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    Rumorpile: Corvette Going Mid-Engine... Again


    • Another Mid-Engine Corvette Rumor Pops Up

    Stop me if you have heard this before: Motor Trend is reporting that next Corvette ZR1 is going to a mid-engine layout according to a number of sources. One of the sources follows this up by saying the next-generation Corvette will also go to a mid-engine layout,

    Now this isn't the first time there have been reports of a mid-engine Corvette. Since the early sixties, reports of Chevrolet doing a mid-engine Corvette have been reported. This is only helped with General Motors showing a number of mid-engine Corvette concepts over the years.

    So what makes this rumor different from all the other ones? A few items. First is that the next-generation Camaro will utilize the Alpha platform, which could mean the next Camaro may end up being lighter than the current C7. Motor Trend speculates that if a Cadillac ATS equipped with the turbo 2.0L and six-speed manual weighs around 3,433 pounds, a next-generation Camaro with that same powertrain setup could weigh less. As for the C7 weight: 3,450 pounds when equipped with the seven-speed manual.

    Then there is story from earlier this year where General Motors applied for the "Zora" trademark. Zora is for Zora Arkus-Duntov, the man who made the Corvette the American performance icon it is today. Arkus-Duntov was a huge proponent of the mid-engine layout, which led him to create the CERV I and CERV II (CERV is short for Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle).

    Finally, GM was apparently working on a mid-engine C7 Corvette design before the company went into bankruptcy. But with bankruptcy, and the departure of Bob Lutz and former Corvette chief engineer Tom Wallace retired, the project was canned.

    While a mid-engine Corvette would be a sight to see, for now we'll put this into the 'we can dream' file.

    Source: Motor Trend

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    i'd rather have cadillac have the mid engine supercar.

     

    This. Because other than selling few hundred of these per year, the car is not going to be what a Corvette is. Pricewise, Cadillac may be able to command and get $120k+  than a Chevrolet can.

     

    And I am not in favor of Corvette as a brand.

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    .... again?

     

    Its that time again

     

     

    I was trying to find a clip from the movie Clue...

     

    It's towards the end of the movie when they are running around following Wadsworth as he explains how it was done....

    Wadsworth and the cast are in the kitchen. Wadsworth yells "and one of us sneaks back down the secret passage to the study!"

     

    Mrs. Peacock lets out an annoyed "Again?..."

     

    Wadsworth "Of course!"

     

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    Clue was an awesome movie.

     

    A mid-engine Corvette is sacrilege!  It has to be front engine rear drive, and the Camaro should stay an affordable sports car, with the Corvette still not outrageously priced.  Value is part of the Corvette's equation.  Make a mid-engine Cadillac supercar if you want one, then you can go all out and price it high and make it more of an exotic car.

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    Maybe they mean mid FRONT engine instead of mid REAR engine. That seems more likely.

     

    That could be an interesting response to CAFE.... as we've been discussing in the Hellcat thread.  Push the wheels more forward to give the car more wheelbase.

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    Maybe they mean mid FRONT engine instead of mid REAR engine. That seems more likely.

    Isn't it already like that?

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    ZL1 You are correct and other need to go do some real home work, The present car for a good while has been Front Mid Engine as the engine is between the two axles. It gives the car good balance,

     

    The truth is this we are not dealing with the old GM anymore and things are being done differently. This projects roots go back about 2005-2007. This mid engine project was originally intended for the C7 but as we all know the Chapter 11 arrived and shelved many projects include some like the ZL1, Malibu, XTS and other models that were in the works and left to be finished after coming out of the bail out. The C7 was not in a place to go mid engine and do it right so they resorted back to a major upgrade on the C6 that lead us to the C7 we have today.

     

    I had see comments that the C8 was being worked on at the same time as the C7 and it was the mid engine project again and it was kicked down the road to where they could do it right and not just rush it out like the Malibu. The C7 has bought them time and it was clear from the start the C7 was along term model based on comments from the Corvette manager.

     

    The reality is the Corvette has to fine more MPG and power to keep up as many of the world class cars are going to hybrid systems. As time goes on these system will get cheaper but you have to start somewhere. As of now it looks like GM will go a two car strategy where they will sell the Stingray and the Zora as two models in the Corvette line. This way they can ease the cost factors in on the cheaper cars with trickle down technology.

    The mid engine helps in packaging hybrid systems as with the present car just look at what they had to do to get a super charger in there. Even the Callaway's had to hide the Turbo chargers way up under on the C4.

     

    Also they have less frontal area and they can bring in more radical changes on this car slowly and leak them over to the more basic car once it is accepted.

    The bottom line is there really is a project and as of no all things are go. Yes things can change if something comes up but the fact remains this project has continues for 5-7 years already. At this point I would use care in how I would phrase my doubts as you may look silly later on. There is no more Zora vs. Bill Mitchell battles at GM anymore. We now have a Corvette that is would class in all areas including the interior and many thought hell had to freeze before that happened.

     

     

    Weight loss is also a key here as GM has been pressing for a sub 3000 pound Corvette. Well the C7 did not even come close to this but this car may be just where they focused the plan and they just never said what C model. If it is expensive it will have much more composite materials. The only real issue is if it goes hybrid how much will that add to the weight preventing the 3000 pound car.

