Well, well, well. Looks like we have some (grainy) pics of what appears to be a mid-engine Corvette. Taken from a mile away (!) with the mother of all zoom lenses, the pics from Autoblog give us some clues as to what the General might be up to with the upcoming C8, slated to debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show as a 2019 model.
We’re not even sure this is the C8 though, so let’s proceed with caution folks. Rumor has it that Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen has been itching for a mid-engine halo car for his luxury car division and this might be what we’re looking at here.
As we have speculated before, the real mystery about this car is whether this is a halo addition to the front-engined, RWD car or the next Corvette. Recently, reports have intimated that the current C7 is the swan song for a front-engined Corvette and we have mixed emotions about that. We’ll keep an open mind though, as a killer, new mid-engined Corvette is hardly “chopped liver.”
There’s been a flurry of activity surround the Bowling Green assembly line with more than half a billion dollars in upgrades being implemented over the next year or so, and this car might indicate a second line being set up inside the Corvette factory.
This car is far beyond the mule stage. The last spy shots we saw were cobbled together prototypes in Holden Ute camouflage and were rough around the edges to say the least. Scuttlebutt has it that security is super tight around the Warren Technical Center in Detroit so these photos are quite a coup for the photographer that snagged them.
The images are as grainy as ink blots on toilet paper, but thanks to a C7 (and CTS?) running alongside this prototype we can see the car pictured looks lower and wider that the current ‘Vette. There’s a flying buttress treatment to the rear window area but because this is probably not production body work, we think it’s too early to call what the car might look like.
What will this thing have under the hood, er I mean deck lid? The base model is said to be running a pushrod LT motor with an output of around 500 horsepower. More extreme versions, like a ZR1 or something similar, will eventually follow. Engines with dual overhead camshafts and even hybrid technology are rumored as well.
One question remains though: Is Chevrolet really going to abandon a front-engined, RWD Corvette? After literally decades of “Secret Mid-Engined Corvettes” spy shots we finally might see such a car, you’d think we’d be jumping for joy. We certainly are thrilled but can’t help being a little melancholy over the end of an era.
So for now, at least some of the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. The assembly plant expansion news and now this prototype (assuming it’s a Corvette) means the General is gearing up to unleash a mid-engined supercar on the automotive world. Stayed tuned for more updates.