Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Drew Dowdell

Mid-Engine Corvette still being considered

23 posts in this topic



The 2009 Corvette ZR1 has arrived, but speculation surrounding the next-generation C7 model and a possible mid-engine variant continue to persist. Bill Visnic from AutoObserver claims that the idea of a mid-engine Vette, either as a variant of the C7 or a replacement of the current front-engine model, is still being discussed by top engineers involved with developing the next iteration of Chevy's iconic sports car. The main argument against the idea of a mid-engine Vette remains the price tag, as costs would drive up the price to above $100,000. While the ZR1 is priming the public for the concept of a $100,000 Corvette, the current base model remains an affordable performance bargain for John Q. Public. If the Corvette switched to a mid-engine platform, the base price for the car itself would be well above $100,000. The other concern is how much a mid-engine Corvette would alienate the car's fan base, which helps drive sales that far exceed more prestigious sport cars in its class (more than 30,000 units so far this year).

While some have argued that a mid-engine layout for the next-gen model would demonstrate the technological prowess of GM's engineers, we'd argue that the ZR1 proves the current layout affords plenty of opportunity to show off the team's skills. Just read Sam's report on the new ZR1 and its LS9 motor and you'll know what we mean. Does anyone out there want a mid-engine Corvette, or is the Corvette team just bogged down by the thought of what it can do rather than what it should?


Do we seriously have to read this every time there is a 'Vette announcement? I'm sure Lutz leans back in his chair once a week and thinks "I wonder if we should do a mid-engined Corvette.... I should have design look into that", them promptly forgets about it. So, yes, it's being considered.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This might add up as I just read that Chevy is looking into going into the prototype class in ALMS.

With the Daewoo Chevys in Europe, Chevy of Brazil and Holden Chevys in The middle east it would give them a reason to go big time racing.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, I don't see how making it mid-engine raises the price by $55k. And if it does, we aren't seeing a mid-engine Vette, at least not the base model.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why change the formula? It's what makes the Corvette a Corvette. Simplicity while killing the top of the herd.

Edited by ToniCipriani
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we ever see a mid-engine Corvette, you can count on two things.

1. The traditional configuration will continue as well.

2. There will be a platform mate at another GM division.

Otherwise, it won't happen.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope they never call mid-engined car a Corvette. Big motor, light weight and RWD make the Corvette a Corvette. The formula works and you can get into for well under 50 and have all the toys for 60 and go into a Z06 and ZR1 now if you wish. Why would they mess with that. They would be better putting there developement cash into a Chevelle, or Firebird or RWD Impala.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If we ever see a mid-engine Corvette, you can count on two things.

1. The traditional configuration will continue as well.

2. There will be a platform mate at another GM division.

Otherwise, it won't happen.

Hmmmm.... why not three?

1) Mid-engine Corvette

2) A new Buick Wildcat

General%20Motors%201985%20Buick%20Wildca

3) Cadillac Cien

Cadillac_Cien.jpg

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Wildcat might be a touch impractical, but it gets points for trying. Also, it's way out of Buick's market these days (I believe that concept is from 1986, when there were still hot Buicks to be had).

As for the Cien, that needs to exist in production form, and very soon. Give it a twin-turbo V12 and start talking smack to Bugatti. :ph34r:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Wildcat might be a touch impractical, but it gets points for trying. Also, it's way out of Buick's market these days (I believe that concept is from 1986, when there were still hot Buicks to be had).

As for the Cien, that needs to exist in production form, and very soon. Give it a twin-turbo V12 and start talking smack to Bugatti. :ph34r:

1985... Just 22/23 years ago. That's still within most of the current buyers' life time.

It's not really an honest suggestion, but the point is Buick has shown concepts like this before. Considering Buick's market status in China and Buick's repositioning in the US, an exclusive/limited halo vehicle on a shared premium platform wouldn't be such a bad idea if sold internationally.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If we ever see a mid-engine Corvette, you can count on two things.

1. The traditional configuration will continue as well.

2. There will be a platform mate at another GM division.

Otherwise, it won't happen.

Your on the money here.

