By on June 28, 2016


Unexpected plant investments. A suspicious trademarked model name. Colonel Mustard in the library with a revolver.

There’s been plenty of clues to fuel the inferno of rumors surrounding a looming mid-engine Corvette, but long-range images published by Autocar give us what we really want — photographic evidence.

The images show an oddly-proportioned Corvette C7 test mule on the track with other General Motors vehicles. We say oddly proportioned, as the vehicle has rear buttresses and a flat rear deck, traits commonly associated with mid-engine vehicles. It’s hard to come to a conclusion other than yes, this is what I think it is.

All of this bodes well for ‘Vette aficionados who have been waiting their entire lives to get their hands on a mid-engine version of the classic nameplate.

Last week, GM sunk $290 million into its Bowling Green, Kentucky Corvette plant to pay for assembly upgrades and modifications, and earlier this month, the automaker filed a trademark application for the “ZR1” name. The last ZR1 was a C6 model packing a 639-horsepower LS9 V8.

Couple these photos, GM’s tip-toeing around, and a May Car & Driver report that stated a mid-engine C8 Corvette will bow in 2018 as a 2019 model (citing a trustworthy source), and the cake seems more baked than ever. The C&D report’s source said we can expect to see a production version unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in January 2018.

While Autocar‘s sources suggest a turbocharged V6 powerplant will show up in some versions of the C8, the C&D insider said the C7’s V8 will find a home in the C8, before a new four-cam V8 appears in 2019.

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27 Comments on “Mid-Engine Corvette Rumor Mill Finally Gets Meaty Evidence...”

  • avatar

    That or they’re bringing the Holden Maloo over as the 2018 El Camino and the “buttresses” are camouflage just to screw with us…

    Edit 1: If true, it would be evidence that somebody at GM has a sense of humor.

    Edit 2: BTSR must be distracted by the Tundra review…

  • avatar

    I still don’t see this being the “C8”, it has to be sold alongside the C7, it doesn’t really make sense otherwise.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with you. I think it’s the Corvette E-Ray, which they also registered a trademark for along with Manta Ray. My guess is that it’s a plug-in hybrid car that would compete with the i-8 based on the E-Ray name.

  • avatar

    Lighting up a Middle Eastern dessert, Beverly hills traffic jam and dental practice parking lot near you…..

  • avatar

    Remember that time when someone reported the Holden Ute in camo as a MR Corvette?

    They could just be bringing back the FRC. Good God GM please bring back the FRC.

  • avatar

    “While Autocar‘s sources suggest a turbocharged V6 powerplant will show up in some versions of the C8”

    “before a new four-cam V8 appears in 2019.”

    What. The. Actual. F***.

    Looks like its GMxit for me.

    • 0 avatar

      For real, I find it hard to believe GM is going to drop the hi-po OHV engine that defines all of the corporations successes for a pile of crap DOHC, that the entirety of the market has proven to be an inferior design.

      There must be an episode of the twilight zone I haven’t seen yet.

      • 0 avatar

        The current GM leadership must have come from an alternate universe where Northstar was successful.

        • 0 avatar

          The current leadership is doing its best to destroy the remaining Loyal GM consumers. I don’t know who the hell they’re targeting but one would think they would want to keep the few that keep coming back happy. Instead they want to stop innovating and start blindly trying to find out what crap sticks to the wall.

          I’m dissappointed and completely abandoned by their current lineup. I’ve found Toyota and FCA to take their place though, they seem more than happy to offer me some interesting products at (relatively) reasonable prices.

      • 0 avatar

        Maybe it’s becoming increasingly difficult to meet emissions standards with an OHV V8, and if the engine is mid-mounted, it’s no longer a requirement for packaging reasons. There’s got to be some reason GM is the only manufacturer left still producing OHV engines.

        That said, MR Better have been rumored for decades. I’ll believe it when I see it.

        • 0 avatar

          FCA and Bentley(?) still produce OHV engines, as well as Toyota for racing purposes. Ram trucks, Charger, Challenger, 300, GC, Durango, etc.
          I don’t see how emissions could be the problem, in general OHV are more efficient than DOHC, and lower compression ratios means less Particulates.
          If anything OHV are probably cleaner than equivalent sized OHC.

          • 0 avatar

            Most in the industry believe the Hemi is not long for this world though. It may stay in in trucks but they will be out of cars in the next few years.

    • 0 avatar

      No swipes but were you in the market for a six figure car in the first place? You’d have to be in to leave

  • avatar

    2 possibilities:

    They’re not bringing out a mid-engine, but are happy to let people speculate because the conservative vette crowd will line up to buy the last of the “real” vettes.

    They are bringing out a mid,but are happy to let people speculate because the conservative vette crowd will line up to buy the last of the “real” vettes.

  • avatar

    My main complaint is the use of the word “bow” for “debut.”

    A few select definitions from

    intransitive verb
    1: to cease from competition or resistance: submit, yield ; also: to suffer defeat
    2: to bend the head, body, or knee in reverence, submission, or shame

    transitive verb
    2: to incline (as the head) especially in respect or submission
    3: to crush with a heavy burden

    It’s a terrible word for the intended purpose. It means both debut and to withdraw.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I won’t believe it until GM confirms it.

    And mid-engine Corvette fans should be careful what they wish for; the front-engine version is already excellent.

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