Could the Mid-Engine Corvette Be a Terrible Idea That’d Alienate Buyers?

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With all the talk of a mid-engine Corvette finally coming to market, there are people who think that it’s an amazing idea and people who think it’s a terrible idea. Falling into the terrible category is The Drive‘s Lawrence Ulrich, who doesn’t believe the world needs another $100,000+ sports car. But is that actually how it’d go down?

Mr. Ulrich, in his article, makes a lot of very good points about the price of cars and who can afford them. Corvette buyers are people who like the Corvette for the value it brings to the marketplace. No matter what you do to the Corvette, it’ll remain a Chevrolet, and buyers will expect a certain value when they purchase a Chevrolet.

He even cites the Dodge Viper as an example of pricing yourself right out of the marketplace. But Chevrolet has some real concerns with the Corvette, including the average age of the buyer, and some believe that a mid-engine ‘Vette would help lower that age.

There are some pretty smart people over at General Motors, and while I agree with many of the points Mr. Ulrich makes, I don’t believe that his narrative is how a mid-engine Corvette will go down.

I firmly believe that the regular Corvette will remain how it is now, with the engine in the front and a big boot in the back. People do like taking their cars on trips, and having a car with more space seems like a logical idea. Also, they’ve already spent time and money investing in this layout, and keeping it will help keep costs down.

If there is a mid-engine car with a Corvette badge, it’d likely be part of an overall Corvette sub-brand for General Motors. The higher-performance, mid-engine car would be that limited-production car that the internet and auto journalists seem to want so badly, while another version of the Corvette hangs around that people actually buy in large numbers.

Plus, who says the car has to carry a Chevrolet badge at all? A mid-engine halo car could very well be rocking a Cadillac badge when it comes to market, and if it does it would give General Motors the freedom to really go wild with the car. They wouldn’t have to respect the heritage of the Corvette or worry about losing Corvette loyalists if the uber-expensive, mid-engine supercar wore a badge that wasn’t Corvette.

Does the world really need more sports cars that are over $100,000? That’s up to the marketplace to decide. There are certainly mid-engine cars you can buy today that don’t exceed that price, though they admittedly don’t have nearly the same power or performance that a Corvette offers with a front-engine layout, especially at the Corvette’s entry price.

What will actually happen? Only GM actually knows, and they’re not speaking publicly about their 2018 (or later) plans at this point. While I think a mid-engine Corvette is certainly a possibility, I also believe that if GM wanted to kill the project today, they could. We still have awhile before we really know if the car is happening.

Join the discussion with the other mid-engine Corvette fans over in our forums!

via [The Drive]

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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