By on August 4, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

There’s already plenty of evidence of a looming mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette variant, but multiple sources with knowledge of General Motors’ plans now say the near-mythical model will absolutely arrive in early 2019.

Insider sources told The Detroit News that not only will a mid-engine ‘Vette bow in 2019, it will soon be the only Corvette offered by GM.

The report confirms earlier whispers that the Corvette C8 (which carries the codename “Emperor”) will first appear in early 2018, likely during a splashy reveal at the North American International Auto Show in January.

Clues began piling up earlier this year that GM had a shakeup planned for the 63-year-old nameplate. A source in a Car & Driver report from May claimed exactly what the Detroit News report states. In June, spy photos showed an unusually proportioned C7 test mule on a track, alongside other GM vehicles. The rear buttresses and long deck pointed to an engine mounted amidships.

A slew of investments at the Corvette’s Bowling Green, Kentucky assembly plant also raised eyebrows. The new funding totaled about $800 million, including $439 million for a new paint shop, and just this past June, $290 million for assembly upgrades and modifications.

GM won’t comment on future products, but the sources say it’s a done deal. One source told The Detroit News, “It’s happening. (GM global product development chief) Mark Reuss wants it,” adding, “It’s the worst-kept secret in town.”

According to the same sources, the C7’s LT1 V8 engine will find a home in the C8 to keep costs down. An earlier report said GM planned to offer a twin-cam V8 as an upgrade sometime after the C8’s debut. They also said that the current C7 lineup will last until 2021, after which the C8 will take over as the only offering.

In the report, former Corvette chief engineer Tom Wallace speculated that aging demographics forced GM to target different buyers — and competitors. “The median age of the Corvette buyer got three years older while I was there, which scared the hell out of us,” he said. Wallace held that post from 2006 to 2008.

Bob Lutz, former GM product development chief, added his two cents to the report. He claimed the recent investment into the Corvette plant almost equals the cash he asked for back in 2007, before his mid-engine Corvette plan bit the dust due to bankruptcy. Because of the long development period, he expects to see a plug-in version and a Cadillac variant.

[Image: General Motors]

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116 Comments on “It’s True — the Mid-Engine Corvette Arrives in 2019: Report...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    So the Corvette, American icon and eternal sales success story, needs to be mid-engined because __________.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      sales success of MR2, Fiero, Elise and Merak?

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Because the C7 Z06 basically approaches the maximum amount of performance capable in a FMR layout?

      Because GM wants to attract customers that aren’t retirement aged white dudes?

      Because GM wants to embarrass Ford by making a car that’s just as capable while costing around 25% as much and not being outsourced to a race car manufacturer?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        “Because GM wants to attract customers that aren’t retirement aged white dudes?”

        I hate their money, it sucks.

        And the new GT is a toy product meant for garages only. It’s not nearly as real as the prior one.

        • 0 avatar
          ckb

          “I hate their (old people) money, it sucks.”

          If the median age of your customer base is increasing by 3 every 2 years, pretty soon all “their” money will be inherited away.

          Also, why is it a problem to convert to mid-engine? You still have plenty of time to buy a 650hp (!!!) corvette along with sixty-freaking-three years worth of used FR layouts! Plus I’d say that since the mid-engine rumors have been around for so long, its already part of the heritage.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The Vette I’d want was made in 1996 and has directional wheels, and is dark green. I’m not the customer anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          GM wants their halo car to be something middle aged buyers at peak income desire to bring those potential buyers into the dealership. Low volume sports cars are not a big source of revenue and retirees simply have fewer years of car buying left in their life. The problem with this strategy is that the Corvette and the Yukon Denali are sold at different stores.

        • 0 avatar
          ellomdian

          GM is already taking THIS decade’s retirement-aged white dude money for ‘Vettes. Retirees who grew up seeing C1’s and C2’s on the streets.

          The problem is that they are worried about what is going to happen when Boomers are dead and they have to start selling cars to old X-ers and Milennials in middle age, people who grew up seeing C3’s and C4’s and who don’t remember them fondly.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “Because GM wants to attract customers that aren’t retirement aged white dudes?”

