The feature would have been a huge nod to the 1963 Corvette Stingray.
There's little doubt the GM designers that worked on the C8 Corvette cast out a lot of ideas, and some were thought through more than others before being tossed away. According to Muscle Cars And Trucks following an interview with Chevrolet Performance Exterior Design Director, Tom Peters, the idea of giving the new Corvette a split rear window design in homage to the classic design cue of the 1963 Corvette was seriously considered.
"We looked at a (split window)… it was too literal… and however way we did it, it came across as forced," said Peters in the interview.
However, the design team did manage to get a wink at the 1963 design into the final design of the C8 Corvette.
"Because the '63 is so powerful, is there a way to represent that split window theme in a modern way? We tried to emulate the theme in the rear, and if you look, you can see a theme come through the roof… the glass aims and breaks subtly, and that lines up with the top of the motor," Peters says, "And that lines up with the Stingray emblem. So your eye connects the dots and it's kind of a thematic element to the split window."
The redesigned 1963 Corvette was the only model year with the split rear window, and it disappeared quickly mainly due to cost. However, the man that shaped the Corvette into a performance car, Zora Arkus-Duntov, despised the window design and almost went to war with GM's design chief Bill Mitchell over it. Duntov hated the way it restricted visibility, along with the long hood. On top of that, and to Duntov's satisfaction, many 1963 Corvette owners went as far as removing the split window and replacing it with a solid piece of glass.
That makes it a curious detail considering that it was at around this time Duntov and other GM engineers locked onto the idea of a mid-engined Corvette. There's no doubt that if Duntov was around to see the mid-engine Corvette finally become a reality, he would have despised even the thought of it having a split rear window.
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