The idea of a mid-engined Corvette isn’t new. Chevrolet reportedly started to develop a mid-engined architecture for the seventh-gen ‘Vette but it was forced to put the project on hiatus when parent company General Motors filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Sources close to Chevrolet have revealed the chassis was nearly finished, and Car & Driver reports it has been dusted off to underpin the next ZR1.
Power for the next ZR1 will reportedly come from small block V8 engine that will be more powerful than the supercharged 650-horsepower unit found under the hood of the Z06 (pictured). The ZR1’s suspension and brake components will be sourced from the C7 ‘Vette parts bin and modified to handle the extra power.
Car & Driver speculates the upcoming Corvette ZR1 will cost over $100,000 when it lands in showrooms in 2017. Historically a low-volume model, the range-topping ZR1 will allow Chevrolet to test the public’s reaction to a mid-engined ‘Vette, an idea that is still controversial in the minds of many enthusiasts. However, if everything goes according to plan, all versions of the eighth-gen Corvette will ride on an evolution of the ZR1’s mid-engined chassis.
Shifting the Corvette to a mid-engined layout will allow Chevrolet to move it up a notch on the market. The Camaro will also shift up, leaving room for a long-rumored rear-wheel drive model to slot in at the bottom of the Bowtie’s sports car lineup.