I jsut don't see that much gained by going to Mid Engine. With car 50/50 blalanced there is only some aero thing you can pick up with a lower seating. On the other hand you will pick up more expense in repair and in most cases poorer visability.

I own a Mid Engine car now and driven many others and find other than the cool factor it is more highly over rated in a street car. Now if your going to Indy the package works wll.

I say just keep the Vette like it is. The Ford GT left little of a mark on the industry and cost Ford a lot of money for very little gain. I know they could have marketed better.

One thing to always remember is most Corvette owners carry the front engine as a badge of honor by being different.

I would rather see them make the car lighter as more performance is gained this way in all areas.

Edited by hyperv6
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Your on the money here.

I jsut don't see that much gained by going to Mid Engine. With car 50/50 blalanced there is only some aero thing you can pick up with a lower seating. On the other hand you will pick up more expense in repair and in most cases poorer visability.

I own a Mid Engine car now and driven many others and find other than the cool factor it is more highly over rated in a street car. Now if your going to Indy the package works wll.

I say just keep the Vette like it is. The Ford GT left little of a mark on the industry and cost Ford a lot of money for very little gain. I know they could have marketed better.

One thing to always remember is most Corvette owners carry the front engine as a badge of honor by being different.

I would rather see them make the car lighter as more performance is gained this way in all areas.

You can also save weight. There would be no need for a rear end. The transmission could be connected directly to the rear wheels. There would also be less drivetrain losses because there would be no rear end, and no drive shaft.

And how much lighter could they possibly make the current corvette? The ZR1 gained weight despite most of the car being made out of aluminum and carbon fibre.

Edited by CaddyXLR-V
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I thought the Corvette had a rear transaxle anyway.

It does.

The only advantage to going mid-engine with the Vette would be bragging rights and dubious marketing possibilities.

If I were making the decision, GM's mid-engine efforts would go elsewhere.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt they will do it. If they do it will not be called a Corvette it'd be a Cadillac Cien I am sure. A mid-engine car is fun to drive my friend had a turbo MR2 but not what GM needs now. They should stick the money else-where, hmmm anyone recall the now dead NSX?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It does.

The only advantage to going mid-engine with the Vette would be bragging rights and dubious marketing possibilities.

If I were making the decision, GM's mid-engine efforts would go elsewhere.

Cien?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I doubt they will do it. If they do it will not be called a Corvette it'd be a Cadillac Cien I am sure. A mid-engine car is fun to drive my friend had a turbo MR2 but not what GM needs now. They should stick the money else-where, hmmm anyone recall the now dead NSX?

Except now there are talks to bring back the dead car.... and honestly i always liked the NSX... with a V8 shoved in it. Handling wise it was at the top of it's class. But as for a mid-engine Corvette... just call it something else.... not Corvette not Cien... make a new car period that can be a super car all by itself.... the only issue with that is that (supposedly) the Corvette has always been faster than all other GM products. Except for those who know some underrated cars..... but thats up to GM. Either mess with a good thing or just make a new good thing.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can also save weight. There would be no need for a rear end. The transmission could be connected directly to the rear wheels. There would also be less drivetrain losses because there would be no rear end, and no drive shaft.

And how much lighter could they possibly make the current corvette? The ZR1 gained weight despite most of the car being made out of aluminum and carbon fibre.

Your splitting hairs on drivetrain loss of power. If this was a 90 HP car it might make a differance.

As for lighter we are not talking about the current car we are speaking of the C7. You make lighter by making it smaller. Less mass better performanc in all areas. Starting and stopping with better handling. Look to what lotus has done with car similar in size to the Vette.

I would love to see a Vette offered under 3,000 pounds even if it is a special order car less GPS, Cup holders and anything else that does not make it go.

A mid engine can be take more to the limit due to things like lower center of gravity but those limits are far beyond most drivers. Good example is the many Enzo and other exotic car crashes. Many do not understand drop throttle oversteer unless they have owned a 911 or Corvair. When the back kicks out as they let off the gas and are reluctant to hit the gas to pull it in. Even the brain of many good drivers just will not react that way as most nomal car will want more brake. I know they can better control this with stablility control today.

The bottom line is unless they are doing this for Caddy there is no need for the mid engine Vette. The money spent on this could do a lot more good elsewhere.

