Report: Mid-engine Corvette Prone to Getting Bent Out of Shape

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
report mid engine corvette prone to getting bent out of shape

Chevrolet was expected to debut its new, mid-engine C8 Corvette sometime over the winter, but a series of delays meant the only glimpses we’ve had of the thing are of the spy shot variety. And boy, are there a lot of those. That thing gets around more than Wendy in Breaking Bad.

While a report late last year pointed to electrical issues as the reason for the delay, a new report points not only to this, but a structural problem, too.

According to sources who spoke to Hagerty, General Motors is having trouble with its new Global B electrical architecture, of which the C8 is a recipient. The cloud-based system, first promised by then-GM product chief Mark Reuss in 2015, would allow the over-the-air downloading of various features.

No one wants an American supercar with a British temperament, so it’s imperative that GM work out the bugs before the system finds its way into a production vehicle, be it a C8 or family crossover.

Just as worrisome — and time consuming — is an issue with the vehicle’s aluminum spaceframe, which reportedly flexes too much when paired with GM’s upcoming LT6 and LT8 twin-turbocharged DOHC V8s, which are rumored to fall within the 900-1,000 horsepower range. The distortion is apparently serious enough to break the glass engine cover.

Base C8s will not receive these monster engines, however. An LT2 V8 (essentially an LT1 with more athletic valves) is expected to serve as the base powerplant, Hagerty claims, providing the mid-engine Vette with an attractive starting price and upwards of 500 horsepower. No C8 is expected to receive a manual transmission; managing the power output of all C8 flavors is a Tremec seven-speed dual clutch automatic.

If alleged electrical and chassis issues weren’t enough, another source claims a third problem afflicts the model’s development. This one, however, remains cloaked in mystery, described only as a disagreement between designers and engineers. What could bring the two groups to loggerheads is anyone’s guess.

With a New York Auto Show debut looking very unlikely, Hagerty posits that we might see the C8 bow this August at the National Corvette Museum’s 25th birthday bash in Bowling Green, Kentucky, not far from the C7 and C8’s home.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Mar 19, 2019

    Is it possible that the rear engine will lend itself to the insertion of a transfer box and AWD down the road a ways ?

  • SuperCarEnthusiast SuperCarEnthusiast on Mar 19, 2019

    Is it that hard to get GM to go out and buy a Tesla for the cloud downloading over the air function and a Mclaren for the superframe? Afterward, GM engineer put the car back together and sell it! GM might loose 20% of the cost of the cars! but look at the savings in R&D costs and testing time.

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.