultimate position vis-à-vis Ford. During and immediately following the great recession, GM had little choice but to pretend the GT did not exist. Full-line mainstream manufacturers like Ford who produce supercars do so for their intangible benefits, not for their financial windfall.
The mid-engine Vette will get thrust from an advanced derivative of the LT1/LT4 engine family. This one will feature a pair of parallel or sequential turbochargers with output north of 700 horsepower. It’s not clear if GM plans to get exotic with the transmission or if the mid-mounted engine will require a new or significantly adapted transmission. Nonetheless, a three-pedal seven-speed manual as well as a two-paddle eight-speed auto are almost certain. Down the road, GM may also employ the super-Vette as an early recipient of advanced NMC battery technology.
The C7 has been a critical and commercial success for Chevrolet. Sales have returned to pre-recession levels and its one billion dollar development cost is well on its way to being fully amortized. The C7 will remain in the Chevy lineup, at least through the end of its life-cycle. When GM introduces the mid-engine car, it and the C7 will share the Corvette moniker.
GM is not concerned about the mid-engine Vette cannibalizing C7 sales because the new car will slot well above the current front engine car, which will continue at the $55,000 to $120,000 price range. The new mid-engine model will be priced much higher. Our best guess is that it will sticker close to the $400,000 Ford GT and Lamborghini Aventador.
Look for GM to upstage the forthcoming Ford GT with an official announcement in late 2016 or 2017.
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- VoGhost This new SLX looks to be quite a trooper.
- Wolfwagen I would rather have an annual inspection that may catch something early or at least the driver can be informed of an impending issue. Government vs private is another issue and unscrupulous mechanics is another.On a slightly different topic is the inspection of salvage or rebuilt cars. In NYS it is strictly to ensure that stolen parts were not used to rebuild the vehicle. I would rather see an inspection to ensure that the vehicle has been properly put back together.
- PeterPuck For years, Ford has simply reworked existing designs originating from Europe and Japanese manufacturers, not being capable of designing a decent car in the USA.What’s the last clean sheet design from the USA? The 1986 Taurus?And they still can’t manage to get things right.why is this? Are they putting all of the competent engineers and designers on the F150? Is woke diversification affecting them, as some rumours suggest? Are they rewarding incompetence?
- Brandon What is a "city crossover"?
- Tassos What was the last time we had any good news from Ford? (or GM for that matter?)The last one was probably when Alan Mulally was CEO. Were you even born back then?Fields was a total disaster, then they go hire this clown from Toyota's PR department, the current Ford CEO, Fart-ley or something.He claims to be an auto enthusiast too (unlike Mary Barra who is even worse, but of course always forgiven, as she is the proud owner of a set of female genitals.
Corvette misses the super car label by quite a bit as it now stands, being noisy, uncomfortable and poorly assembled. It is however, cheap (note the above as the reason why.) I cannot blame GM for any of this as the buyers still overlook all of this for cheap thrills. The auto press also bows down to the fun of hooning these plastic marvels to death and then still bragging about how good they are.
If it looks like the prototype, I'm in. I have no intereste in a corvettey-looking generic supercar.