Rear-Engine Corvette Heading to Amelia Island, for Real This Time
With the 2014 Corvette C7 finally unveiled for the world, we can put to rest all the silly rumors about rear-engine this or twin-turbo that… at least for a couple of years. Honestly, we’re surprised nobody has started speculating on the design of the C8. But where do all these rumors originate?
Well, at least in the case of the whole mid-or-rear engine setup, the rumors come from none other than GM. Ever since the General introduced the idea of a Corvette with anything other than a front-rear layout, the automotive press has run with the idea. Hemmings Auto Blog reports that the rear-engine XP-819 Corvette concept will be making a rare public appearance. after backing out of a scheduled showing last year.
The XP-819 Corvette concept debuted in the mid 1960s, and immediately suffered a rash of handling problems thanks to the rear-engine setup. As it turns out, hanging a huge, heavy V8 engine behind the rear axle does terrible things to your ability to corner. The car was sent to Smokey Yunick, who parted most of it out. However, enough of the car was uncovered to undergo a complete restoration/rebuild.
Owned by Mid America Motorworks founder Mike Yager, the car has spent the past two years under the knife, and was actually supposed to debut at last year’s Amelia Island event. This year the XP-819 will make its debut… sort of. See, the chassis will be there, and it will be drivable. But that swoopy body? Yeah, that’s still a work in progress. The plan is to have it completed by next year, though there are reportedly 3,500 man hours already sunk into the project.
If it does debut next year though, we wouldn’t be surprised to hear rumors of a rear-engine C8 Corvette in the works soon thereafter. Just sayin’.