Will all Future Corvettes Be Mid-Engine Corvettes?

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There is tons of rumor and speculation about the next-generation of Corvette. One of those rumors has seemingly always been that the new Corvette would be mid-engine. While the rumors seem to have been circulating since I was born, the signs do seem to be pointing to one coming soon. But could it be that all future Corvettes are mid-engine only? Maybe.

According to the Detroit News, and picked up by Motor Authority and TTAC, the current 7th-generation Corvette will run its course and end production sometime in 2021. In the meantime, the mid-engine Corvette will hit the streets in early 2019. Expect the car to be revealed to the public sometime in 2018.

Detroit News is also claiming that the mid-engine Corvette has a codename, and that codename is “Emperor.” It’s common for codenames to not actually make it to production, though.

People have already put deposits down on the 8th-generation Corvette, even though nothing is official at this point.

It appears that the mid-engine project was approved back in 2007, and money was set aside for the upgrade of the Bowling Green plant to handle it. Additionally, a mid-engine Cadillac was to be made featuring a supercharged Northstar V8. Considering the investment recently made in the plant for upgrades, the Detroit News is expecting there to be a Cadillac variant with the new car.

But does it make sense for all future Corvettes to be mid-engine Corvettes?

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GM is desperately trying to lower the average age of a Corvette buyer, and it’s believed that going mid-engine is a way to do it. One of the reasons why we think it hasn’t happened yet is that a mid-engine Corvette will simply be more expensive than the front-engine currently available. The Corvette has always been a value proposition, and skyrocketing prices take away from the performance bargains they offer.

From a production standpoint it might be a bit more expensive to build a front-engine car alongside the mid-engine one, but unless GM can get the price of the mid-engine car in the same price range as the front-engine I can’t see them discontinuing the front-engine.

It’s also been a staple of the car. It would be totally against heritage to ditch the platform that made them famous in the first place.

I can definitely see both sides of the argument. Building a mid-engine car opens the door for even more high-performance options, all-wheel drive, and even electrification. All of those are great things that would help the Corvette compete on an even more competitive playing field. But that competitiveness comes at a cost, and if it raises the price of the Corvette too much, you run a serious risk of losing the sales you already have.

While it might lower the purchaser’s average age, it won’t help the company’s bottom line.

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

via [Detroit News]

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

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