        Then don’t build a sports car at all. Old white guys is the demographic for that segment. I highly doubt it is much different for the 911 or F-type or whatever else.

        It is like building a minivan and saying “we need fewer purchases from families”

        “Because GM wants to embarrass Ford by making a car that’s just as capable while costing around 25% as much”

        It will sell at 25% better volumes than the GT too!

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          Guaranteed the age demographic for 911 or Cayman/Boxster buyers is younger than Vette buyers. And probably involves more hispanic and black executive types.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I’m seeing average age of 52, 55, or 59 depending on the source for the 911 with ~90% male purchases. The average age of Corvette at 59 or 61. So Porsche is a bit younger but is that enough justification to redo the whole car?

            Both of those numbers have apparently increased a lot since 2003 as well (becuase sports cars are an aging segment in general).

            F-type seems to be 59.

            I don’t think anywhere publishes purchase demographics by race.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Wouldn’t you say the same for Godzilla? Porsche has younger, more diverse buyers because of its image, not engine placement.

            If anything, engine placement in the 911 has been a detriment to performance. Better get my flak jacket for that comment.

          • 0 avatar
            David Walton

            Porsche sports car demographic skews materially younger and they are – generally – much more expensive than Corvettes.

            GM needs to revamp dealer experience VASTLY if they want to change their demographics and win conquest sales from Porsche, et alia.

            I’d consider a mid-engined Corvette or a McLaren if I strayed from Porsche, but nothing else (after having driven an R8 and several Ferraris).

          • 0 avatar
            Nostrathomas

            It may just be wishful thinking as I own one, but I find that while 911 and Boxster buyers tend to be older too, a lot of Cayman drivers are relatively younger (well, 30/40 ish) than the typical Porsche demographic. At my local PCA, all the young guys own Caymans or 944s. The old guys all have 911s (and their wives have Cayennes).

            I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anyone under 40 in a Corvette…perhaps ever. It’s always an older guy (with that typical Costco jeans/Hawaiian shirt look).

            I do know that as 35 year old, buying a Corvette has never once seemed like a realistic proposition even if money was no object.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Are 911 buyers younger than Corvette buyers because of engine layout or because Porsche > Chevy in terms of brand?

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            It is necessary attract younger buyers in order to keep the nameplate alive. I’m certainly on the younger side of the median Vette owners’ age. That said I generally see older people driving them. Part of that is simply money. Not too many Millennials can plunk down $80K for a two seat car. But it is necessary to get the nameplate on the walls of young kids bedrooms. Dreams today become the reality of tomorrow.

            Part of the allure will have to be styling that speaks to the future not the past. Performance will no doubt be improved but frankly the current C7 has performance that exceeds what most can use on public roads.

      • 0 avatar
        akatsuki

        They would get more performance out of AWD than a mid-engine layout. And maybe just having adequate cooling.

        I expect the price to increase significantly across the line with this change, and that will be no good for anyone.

        In addition, I expect nobody will care about any sort of image change since that won’t really work unless they are willing to go all the way and change just about everything about the Vette including name and give up on traditional buyers. So long as they don’t take the big leap, nothing will happen demographics wise.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      … because the last front-engined car ran in the Indy 500 in 1968?

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Corvette Death watch beginning 2018! I’ve no doubt it will embarrass the new Ford GT at half the price point but there is a reason you only don’t see really much for less than. 200k, I can only think of the Cayman and Boxter as a reasonably priced mid-engine car,with any volume. Otherwise therr are many headstonestudents in the graveyard.

      Looking at Wallace’so comment though it looks like Corvette is going to ditch it’s traditional buyer. They simply cannot afford thier sports car any more and Gen-X crowd on down just doesn’t have the income to keep things going. Hell these guys are struggling to buy pony cars in anything but base models.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        Middle aged white guys is always going to be the sports car demographic. “Sporty” cars like the M3 appeal to a younger crowd but actual SPORTS cars really have nowhere else to go.