Just look at how much Ford pissed away on GT. They could use that cash on some real improvments like a Focus that is worth a crap.

I did think the GT was cool but you have to pay the bills firs before you play. And if you play make sure you can get better publicicty [they never raced it till it was out of production] and they only built it for a couple years till the laws killed it.

GM could do better spending this money to continue the improvemts already started on the Malibu and Bring us a Cobalt that will sell better and make money. Toyota is not beating GM with sports car but with lame Camrys. There is a time to play and a time to work GM still has some more work to do and already has a great sports car.

Edited by hyperv6
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I'm saying, is that the Corvette is reaching the limits of what can be done with a front engine rear wheel drive car. They are running out of "tricks" they can do to improve the performance of the Corvette. Oh well, who cares about improvement.

And yes, look at what Lotus can do, except, they are mid engine cars too.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All I'm saying, is that the Corvette is reaching the limits of what can be done with a front engine rear wheel drive car. They are running out of "tricks" they can do to improve the performance of the Corvette. Oh well, who cares about improvement.

And yes, look at what Lotus can do, except, they are mid engine cars too.

My point is it is a Corvette and is not a Bugatti of Ferrari. Is there a need for as $150,000-300,000 Chevy?

If I was going to spend that kind of money I would spend it on the real thing and get a new or used low milage 360 or 599 Ferrari. I love Vettes but if I had that kind of money it gives me so many better options.

Imagine Spending that much and taking your car to the local Chevy dealer. Some guy drops what he is doing on a old Astro van to work on you car while you drive away in a Aveo. That was the Ford GT's problem it was a cool car but not as exotic as the compitition.

The present ZR-1 I feel is at the top end limit for the Vette as a Chevy.

By the way all Lotus were not mid Engined. You forgot about the 50 and 60 when they built some of the lightest front engined race cars and street cars available.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
how about a mid engined car on the Kappa II platform with the HF 3.6 DI in the back?

I was thinking just a new set up on the Alpha which is part of the future Kappa. But for now we know too little of what we would have to work with.

Yet.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cien?

The Cien won't happen by itself, but the platform mate should not be a Chevy.

Once you make the Corvette mid-engined, it ceases to be a Corvette.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If we ever see a mid-engine Corvette, you can count on two things.

1. The traditional configuration will continue as well.

2. There will be a platform mate at another GM division.

Otherwise, it won't happen.

I don't buy it. The Corvette could very well be mid-engined only...and COULD be the only model on the platform. Here's why:

The Corvette is a niche model and could handle having a base, mid, and high-level trim offering on a mid-engined platform. Toyota, Fiat, and Pontiac all showed that you can offer a mid-engined vehicle to mainstream buyers. Fiat offered the same basic car for a decade and a half (sounds rather Corvette-like) and Toyota upgraded theirs on regular intervals and did well with them.

The shortcomings to the above examples are overcome with the Vette. Corvette has a ready-made following and they expect the car to be a sports car...front-engine/rear-drive isn't necessarily the core to that. Hidden headlights were part of the "traditional configuration" as well from 1963 until the C6...Convertibles were part of that configuration until 1975...and a unique platform was part of that "tradition" until the arrival of the XLR. The "configuration" of the Corvette evolves with the times.

A mid-engined Corvette COULD share its platform with the likes of a next-generation XLR or "Cien" or some other prestige model, but I don't think it's necessary. How much of the current Corvette is shared with any other GM vehicle? Aside from the basic platform which is shared with the XLR, the manual transaxle, engine, and most of the rest of the car are unique to the Corvette...why couldn't it switch to a mid-engined layout? I don't see any hold up.

And the idea that the Corvette would automatically cost more than $100k is insane. Look again at the current car's platform...what's shared with another GM product that keeps its costs so low now? Why couldn't a mid-engined model share just about the same number of parts as the current model does? And what would make the mid-engined model cost so much more? The car already has a unique (aside from the shared XLR) assembly plant...THREE dedicated engines...dedicated transmissions...and a dedicated platform. It's not like a mid-engined layout will add new parts or cost more to assemble or require exotic materials.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Who's Chatting

    There are no users currently in the chat room