Three outcomes can be gathered from this: that GM engineers are insane, wizards, or that the mid-engine 'Vette is here.
Two new pieces of information have emerged from the recesses of Reddit confirming that yes, General Motors is planning on committing ultimate sacrilege for the upcoming 2018 Chevrolet Corvette. Actually, it’s just one piece of information in the form of a document detailing a huge shift in engine design philosophy for the Corvette that helps us get a bit closer to confirming the second rumor. That would be Chevy’s biggest worst-kept secret: that the 2018 Corvette will be offered with an engine placed squarely in its midsection.
It all boils down to a few numbers and letters in a document on GM’s service website detailing passenger car engines for GM’s 2018 models. What we’re concerned with is the last row on page five, which mentions an engine called the LT5 with a book code of Y, GM’s internal designation for the Corvette model line. The LT5 row reads, “ENGINE GAS 8 CYL, 6.2L, SIDI, DOHC, VVT, ALUM, GM.” If the engine really is to go into the 2018 Corvette, it signifies a huge shift for the sports car because of the letters DOHC, or Dual Overhead Cam. A Corvette signature has been the pushrod V8, which makes its exhaust note sound like a muffled pop, delivers torque at low RPMs, and struggles to reach high revs or change speeds rapidly.
By switching to an overhead cam, the new Corvette will have a higher redline, change RPMs faster, and be a tad bit heavier. Interestingly enough, the only other time GM has used the engine code LT5 is in the 1990-1995 ZR1, which was the only other Corvette to ditch the pushrods in favor of overhead cams. The lack of mention of forced induction is a bit of a head scratcher because if the LT5 goes into the upcoming ZR1 as it’s expected to, then GM engineers will have to work some form of magic to find a way to out-power the current Z06’s 650 horsepower unit. This is unlikely given that GM engineers only have 6.2-liters to work with.
The only workaround, as mentioned by The Drive, would be that Chevy is planning to debut the mid-engined Corvette under the ZR1 moniker. This would make sense given that the ZR1 is supposed to be the track-focused option, but racetracks are something that the Z06 handles just fine. The only way GM would feasibly be able to squeeze significantly better lap times out of the Corvette would be to shift its engine to the center of the car, and with a lower weight and greater emphasis on handling, more horsepower wouldn't be needed. The mid-engine Corvette is the rumor that will never die, and we hope it never does but instead leaves purgatory and comes to life to kill the Ford GT’s monopoly on the American supercar.