        Younger folks have families and those with the cash for a sports car are far more likely to spring for a Yukon Denali XL. To own a sports car one either has to have a lifestyle that does not require much cargo/passenger room, or an additional vehicle. Those are small demographics and the overlap is even smaller.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    Why? Are they jealous of the Viper’s low sales?
    I get it that this may help them at Daytona, Sebring, and Le Mans, but it will also make the car less practical and less desirable.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Why are you equating a rear mid-engine Corvette to a Viper?

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Because they are both impractical cars that work great on a race track but not on the street.

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          How would you know how a mid engine Corvette would be on the street.

          The Cayman/Boxster are great on track and on street.

          So what about a mid-engine Corvette would make it impractical?

          • 0 avatar
            SunnyvaleCA

            A Cayman S is my only car and daily driver. Other than having room for only two passengers, the frunk+hatch combination works quite well most of the time. The frunk’s dimensions carry suitcases and ice chests quite nicely. The hatch (and a tie-down) allow me to take home 12-foot lumber from Home Depot.

            The only real downside I can see is working on the car needs a different set of tools than most front-engined cars and sometimes requires more labor, too.

            If they come out with a stick-shift version, I’d take a look. Almost none of the supercars have manual transmissions any more.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Hubcap,

            The V8 would make it impractical. The Boxster uses a flat 6 (now 4), which leaves space in the back for a tiny trunk and a convertible top.

            A V8, much less a supercharged one, is a lot bigger. Not just the motor, but also the cooling.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    (Conversation inside the RenCen)

    You know, we got a formula here that’s been working well for 60 plus years…

    What can we do to [email protected]# it up?

  • avatar
    ajla

    The only thing this will accomplish is getting the auto-journo Liebermans of the world to cream their cargo shorts.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…aging demographics forced GM to target different buyers”

    Translation: The Vette’s price has outpaced the income of younger buyers, so GM may as well build a Ferrari competitor with a ‘proper’ mid-engine layout, further pushing the price upward.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Does this mean LaCrosse is going midengined?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Yeah that’s the dumbest part of the whole thing. The demographics haven’t gone up because of the layout of the car, the demographics equal “guys with money.”

      The guys who buy Porsches and Audis aren’t going to buy your “Chevrolet” anyway. Making the darn thing MORE EXPENSIVE and MORE LIKE the German competition isn’t going to help things.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “Making the darn thing MORE EXPENSIVE and MORE LIKE the German competition isn’t going to help things.”

        Hey man. I think Cadillac sales volumes speak for themself.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I saw something ghastly last night, on a late ’90s Boxster convertible. As a Floridian, perhaps you’ve seen something similar.

          They had the top down, and had installed…

          A lighted glass wind deflector between the seats, bearing a giant light green (lighted) Porsche logo, with PORSCHE underneath.

          It looked like the room divider at a Sizzler circa 1994.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Makes sense. You want to take every opportunity to remind yourself what make car you are in, just in case you forget.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh god I found an example pic! Just in yellow,

            http://986forum.com/forums/uploads01/20150201_170230_resized1424089606.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Checks all the boxes: gauche, ruins visibility, destroys the entire point of having a convertible.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        The “Guys with money” who used to buy the ‘Vette, don’t have any money anymore. The banksters took it all. And, having done so, the banksters have enough of it to be relatively unconcerned about whether a car costs $70K or $700K.

        It’s the same reason BMW, and the rest of the premium brands, are struggling. The money is, or is well on it’s way, to be in selling LaFerraris and Koenigseggs. Or bus tickets, depending on whether you are selling to those are on the Fed’s payroll, or those on it’s rob-roll.

    • 0 avatar
      David Walton

      Actually, you’re completely incorrect!

      Other cars that command higher prices appeal more to younger buyers; Corvette has an image problem, not a value proposition shortcoming.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Does performance even matter any more? Granted, I grew up thinking a Spitfire and X1/9 were sports cars. But today’s performance cars have become so ridiculously extraordinary, that I’m not sure whether it matters whether you can get from 0-60 in 3.3 seconds or 3.5 seconds.

    There’s really no road situation that demands more than a Miata today. Anything beyond that is just for bragging rights that should never be tested on a public road.

