Corvette Forum Reacts to Latest Mid-Engine Corvette News
Was the mid-engine Corvette test mule inspired by Hot Wheels?
When the first spy shots of the mid-engine C8 Chevrolet Corvette test mule hit the interwebs yesterday, I was thrilled. It makes me happy knowing that Chevrolet and Corvette will be competing upmarket with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche. If the C8 Corvette Zora ZR1 ends up seeing the light of day, I will have yet another reason to call Corvette my all-time favorite car.
I expected this news to cause an emotional backfire from forum members; I mean, we’re talking about major changes to the legacy that is Corvette: America’s sports car … or more accurately, ‘Merica’s sports car. I thought there would be a large contingent on Corvette Forum that would get all “the sky is falling” up in the threads. I was wrong.
There’s actually a surprising amount of positivity surrounding a mid-engine Corvette flagship.
Still, there was a decent amount of skepticism and derision …
“Anyone with any familiarity with the CER[V] test vehicles knows there have been at least five mid-engine ‘Vette concepts. TESTED AND RAN at tracks over the years.”
“No way this happens inside of four years. Maybe 2020. I still don’t see it ever happening.”
“A mid-engine ‘Vette has been rumored to be coming for decades by the same automotive mags that are still saying it. It’s never come to pass, so why should we believe the same mags now?”
“Sweet! The new Zora is actually a truck. I just hope they don’t try to race a Hellcat during their testing. They’ll scrap the whole damn project if they do.”
Onto more positive commentary, forum member “DGXR” brought the brain power with his thoughts. His sentiments are some of the smartest I’ve ever seen, not just on a forum, but anywhere. I agree with each and every one of the following words.
“Whatever is under the skin of this monster mule tester, I am very happy to see and hear more evidence of a GM mid-engine supercar actually going into production. If this happens, it will be marketed as different and distinguished from the Corvette Stingray — its name, target market and price point being the obvious. Extreme care must be taken to avoid dilution or bastardization of the Corvette line — eliminating the Corvette’s FR drivetrain so soon would be a very bad idea. Remember the initial backlash over the exposed headlamps on the C6? That was a minor styling change and many Corvette fans were up in arms. So I suspect the Corvette will continue with the FR drivetrain for at least one or two more generations, if not longer, and with pushrod V8 engines. I’m pretty sure GM and Chevy don’t want to risk alienating their legions of dedicated Corvette fans.
DGXR is even smarter than these guys.
“GM has done wonderful and amazing things with the pushrod two-valve V8 engine. But this is 2015, and frankly I am very disappointed that in the Corvette’s long history, a DOHC four-valve V8 option was offered only once in the C4 ZR-1, which was a true Frankenmotor, designed by GM/Lotus and assembled by Mercury Marine Engines. Yes, I know tradition is very important and people still love the pushrods, but it’s also important for the world’s second-largest automaker to show off its engineering excellence, especially in its flagship sports car.
“Maybe the added height of a DOHC motor won’t fit under the low hood of the Corvette, but it’s been 20 years since the C4 ZR-1 and there’s generally more height available for the engine in a MR drivetrain. Something needs to be added here and I am hopeful for the “Zora” (or whatever it’s called) to go into production.”
Here are the folks who support the latest mid-engine C8 news. Again, there were many more responses like this than I had expected.
“I have thought for years that Corvette should be its own brand and have a full line of cars, and have said so on this forum.
“If GM will sell a front-engine Corvette at $60-$80K, a Z06 at $80-$110K, and a mid-engine world supercar at $110-$140K [more like $150,000], the buyer gets more options and GM will make much more money, as the margins on a $140K car are much larger than on, say, building yet another small sedan. Going upmarket makes sense, and the Corvette brand now has quite a small, but loyal following outside the U.S.A. thanks to the racing successes over the last 15 years. This is all good news.
“To sell globally, the new mid-engine car will need an overhead cam motor with smaller displacement to minimize displacement-based taxes overseas. I would suspect we will see a small DOHC DI turbo V8, and as an option, a 2.0-liter DOHC turbo engine with a high-HP electric-hybrid drive.
“I cannot wait. Corvette needs to rule in many markets.”
Here’s a nice little Easter egg I discovered amid all the discussion:
“Maybe it’s a coincidence, but [the test mule] looks strikingly similar to ‘something’ that my wife and I saw by accident when we did our buyers tour the week our Z06 was built. I had kept my mouth shut [because I was] afraid they’d hold my Z06 hostage! That’s all I’m going to say. If this thing turns out like the prototype race cars, it’ll be a beast.”
— Michael A. Riley
images via [Mattel]