Ladies and gentlemen, the latest chapter from the mid-engine Corvette rumor mill has arrived. A vortex of uncertainty and conjecture surrounds this long-hypothesized halo car and has yielded much speculation, yet this time offers clearer details from insider sources.
The Detroit News recently got a hold of several in-the-know figures (who for obvious reasons opted to remain anonymous) and was able to extrapolate some rather compelling statements regarding the next version of America’s sports car.
We’ll cut to the chase and sum it up for you; a mid-engined supercar is in GM’s future, set to unveil in early 2018, reach production late 2018, with the current C7 remaining in production through 2021.
Internally, the new C8 goes by it’s codename, “Emperor” according to those in the know.
A front engine, RWD Corvette remaining in production should be music to old school fan’s ears for sure. After a blistering sales performance for 2016, we aren’t surprised the current platform will get a reprise
We’ve been promised a mid-engine Corvette for decades. Maybe this time, it’ll make it to production.
Of course, for the sake of rationality, we have to accept this latest news the way we’ve accepted all previous halo-car bombshells – with a certain degree of skepticism. For months now, proclamations have sprinkled the web shouting, “Yes, it’s happening!” and, “The proof is here!”. While seemingly sensationalized at first, there’s no denying that a solid case has been made to back up these broadcasts.
Sources from Det News say, “Mark Reuss wants it.” And if Reuss, the current President of General Motors North America wants something – well, you can bet it’ll be given full consideration.
The recent spy shots of an unusual Corvette-shaped mule at the Milford Proving Grounds; GM’s trademarking of the E-Ray, Manta Ray, and LT5 monikers; the nearly $800 million in investments to the Bowling Green Assembly Plant over the last year or so – all are parts of the developing picture that a supercar is in the works.
LT1 small block fans should breathe a sigh or relief as Car and Driver’s veteran reporter Don Sherman says “The C8 is expected to be equipped with performance innovations like an active-aerodynamic system to enhance downforce, and will be powered by the tried-and-true small-block pushrod V-8 to keep costs down.”
The niggling possibility still remains that this isn’t a Corvette at all, or that the mid-engined platform will spawn two models.
Photo Courtesy Car & Driver
Former head of product development Bob Lutz is on board with most of this mid-engine supercar story, having stated that the developments we’re seeing today are consistent with arrangements he had back in 2007 when he held the big cheese at GM.
According to Det News, Lutz states, “The program that I got approved in ’07 was for $900 million and included a Cadillac XLR with a supercharged Northstar engine. If the current program is $800 million, I’d bet it includes a different-bodied Cadillac again, as well.” Recall Johan de Nysschen’s statement that a mid-engined Corvette platform would be a good starting point for a top-of-the-line Cadillac sports car as well.
Though we still have a couple of years until these prophecies can be fulfilled, we’re filled with both excitement and anxiety for the future of the Corvette. Let us know what you think of this news in the comments below.