Spotted: Mid-Engine Corvette

There have been a lot of camouflaged prototypes for the highly anticipated mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette. The eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette will switch to the mid-engine configuration for the first time in the model’s history. Two prototypes were spotted testing on the Nurburgring, ditching the loose black rags to expose a more form-fitting spotted white camo underneath.

When viewing a prototype you get a better view of the C8’s front end, which looks very little like that of the front-engine C7. The front valance features large intake vents on either side and a large splitter juts out from beneath the front lip. The headlights don’t appear to be production-spec.

There’s a large vent in front of the rear wheel and the mid-engine Corvette’s body has lines running across the doors and fenders. It also has significantly widened hips and in the back, the Corvette’s characteristic four-lamp taillights peek through the camo. There have also been glimpses of its square-tipped quad-exhaust and a new wing.  

Exact specs are not known, but there have been rumors that two-dual-overhead-cam V-8 engines will be offered. The front brakes feature one large multi-piston caliper, but you can see a second caliper opposite the primary clamping unit. The mid-engine proportions are very apparent when viewed from the side.

It’s expected that the mid-engined Corvette or C8 will be a bit heavier than the current car’s roughly 3500 pounds, but according to caranddriver.com, “it will compensate for that with about 500 horsepower from the LT1”. Thanks to the increased traction of rearward weight bias and a quick-shifting transaxle, it’ll be quicker than the C7.

The mid-engined Corvette will need massive amounts of airflow, meaning the entire leading plane of the nose will be open to the air and packed full of heat exchangers. The C8 will extract engine-compartment heat through vents below the taillights on the rear fascia. Combustion gases will be fed through an exhaust that includes the familiar dual-mode system to maximize airflow and noise generation at high engine loads.    

General Motors wants to replace the traditional hydraulic master-and slave-cylinder mechanism with an electronic actuator in the transmission triggered by a sensor on the clutch pedal. If they proceed, at the moment it’s just a rumor, this system would make for a much simpler clutch actuation system, which would certainly be helpful in a mid-engine car with the transmission at the rear. So what kind of engine can it possibly have?

As mentioned the engine will be heavier as it could possibly use a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox sourced from Tremec. Of its seven speeds, the top three are overdrives and Tremec says it can handle 9000 rpm input speed and 664 lb-ft of torque. According to Car and Driver, they argue that Chevy will only offer this Corvette with one gearbox to reduce cost and complexity, “but a world without a manual-transmission ‘Vette is hard to imagine”.     

According to a 2017 leak by gmauthority.com, the mid-engine Corvette will likely be offered with the following three engines:

  • Naturally-aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 LT1, which makes a maximum of 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque in the C7 Corvette Stingray with the Z51 package.
  • Twin-turbo 4.2-liter V-8 DOHC (Double Over Head Cam) engine making in the vicinity of 600 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque.
  • Twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8 DOHC engine making in the vicinity of 700 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque.     

The engines will likely be manufactured at the GM Tonawanda powertrain plant. The mid-engined Corvette will likely be offered with a choice of two transmissions – a seven-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic. The market forecast has the majority of volume going to the 6.2L V8 with 14,000 units produced annually from 2019 to 2021.            

You can search our inventory of Corvette’s at Miami Lakes Automall. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you.

Photo Credit: carbuzz.com

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