    Don’t get me wrong – if you want to buy a performance car and track it, good for you. I just don’t have any interest in capability I would never want to use, except on a track.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed on all points. Maybe it’s my age.

      For example, I’d be happier if the Model S/X/3 exchanged acceleration for range. I’d rather the Model 3 have 300 miles range than go 0-60 in <6 seconds.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “Does performance even matter any more?”

      Different things matter to different people. Some want ultimate performance. Others want engagement. Still others are interested in any number (and most likely a combination) of different traits.

      A cursory glance of the sporting vehicle landscape tells me that performance definitely matters even if you can’t use the entire envelope on the streets.

      I disagree with your assessment that anyone who drives a car with more gusto than a Miata is reckless and courting death and destruction if on public roads.

      There are plenty of cars that are higher performing. Here’s a few , WRX, GTI, Golf R, Accord V6, Camry V6, Focus ST, Mustang , Camaro etc. I’m sure you could think of more. On a daily basis, these cars and many others exceed Miata performance limits without the sky falling.

      So, in your opinion, all of these cars, which are higher performing than the Miata are dangerous on the street and should only be driven on track?

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Hubcap,
        Thanks for the well reasoned response. I’m not looking to outlaw the vehicles you mention. But if someone is driving one of them at the limits, then they are probably driving at 2X or even 3X the local speed limit. Which creates a dangerous situation.

        Yes, people do that, and fairly often. Hopefully not in my neighborhood when my kids are outside trying to catch pocket monsters with their phones.

        But if people are buying something like a GT350 and not taking it to a track, then either they are buying bragging rights, or they are engaging in seriously dangerous behavior. Neither interests me.

        • 0 avatar
          Blackcloud_9

          Many, Many cars are purchased as perceived status symbols. Usually the higher up in the 6-figure (sometimes 7) price range the more the PERCEIVED status. I’m not saying it’s right, it just is.
          But it’s not just high priced cars that are turned in perceived status symbols. What about all the Bros who jack up their trucks to near Monster Truck proportions. They spend a lot of time and money putting every 4×4 addition on their truck you can imagine; and you know the closest that truck will ever come to off-roading is crossing the water in the gutter when they exit their driveway.
          Are they using their truck to its full potential? Nope. Would it be dangerous if they did? Quite possibly. People buy cars for a lots of reasons and quite often the “I need transportation to go from A to B” is far down on the reason list.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Perceived status symbol” about sums it.

            Does that mean the mid-engined Corvette will gain higher status or stay the same?

            I am betting on less since those who are looking at mid-engined status symbols aren’t looking at domestic cars made out of plastic.

        • 0 avatar
          Paragon

          Gotta say, VoGo, that I tend to agree with you. While some clowns are dangerously showing off how fast their car accelerates, there are distracted drivers with their cell phone up to their head talking away for miles on end, seemingly oblivious to everything around them. And, daily I see many people sending texts while driving, after reading the texts and being a distracted driver. And, let’s not forget grandma or grandpa, aged 75-95, puttering along at about 5 under the speed limit. And, also, there’s little Johnny, driving and swerving erratically like he has a part in Fast & Furious XIV, in his modded, beater, 15 year old Accord or Civic. So many conditions already appear to be a recipe for disaster. And, can’t overlook the very poor people so strapped for cash that they don’t have the money to have their brakes worked on, and when they are forced for whatever reason to slam on the brakes, they will plow into the car ahead of them who is able to stop for whatever the problem is.

    • 0 avatar
      jimbob457

      Can’t afford a Vette? Get a job.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I’ve heard this along with rotary power for 40 years. Do I need to remind you of the old Peter and the Wolf tale?

  • avatar
    mikedt

    “But today’s performance cars have become so ridiculously extraordinary, that I’m not sure whether it matters whether you can get from 0-60 in 3.3 seconds or 3.5 seconds.”

    I fully agree but at these levels you want bragging rights at the Country Club even if you never break 80mph.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    The Hans Christian Andersen code name might be prophetic.

  • avatar
    ajla

    On the plus side, I now know if I want a new Corvette I have until 2021 to buy one.