     

    Anyways I have been following this story for a long time and the recent stories are all matching up to many of the past reports. So while it may not be a slam dunk I do feel we are as close to the mid engine Vette as we have ever been.

    As for Cadillac give them a M4 Roadster fighter as the last thing they need is a Super Car right now. They need to focus on the LTS and other sedans and coupe they are selling. Before you want to convince someone to shell out $150K on a super car Cadillac you need to earn their trust and money with a $50K roadster GT that is best in class. You win them there they will pay more for the other car later not the reverse. How many people got burned already on the Allante and XLR?

     

    The fact is some on the Vette team have said they have gone about as far as they can with the present set up. To get a lower CG they need to lower the cowl and to lower the cowl they need to move the engine. To get the weight more centered they need to move the engine as balance is only good to a point. To lower the CD they need to lower the car and move the engine. To get better handling and cut weight they need to move the engine. To create a proper hybrid system they need to move the engine. If you want a smaller lighter AWD system it is easier if ......you move the engine.

     

    So do not get too wrapped up in Retro thinking as to advance with the many challenges ahead we will have to see many changes. Companies like Ferrari and Porsche are not doing hybrid systems because they think they are cool they are doing them because to preserve ultimate performance and grow it there is no other way. You want to keep a V8 viable you will have to add these systems to it s the CAFE is bad now and will only get worse no matter who is elected.

     

    Any ways I will earn do not bet against this as from my sources this time there is fire with the smoke.

     

    Note too the stories that are out leave me thinking this was a GM controlled leak too. They all said the same thing and they all only went so far. GM has worked with a select group of writers to help control the information going out. It has worked well since 2008 but did lead to the leak of the C7 a year before they were ready.

     

    I expect mules to be seen by next August if things remain on track. Note they may already be testing but under different bodies. There was an odd Malibu seen in long Island with C7 rear tires and a modified trunk. I do not believe it was a GM car but it is similar to what we may see.

     

    You can see this car at MotoringExposure.com While I do not believe it to be a GM Mid Engine mule it is interesting. Not sure what to make of it as it would not be cheap to make a mess like this but also would GM be in Long Island with it?

     

    I remember some mocking me about the return of the Camaro when I predicted it would be back. 

     

     

     

    Speaking of which you will really be impressed with what is coming. It will have refinement like you never saw in this segment. . Oh it will lose weight.

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    Well I can see by the post here why no one wants to talk about the new Mule photos of the Mid Engine C8 that are out.

    Chris took the photos so it would be cool if he could pop in here and tell us more if he can.  I suspect he may have been given a chance to get these photos to counter the new Ford GT news at Detroit.

    Oh by the way I was wrong I expected the mules by next August. GM is working faster than I had heard I was off by  7 months  Sorry LOL! 

     

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    As I posted about Electrical Conversion in the Alternative Fuels and Propulsion thread, I could see the Corvette go with a radical Performance Electrical engine and a small generator.

     

    AMR 250-90D Liquid cooled AC Motor. 560 lb/ft of torque and 420hp, weight 180lbs, 360 Volts, Max RPM 10,000, Regenerative motor.

     

    post-12-0-70920000-1420772285_thumb.jpg

    post-12-0-21914200-1420772286_thumb.jpg

     

    Why not drop weight and give Tesla a run for it's sports car money! After all they have the Volt technology and clearly they can build AC motors that can put out the performance.

     

    Check out the 1000 lb/ft of torque and 600+ HP electric motor at this thread.

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    It is no secret that GM has been looking to do a hybrid system at some point with the Vette.  They have hinted at a gas V8 and electric system that would be similar to the 918 but for a lot less money. This is part of the reason we have the C8 as it is. A system like this really is much easier to package into a Mid Engine layout as the C7 is tapped for space as it is. They already have to use a really cut down Supercharger and Dry Sump now to get the hood low. To add anything else in there of any size would be difficult at best.

     

    I am not sure we will see this system at the intro but they are working on one.

     

    I would not be surprised if this technology also shows up in a large Cadillac sedan at some point,

    Edited by hyperv6
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    To whom it may concern Uncle Bob Lutz will have a story in the new Feb Road and Track outlining the Zora Mid Engine Corvette program and how it all started and when.

     

    Good read as it gives the time line and why things were delayed. It also covers the realties of how and why cars are chosen for production and others are passed over and delayed. While I know most of us here understand that some may learn the realties are not all fun and games at a company like GM.

     

    Either way the story is spot on of  what I have heard for years with a few Easter eggs dropped in like the Chevy Solstice they were looking at etc.

    Note the end of the story is where he plays coy as he said the car has 50% chance for production and may have been in the works for the last 6 months. Well the photo's tell a different story and we all know Bob knows more than that and could not play this card as it is GM's card to play. I believe he is still on retainer to them.

     

    Note too this story appeared days after the Ford GT and the Photo's. I suspect it was a well planed story from GM to get more info out in a non official way. Bob is still very tight with these people. He also scrapped his normal column and went to two pages over the normal one.

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