It’s been a while since we last heard about alleged plans for a mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette.
A test mule for what appeared to be a mid-engine model of some sort was spotted at a General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] proving ground in early 2015.
Since then the rumor mill has been quiet but Car and Driver has managed to dig up a few new details from one of its sources.
Contrary to previous claims, also from Car and Driver, that the new Corvette, a C8 to all the fans, would bow in mid-engine guise in 2017 initially in high-performance ZR1 trim, the popular publication now reports the new Corvette will debut in 2018, at that year’s Detroit Auto Show. And instead of ZR1 trim the car is said to be initially arriving in base trim.
The base model is said to once again be adopting one of GM’s pushrod V-8s, with output hovering between 450 and 500 horsepower. More extreme versions, like a ZR1 or something similar, will eventually follow. Engines with dual overhead camshafts and even hybrid technology are possibilities.
One crucial difference will be price. While the base version of the current Corvette starts below $ 60k, the new price of entry is said to be rising to approximately $ 80k. The higher price can be justified by the more exotic layout, plus it provides a nice buffer with the Camaro, which since the arrival of the sixth-generation model has been closing in on its big bro in both performance and pricing.
The change will also help the new Corvette become a semi-exotic halo model for Chevrolet worldwide, similar to what the GT-R is for Nissan and the NSX is to Acura and Honda.
If accurate, it means the current C7 Corvette will likely be the last generation with a front-mounted engine. To send it off with a bang, it’s reported GM will introduce a model above the current Z06 at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.