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    I don’t understand this age logic. Scared of a 3 year median year age increase? Why? These cars are not cheap. I know in the spectrum of performance cars its value, but the Corvette is not cheap at all! Especially if you go with a higher trim package.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Because if I drop $60K on a fun car to prop up my ego, I don’t want to be associated with every obese, bald 65-year old I see driving a Corvette.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        What if you drop 60K on the car because you like it?

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Fair point, hubcap,
          Maybe I’m vacuous and easily brainwashed, but if I were dropping $60K on a sports car today, I’d get a Boxster over a ‘Vette. Clearly the ‘Vette out-performs the Porsche in most ways, and I would probably like driving it more.

          But image would sway me to the Boxster.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            The Corvette’s greatest asset to anyone under the median age that buys it is that it the Corvette is a bargain compared to the vehicles it competes against. Destroying the bargain part of the equation turns it into the Viper = Too dang expensive for what you get.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I agree. If I were 35, I’d consider a ‘Vette, under the logic that real car guys would get that I was just looking for a fun car. Now in my 50’s, I would never get a ‘Vette because I’m afraid I’d look like their typical demographic.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @vogo Get some gold chains and go cruisin Reveeah Beach for 21 year-olds!

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            EXACTLY

            And now I have to get hair plugs, a PX90 subscription and a spray on tan

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            P90X

          • 0 avatar
            Blackcloud_9

            VoGo,

            I too, am in my 50’s and while I can appreciate everything the Vette can do given its price-point, if I had the disposable income I would not by one. The main reason is that I would not like falling into and climbing out of it each time I wanted to drive it.
            For the same money I could but whatever version CTS-V is currently offered or even an XTS Vsport (Waiting for B&B Collective gasp to subside). One of those would be roomier, a lot more practical to own and give me 7/8ths of the performance. I say 7/8ths because I’m never going to track any car I own.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Quit ogling 65 year old obese guys……

      • 0 avatar
        pb35

        Hell I’m 49 and if I purchase a C7 someday to replace my SS I’m going to buy a fat rope chain and embrace the stereotype. Maybe one of those silky jackets too that say CORVETTE down the right sleeve.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Ever look at some of the tubs driving Porsches? Not too different. BTW not all sports car owners are obese and bald….that old stereotype is not what it once was…I, for one, do not sport any belly bulge and have the vast majority of my hair.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Mom?

  • avatar
    wumpus

    Problem: supercharged engine overheats.
    Solution: Go midengine so NA engine overheats as well.

    Anybody at GM figure out that making vettes more cross-shopable with Porsches is only going to sell more Porsches? It also doesn’t help that when Middle-aged men were teenagers, big displacement died leaving Porsche’s mighty tiny turbo engines ruling the roost. In much the same way pony cars* have a hard price ceiling at the price of a vette, vettes need to stay away from 911 prices.

    * the Hellcat (and really the rest of the Challenger/Chargers) are muscle cars. But they would still have the vette issue if they weren’t so over the top and 700hp.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    I find it amusing that Maximum Bob seems more prophetic as time passes.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    Why can’t they have a 2 model line up. A front engined vette as is and a mid engined platform with a Cadilac cousin sharing development cost.
    I would even study market to see if there is room for a cheap convertible a la boxster, and a four door like Panamera. No Corvette crossovers though.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    It’s not about this year or next year. It’s that the Vette buyer’s median age is going up literally as fast as time is moving. They are not finding replacement buyers for the old guys. There are young guys with money, and they are avoiding Vettes like the plague. Moving to a MR layout is a very visible reboot of the whole brand.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Moving to a MR layout is a very visible reboot of the whole brand.”

      A major and expensive reboot didn’t work for Cadillac’s cars, I doubt it will work for Corvette. GM runs deep. Way deeper than sudden-acceleration era Audi or Excel-era Hyundai. You can’t just “reboot” the Corvette, it probably has even more preconceived ideas about it than Cadillac.

      I truly think a mid-engined Corvette is going to flop spectacularly. I don’t see how they are going to keep the BG factory online if they go down to 911 volumes. Maybe they are expecting big international numbers?

