A Midengine Turbo Corvette: Rumor or Truth?

August 6th, 2010

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray concept

Wouldn’t it be something if Chevrolet did in fact finally, after years of rumor, put together a midengine Corvette? Stories floating on the Internet say this will happen, probably for the future C8 version, in maybe five years’ time. The idea is so enticing that MotorAuthority has run three posts about it, the latest of which is here.

The recent, fairly credible, source was a Saab engineer who told Autocar that his company had developed a dual-clutch transmission for a “‘midengine version of the Corvette’ when Saab was General Motors’ centre of competence for those systems.”

Others also believe that a fully developed prototype was probably built but canned because of the credit collapse in 2008. GM boss Ed Whitacre has confirmed that a new Corvette is in the works: It “looks quite different. It’s totally redesigned inside and out.” Maybe it will look like the Stingray concept above.

Even if it takes five years, a midengine Corvette would be very welcome. It’s what the car’s great developer, Zora Arkus-Duntov, wanted, and it would bring the Corvette into the 21st century at last.

The problem is that putting a turbo V6, as rumored, behind the seats won’t be sufficient to compete with the upmarket Euro sports cars like the Audi R8. Maybe the Boxster will serve as competition. If the car costs a lot more than it presently does, I don’t see a Chevy supercar making much headway against the Euros.

C7 Corvette detailThe trick will be to bring it in as a more compact, lighter C8, with aluminum and carbon fiber likely, and priced considerably south of the $100K that the ZR1 commands. The next C7 will most certainly be less inspirational, though it is supposed to feature a split rear window (last seen in the ’63 Corvette Stingray).

Anyhow, the rumors are flying, and we can’t wait to see the new car—even if it’s five years away.

Would a midengine Corvette change your feeling about the car—one way or another?

—jgoods

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