GM Could Be Gearing Up For a Mid-Engine 'Vette in Bowling Green

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
gm could be gearing up for a mid engine vette in bowling green

A $290 million investment in General Motors’ Bowling Green, Kentuky Corvette plant could herald the arrival of a long-rumored beast.

The cash infusion, announced today by GM and reported by Automotive News, is meant for assembly upgrades and modifications, though it also supercharges speculation that a mid-engine Corvette is finally on the way.

GM said the money will go towards “technology upgrades and manufacturing process improvements,” but didn’t give out any product details. Last year’s $439 million investment went towards a new paint shop at the plant, which only produces the one model.

The C7 ‘Vette is still relatively young — at three years of age, the generation should still have several years of life in it. But that isn’t the timeline GM has in mind, according to a supposedly reputable source who leaked information to Car & Driver last month.

The source told the publication that the eighth generation will bow in 2018 as a 2019 model, with a production version ready for display at the 2018 North American International Auto Show. The mid-engined Corvette will allegedly use the C7’s pushrod engine at first, with a new twin-cam V8 engine boosting the ‘Vette’s output in early 2019.

Base price for a C8 would be about $80,000, with the new engine bumping prices into the six figure range, the source claimed.

GM has long ignored calls to offer a mid-engine Corvette, but marketplaces evolve. Despite chief engineer Tadge Juechter’s 2015 claim that “no such car exists,” evidence is piling up that deep-pocketed enthusiasts will get their way.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Dwford Dwford on Jun 24, 2016

    I file these rumors along with the reports of Alfa Romeo's revival and Saabs rebirth. Been reading about the mid-engined Corvette for 30 years.

  • "scarey" "scarey" on Jun 25, 2016

    Why would GM want to screw up a success story like the Vette ? Aren't they selling a lot of Corvettes ? Yes. Are Vette buyers happy with their purchases ? By most accounts, overwhelmingly so. Isn't GM making tons of money on it ? I think so. But maybe the Big Executives at the Ren Cen want to up the ante dramatically for Vette admission. Maybe GM is so strapped for cash that they are planning to squeeze every last buck out of their most popular products and cheapen the shit out of their high-volume low-rent offerings. In order to raise the Corvette's MSRP to say $100-125K, they will attempt a Hail Mary- (pardon the pun) redesign the Vette with AWD, a twin-turbo all-unobtainium 4 cyl HYBRID that runs on helium. Or maybe 'Merry Berry' has dictated that all Chevics be powered by 4-bangers, and Caddies by sixes, in which case the Vette must still outperform everything else, so it will be a two-seater Indy Car, or as near as the budget will allow. I know this sounds crazy, but GM has done some crazy shit before, and will do so again.

  • Shaker Shaker on Jun 25, 2016

    GM increased the performance of the 'Vette to stratospheric levels with the present setup, and it still looks damn good as well. However, going DOHC V8 probably means a mid-engine layout, and a big bump in MSRP (maybe a near doubling from 56k). I predict that there will be a small increase in white-collar crimes (likely embezzlement) because of this price increase, because $100,000 is just out of reach of the old-school "Corvette Dream", and the stock market can't keep up with that dream, either.

  • Ceipower Ceipower on Jun 26, 2016

    With the horsepower that's available , GM's Corvette in its current form should have AWD at the very least available.

    • See 3 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Jun 27, 2016

      @golden2husky I drove a C7 into the triple digits in March, I now understand the Stingray hype. Off the line if you stomp on it, yes the rear wheels have a little play. My thought is if this bothers a person, don't do it. Corvette is probably the only thing GM still does almost 100% well, I think they need to be careful messing with success; but to each his own opinion.