GM Gears Up for Plant Upgrade to Build New C8 Corvette

c8 vette

The hype leading up to the new C7 Corvette was unlike anything in the history of Corvette. Early rumors swirled of a possible rear mid-engine setup, followed by “news” that the C7 would have the same split rear window as the famous 1963 Sting Ray.

Obviously neither of those came to fruition. The Corvette has always been a front mid-engined car, with the motor pushed back to be centered over the front axle. Even without a rear mid-engine (RMR) layout, the C7 has become one of the most lauded ‘Vettes ever produced and is turning heads on the streets and drawing comparisons to Ferrari for its design.

Yes, the C7 Corvette is one hot car.

Could the C8, due for the 2019 model year, be even hotter?

General Motors, presumably in preparation for the C8, has announced that it will invest $290 million into upgrades of its Kentucky Corvette manufacturing plant. Automotive News says,

GM today said it will “upgrade and modify” the Bowling Green plant’s vehicle assembly operations for “technology upgrades and manufacturing process improvements.” It didn’t say whether the investment is needed for an eventual redesign of the Corvette, which is three years into its seventh generation.

The C7 is scheduled to bow out after the 2018 model year, which gives the current iteration of the ‘Vette just five years of life. If the new C8 indeed has the motor behind the seats, a used C7 could turn out to be a great buy for someone who wants the classic Corvette engine layout and those hot C7 looks. Dare we even use the word “collectible?”

Car and Driver remains convinced that the C8 will indeed be a rear mid-engine vehicle. The aerial photos the magazine snagged two years ago leave little room for doubt.

Pricing of the new ‘Vette could start at $80,000 and easily top $100,000, which would move it firmly toward the supercar market. At that price, a rear mid-engine layout would certainly make sense, but of course, nothing is confirmed at this point.

Would you prefer the classic Corvette engine layout or a new rear mid-engine layout?

-tgriffith

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