Mid-Engine Corvette Coming in Early 2019: Report
Published August 8, 2016
Fans of the Corvette have long wanted a mid-engine variant on their prized vehicles. Ever since the 1970s when the Aerovette, a mid-engine rotary powered corvette, was designed and scrapped, people have been asking for a new look at this design. Poor mid-engine sales from imported European models and engineering problems killed the 1970s MR Corvette. Now it looks like Chevrolet has seen the demand and is answering it with a 2019 release.
Mid-engine vehicles typically have an advantage with their weight balance being close to 50:50, making high speed handling respond much better. It also allows for components to be more compact, meaning less weight overall. It also makes for a markedly different aesthetic design than the Corvette has seen in the past without the need for such a long front end.
Bob Lutz, GM’s retired Head of Global Product Development, said that his plans for a MR Corvette were approved in 2007 before his retirement in 2010. However, the automotive manufacturing collapse and bailout in 2009 saw his dream swept once more to the side. Chevy played safe in favor of what had been working in the past. The new holder of Lutz’s title, Mark Reuss, has taken up the cause of the mid-engive ‘Vette and it seems to be alive again.
So far, the corporation has failed to comment on the situation. Rumors and speculation have been flying in automotive publications for several years. Building this highly demanded car would mean a complete overhaul of the entire structure of the car from frame upwards. Very few current C7 components would be able to come forward into the new generation. Engineers face entirely new problems they will have to tackle from cooling to suspension.
If Chevy does market this Corvette in as little as 1.5 model years, they’ll find themselves competing with Ford’s GT. Imports from Lamborghini, Porsche, and Ferrari in the same MR market keep MR prices upwards of $100,000. Luckily, calculations by Car & Driver have put this type of Corvette closer to $80,000. Would that be enough to edge out competition and pay off for Chevrolet in the long run?
Categories: Production Cars