By on January 9, 2017

naias 2017TTAC has an intrepid team on the ground at this year’s North American International Auto Show who’ll be bringing you reports from the buffet lines OEM press conferences throughout Media Preview Day. We’ve seen a few debuts already: the grille-of-your-dreams Ford F-150, the not-a-four-door-coupe Kia Stinger, and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-its-changes Mercedes GLA.

Even in this day and age of instant communication and information leaks, the manufacturers still sometimes manage to keep a surprise or two in their back pockets. The Ford GT and Buick Avista spring immediately to mind. This year, I’m hoping for a surprise announcement on a decades-old rumour.

There’s been plenty of midengine conjecture in the Corvette camp over the last twelve months. In August, the Detroit News postulated that a mid-engined Vette will bow in 2019. Unusually proportioned mules popping up in spy shots and investments being tossed in the direction of Bowling Green fueled these rumors.

The mid-engined Corvette has been part of GM lore since, well, forever. It is said that in GM’s glory days the trio of Bill Mitchell, Ed Cole, and Zora Arkus-Duntov argued over a Wankel-powered version. The Corvette Indy concept debuted in the mid-80s as a mid-engined wonder. By 1990, Chevy refined the Indy into the CERV III concept, deploying four-wheel steering, active suspension, all-wheel drive, and a twin-turbo V-8. Legend has it Chevy was considering a production run but, alas, accountants intervened. More recently, Bob Lutz has mentioned the mid-engined Vette project recently got as far as two full-sized clay models, only to be scuppered by GM’s sojourn into bankruptcy.

Recent murmurings have suggested we will not see a new Corvette of any type at NAIAS this year, so I may be disappointed. Perhaps the amidships rocket from GM will be a Cadillac, but I do hope it sports a Corvette badge.

What do you hope will be shown at NAIAS this year? A low-slung sports car? A burly new truck? One thing’s for sure: if it’s there, TTAC will have coverage for you.

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