Having pondered since the late 1950s the concept of a mid-engine layout for its classic Corvette sportscar—and in the subsequent decades rumored to repeatedly revisit the idea, General Motors’ Chevrolet brand puts to rest a half-century of speculation by announcing it will on July 18 reveal a mid-engine Corvette that will go into production, most likely as a 2020 model.
It will be the eighth generation of the sportscar that was launched in 1953, the original and each successive generation employing a “conventional” front-engine layout.
It is not hyperbole that GM uses on its media website to say, “The next-generation Corvette is the most-anticipated Corvette ever.” The company goes on to assert, “It’s the sum of each generation before it, but will stand alone as the new standard of performance.”
Other than a handful of photos of a camouflaged version of the car driving on the streets of New York city, Chevrolet offered no other details of the car for which unofficial spy photos have appeared with increasing frequency for more than a year. The official photos include GM CEO Mary Barra and Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter.
Although the mid-engine layout is a striking departure from the Corvette’s legacy for front-engine placement, it is widely believed Chevrolet has stayed with tradition for the eighth-generation Corvette’s engine, which is expected to be a V8, possibly using forced induction.
The final seventh-generation Corvette, which Chevrolet said is a 2019 Z06 model in black—will be auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Northeast sale in Connecticut June 28. The company said all money from the winning bid will go to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, named for New York City firefighter Stephen Siller, who died during the Sept. 11 attacks.Continue reading »