As wild and improbable as they sound, the rumors of a mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette simply refuse to die. The latest report indicates that the super-‘Vette will make its official debut in early 2018, likely during the Detroit Auto Show, and go on sale about a year later.
Most sources agree that Chevrolet is making the controversial shift to a mid-engined layout in a bid to rejuvenate the storied Corvette nameplate by luring a new, younger set of customers into showrooms. Sales of the company’s flagship sports car remain strong, but the average buyer is getting older and older.
“The median age of the Corvette buyer got three years older while I was there, which scared the hell out of us,” explained Tom Wallace, the Corvette’s chief engineer from 2006 until 2008.
Colloquially known as the C8, the mid-engined Corvette will ride on a brand new platform developed in-house by General Motors. It will boast a more aggressive-looking design than today’s model, and it will use active aerodynamic components like adjustable spoilers. On paper, it will be much more advanced than today’s model (pictured). The only exception is that it will carry on with a push rod V8, a move that will keep development costs in check and keep purists happy.
Traditionalists who are put off by the idea of a mid-engined Corvette will be given ample time to get used to it. The current-generation Z06 and Grand Sport models will stick around until about 2021, The Detroit News has learned. After that, the mid-engined model will be the only Corvette on the market. It will cost slightly more than today’s model, which starts at about $55,000, but it won’t be anywhere near as expensive as high-end mid-engined cars like the Ferrari 488 GTB, Lamborghini Huracán, and the upcoming Ford GT.
It goes without saying that Chevrolet hasn’t commented on the rumors. To complicate the matter, analysts disagree on whether the Bowtie is preparing a mid-engined Corvette, whether the model will land with a Cadillac emblem on the hood, or if the project is nothing but vaporware. All we know for sure at this point is that more details will trickle out in the coming months if the rumors are accurate.