      If there is no future for the FMR Corvette then they should let the name die over attaching it to this thing. If the mid-engined car is a new era for GM, give it a new name.

      • 0 avatar
        SunnyvaleCA

        >>> if they go down to 911 volumes <<<

        The real danger is if they are instead in the (two-seater) Cayman/Boxster sales volume territory while also having to compete on price with the less-expensive Cayman/Boxster.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    Shouldn’t this be a Cadillac instead of a Corvette?

    *ducks*

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I’ve always wanted to make my own supercar with a twin turbo LS7 and a minimum HP goal of 750.

    Let’s see if GM can come anywhere close. I do love my twin turbo V8 supercars…

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Why has this been such on obsession?

    Do Corvette enthusiasts really think this will make the car accepted as some super exotic? It’s never going to be a Lamborghini or Ferrari.

    Its not like they haven’t figured out how to make a great handling car with the traditional layout.

    There’s just so many challenges with a mid engine layout, especially when you’re talking about ownership past the warranty.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    From a technical/performance perspective, it makes sense.
    If you’re only going to ever offer 2 seats (as you should in a Corvette), then why NOT make it mid-engine? Lowering the moment of inertia is a good thing in a performance car. I just wonder if they’re going transverse or longitudinal.

    And, honestly, when has any car manufacturer cared about how easy/difficult it is to service a vehicle? They’re in the business of selling cars and very few people think about that aspect when making a purchase.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Chevrolet: “Building toys for the rich man.”

    Oh wait, that’s supposed to be Tesla.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Nobody wants old white peoples’ money unless it is taxes that can be redistributed, apparently.

  • avatar
    George B

    At Coffee and Cars, the women in the Ferrari/Lamborghini/McLaren section are noticeably younger and hotter than the women in the Corvette section. This is General Motors attempting to change the image of a halo car.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    It’s a genius move on GMs part.

    Here’s why. The position of “Sportscar for Everyman” is now occupied by the Camaro. Back in 1997 there was enough of an upmarket difference between the Corvette and Camaro to justify the former despite broadly similar performance .

    Not so in 2016. Now that the Mustang and Challenger have gotten faster , GM has had to up the power in the Camaro to keep up. Which means few actual members of the middle class are buying a Corvette. Why spend the extra money for one when a Camaro gets you down the quarter in equal time and is more practical to boot?

    This isn’t a problem the competition has because those ARE their halo cars. So either the Corvette goes downmarket to the SRT Challenger level (and the Camaro goes bye bye) , or the Corvette needs more performance to back up its image and cost .

    On that point, it’s going to be awful difficult to move a C8 Corvette new when a used C6 or C7 can already blow the doors off a Ferrari. It’s not about taking on the Europeans in terms of status as Cadillac is failing to do; no one who’s a die hard fan of Ferrari will ever set foot in a Chevy store even with a gun to their heads. Mid engine is about keeping the Corvette relevant in a day and age where Camaros & Mustangs can stomp a BMW M4.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      This actually has some logic to it.

      • 0 avatar
        Paragon

        Once again I agree with you, and perhaps better understand where GM is coming from.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        From this point of view it does make sense. GM just needs to connect the tiny rear deck lid of the Camaro to the rear glass to turn into a hatch… bingo there’s your “new” Corvette.

        Still, throwing away the ‘Vette’s front V8 / rear drive history to move up market seems stupid. Making the mid-engine version a Caddy makes way more sense. This kills two birds with one stone: Caddy gets the halo car they need and ‘Vette fans get the mid-engine car they desire.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Excuse me if I don’t indulge in the mandatory anti-GM hate.

    I like the idea quite a bit. I’ve been wondering what generation of the Corvette would finally go mid-engine, as the Corvette has always supposedly the best and the brightest that the American car industry can do (yeah, I know, there were years when it wasn’t). It’ll be neat seeing the C8 going around LeMans in the GTP (or whatever they’re calling it now) class.

