Expect Corvette purists to go bonkers.
Over a year ago, we heard that Chevrolet is finally going to pull the trigger and build a mid-engine Corvette. Obviously nothing has been confirmed and I even asked the Corvette's chief engineer, Tadge Juechter, about this subject at Geneva last March. Of course he denied any knowledge, but today our colleagues at Car and Driver have managed to dig up additional information about the mid-engined C8. First off, it's happening. Second, it'll debut in production form at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.
Power will initially come from the C7 Stingray's 6.2-liter LT1 V8 with an output between 450-500 hp. Expect a base price of around (seriously?!) $80,000. The C7, meanwhile, will remain in production through 2017. So yes, the C7 and C8 will be built and sold together but only for a short time. In order to give the C7 and, not to mention, the traditional front-engined Corvette, a proper send off, C&D claims a new ultra high-performance edition will be unveiled, possibly to be called ZR1. Heading into 2019, the C8 will receive a new four-cam, 32-valve V8 that'll push its price tag above $100,000. In 2020, expect to see the hybrid E-Ray Corvette debut featuring electric front-wheel propulsion.
Don't be surprised if it's also called the Zora, named for Corvette godfather Zora Arkus-Duntov. We've also learned that Chevrolet is benchmarking the C8 against the likes of the Ferrari 458 Italia, Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 Turbo, and the BMW i8. So there it is. A mid-engined Corvette is clearly happening though Chevy sources continue to deny it. What are your thoughts?