Rumors of a mid-engined Corvette have been circulating for years now, but the source has always been an unnamed insider or some other third party.
Now we have hints from someone at the top of the General Motors hierarchy, albeit on the luxury end of the spectrum. Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen, in an interview with Motor Trend, suggested that Chevrolet is working on a mid-engine sports car to take on the world’s best.
When asked if Cadillac was considering a high-performance sports car based on the upcoming model, de Nysschen said, “It has to be one of the options that we consider.” The executive went on to suggest that basing a car on a “new, very advanced Corvette platform” would be the way to go.
Of course, a Corvette-based Cadillac has been done before in the form of the brand’s XLR, but sales (and respect) for that model weren’t the highest.
While not directly admitting that a mid-engined project was in the works for Chevrolet or Cadillac, the executive didn’t deny such a vehicle was in development. As for what that might look like for the U.S. luxury automaker, de Nysschen said the company could also go in a different direction with an ultra-luxurious four-door convertible that might be a “good play that draws on our heritage.”
It’s very likely that fans of the Ciel Concept that was revealed at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will immediately assume Cadillac’s president is referring to a production version of that design, and they may be spot on. The Ciel drew praise from all sides and appeared in the movie Entourage, which suggests Cadillac may be seriously considering the prospect of a road-ready four-door drop-top.
As for what else to expect from the luxury marque in the coming years, de Nysschen mentioned that Cadillac is presently focused on filling gaps in its lineup. Unfortunately, the executive also noted that sales of manual transmission-equipped models are steadily declining, so the standard gearbox may be phased out soon.