    And, they’re smart enough to hedge their bets by keeping a three year overlap of the C7 going, just in case the C8 doesn’t work out as well as planned. In which case, the C9 drops back to the C7 basic configuration and keeps on keeping on.

    I forget, this is The Best and The Brightest. God forbid anyone should say anything positive.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    If this turns out to be true the likely reason sits next to it in every Chevy showroom: the Camaro. In SS guise the Camaro is a serious sports car that objectively and subjectively excellent. GM probably recognizes the Camaro’s performance is nipping on the Corvette’s heels so why not up the Corvette’s ante? It would allow the Camaro to further lighten and become effectively what the Corvette is today.

    I’d also wager V8 powered Camaros are being purchased by the same age demographic that bought Vettes in the past.

  • avatar
    Morea

    They should not only keep the engine where it is they should move the transmission back to the front as God and Zora intended.

    And go back to drum brakes. Yeah that’s the ticket!

  • avatar
    Alexdi

    I like this for a couple of reasons.

    First, there’s a prestige limit to the FR layout that limits how much you can charge for the car, the same limit that Nissan’s running into hard with the GTR. Doesn’t matter how fast it is. An Audi R8 will have more cachet than a Corvette no matter how many superchargers GM crams into the thing. It has to be a pain point at GM that they can sell Ferrari-level performance gear in the Z06 for a relative pittance and still lose comparison tests.

    Second, as above, they’ve maxed out the existing platform. Not just in terms of performance, but also in dynamic range. That’s been the defining objective of car design for the last thirty years: performance without compromises. A car you can track, then press a button and have it turn into a high-efficiency hybrid pussycat. The 918, P1, and LaFerrari are the future of these cars. There’s no room for this hardware in the C7.

    Does this transition mean the Corvette won’t be as much of an everyman’s car? Sure. But was it ever one? The existing model starts over $55K and easily tops $70K with nice seats and the basic performance option set. There just aren’t that many people infatuated with the Corvette who can actually afford one. They’re buying, if anything, Camaros. Why not chase the folks who appreciate Porsche’s attention to detail, but hate getting fleeced on option packages and maintenance?

  • avatar
    stingray65

    GM doesn’t know how to use their portfolio of brands. A mid-engine super car has to have an up-market brand and dealer experience – so a this new car needs to be a Cadillac because that is as close as GM can get to offering a true upmarket experience/image. The Volt also should have been a Cadillac as a $40,000 compact car has no place in the Chevy showroom, but could have been seen a a reasonably priced Caddy. Hummer’s should have been sold at GMCs to give the brand something more “professional grade” and upmarket than badge engineered Chevys, but instead they created a very expensive separate dealer network for a niche brand. The Corvette problem today is that it has already moved too far upmarket for the Chevy image and dealer experience to support – going mid-engine will only further magnify the problem.

  • avatar

    As a C6 Corvette owner (apparently unusual in lacking baldness, obesity and gold chains), I would be happy to have a C7 but have no interest in a mid-engined car. Mine is used for very long road trips rather than track workouts so while handling could improve utility (luggage space, serviceability) would suffer. In Bowling Green 150 C7s are built every day and every one built has been sold. Can a more expensive pseudo-Ferrari with a Chevy badge sell the same way? As to demographics, it is has been pointed out here that expensive cars are bought by older people but there is money out there. When driving into a car event a few weeks ago at a dealership I heard someone say: “Must be nice to have money” when I drove by, overlooking the fact that most of the new pickup trucks on the lot were more expensive than my car.

  • avatar
    redav

    100+ comments and none addressing how the price of used C7s will be impacted? Supposedly, prices of the prior gen ‘Vettes drop when the new one debuts, which is great since I’d love to pick up a C7 at a reasonable price. But if people prefer the front engine versions and expect supply to be constrained, prices may not drop enough.

    The Corvette is a surprisingly functional car. I doubt it will remain so as a mid-engine. I also doubt I’d ever own a mid-engine car, but if I did, and if I spent as much money as this ‘Vette probably will cost, would I get it over an NSX? Obviously, I have no idea how desirable such a ‘Vette would be, but am I confident that it will be more desirable/enjoyable than that NSX? Not really.


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