C8 Corvette To Be Mid-Engined, Debut At 2018 NAIAS

General Motors really has decided to consign a 63-year old tradition to history books and start anew for the next iteration of its icon.

Rumors have been circulating for longer than we can remember, but the latest Car and Driver report insists that the eighth generation of the Corvette will be mid-engined.

The publication had nabbed a crude test mule as early as January 2015. Now it cites an “impeccable source” and is certain that, come January 2018, the engine will be moved right behind the passengers’ cell, ending six decades of a front-engined, read-wheel drive layout.

At first, it’s supposed to be powered by a version of today’s pushrod V8 with an output of 450-500 HP. A year later, Chevrolet will go all high-tech on us with a brand new four-cam V8 and, in 2020, will launch the hybrid E-Ray, with the electric motors powering the front axle and providing all-wheel drive.

According to the report, GM’s fleet includes two Ferrari 458 Italias, two Porsche 911 Turbos, a Nissan GT-R and a BMW i8, which could be some of the competitors the C8 is benchmarked against.

The Stingray won’t go out with a whimper but rather a bang, for an even more powerful variant than the mega Z06, that may or may not be named the ZR1, will be launched at the 2017 NAIAS.

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  • Six_Tymes

    Cant wait to see both.

  • isn’t still a recent ar?

  • Grumpy

    That might also increase the price significantly.

  • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

    Blah, blah, something something mid-engine, something something AWD. Every effin’ year this same damn rumour comes around and it’s always proven wrong.

    • donald seymour

      It’s okay, it’s okay. I’ve been there before. Since I was a lad I heard these strange mysteries. And they always made my heart pound. But after lies upon more lies I, like you, began to feel defeated. So, I just learn to walk away……. But I still want to believe it though.

    • Shobin Drogan

      I wouldn’t mind seeing a mid engined better tho. Btw httyd ftw

  • smartacus

    ha! i knew it! They’re going after the FORD GT and giving the front-engined Camaro the big 7.0 V8

  • ejd1984

    The more I think about all of this, the more I can see the overall logic.

    1. A mid-engine awd Corvette with super car performance for $80k will be beyond a bargain. Also, when you have GM customers purchasing Escalades for 75-85K+, there will be a substantial market.

    2. The Camaro are getting near the current Corvette’s price point. I can see the Camaro slotting into that segment.

    3. This would finally leave room below for a Code 130r type of vehicle.
    *The Cadillac sub-ATS rwd car may need a platform mate to be financially viable.

    • Status

      If Acura is selling the NSX for $150K, and Ford will sell the GT for $400K, what makes you think a mid-engine C8 will sticker for $80K? Surely, in that kind of range of cars where a mid-engine C8 will be compared to, it won’t be had for anything less than $120K. You can already spec special track model Z06’s up to that amount, so it’s not like you’re going to scare anyone who wants that kind of performance from a sports car at that price point.

      • MarketAndChurch

        I think it’ll still be under 90k. A top of the line Camaro stickers to 80k. One of the biggest selling points of the Corvette is that it’s every man’s sportscar. Just because its mid-engined doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. The development of it will be, of course, but most of that are upfront costs that – hopefully – will pay itself off as you move into the second generation of the vehicle.

        The Ford is a limited-run crazy design clothed in carbon fiber with a 600hp+ coming from a tiny tiny engine, so that justifies its price. A pure tour de force of the very best engineering Ford has to offer. The NSX is over-priced, but maybe that’s simply from the perspective of the consumer(which at the end of the day is what matters). Maybe the ultra rational “sensible” people over at Honda won’t accept a loss on that car.

        But I think the C8 will be under 90k, even if you can spec it all the way past 180k(twice the car), which I expect one to be able to, especially on the electric E-Ray. It’s not that people can’t afford a 120k Corvette, or that people wouldn’t want to pocket up for a 911 GT3 RS slayer. I think it’s more of an issue of principle, in keeping true to the ‘Vette’s reputation of being a car anyone can own.

      • ejd1984

        I was just using the price baseline from the Car and Driver article.

        • Status

          My bad. Sorry.

  • Neo Beyo

    rear read drive?

  • Craig

    BIG MISTAKE! Build the car – but call it something else and continue with the Corvette as tradition dictates.

    • CarCzarDesigner

      I think Chevrolet should include a Mid-engine Corvette to its model line up. But, it is a little hard to argue that Chevrolet is breaking tradition, when they have created a handful of Mid-engine Concepts & prototypes going back to the seventies. Many of those Concepts where introduced to the American public at significant Car Shows, as a preview of what’s coming. Lots of enthusiasts begged GM to build it. Now, the time is finally here.

      If Chevrolet only builds a Mid-engine model, I do expect there will be a group of Corvette aficionados that will complain, initially. But, once it becomes a reality and 2nd hand cars make their way to the market, making them more affordable, those complaints will go away.

      • Craig

        But how many people would even be aware of those concepts? Very few. And really – as far as I am concerned – the only cars that matter are the ones that have actually been available to the public. The Corvette becoming a mid-engine car would be like the 911 becoming a front-engine car. Neither one would STILL be a Corvette OR a 911.

        • CarCzarDesigner

          Actually Craig, a lot of people would be aware of those Concepts and prototypes. Anyone who is a Sports Car (Racing – Prototype/GT/ LeMans/ IMSA, Indy Car….), automotive enthusiast and follows current events, or has an interest in what new models are coming forward by the car companies (as in this site)…would know.

          Many of these Concepts were quite extraordinary and the fact Chevrolet was considering a Mid-engine configuration for the Corvette would be considered news worthy! Many Auto magazines, not just the majors carried the story, if not the WSJ, The New York Times, local newspapers and Trade publications related/ associated with Automobiles. So the fact, this comes as something as a surprise to you, is rather surprising itself!

          I doubt you could go to any Corvette car club meeting (where they exist) and find someone who wasn’t aware that GM has been planning building a Mid-engine model. If so, they either choose to be uninformed & ignorant by their nature & lifestyle or they rarely visit a dentist or doctors office, where editions of Car&Driver and Motor Trend where such Concepts are splashed on the Cover are easily found!

          In your comparison of a Corvette being like a 911 with a front mounted engine…not being true to form, consider Porsche did make the 924/944 & 928 models which were quite stunning and successful. The truth is, this is old news! As the Corvette goes forward and evolves, a Mid-engine model is the next logical step. Especially when GM needs to take the Corvette to the next level and be competitive with its peers. So, I strongly disagree it is out of character for the model.

          No worries! You can still find a classic Corvette at the local auctions, on E-bay or in local paper as there are lots of them around. The Corvette world will not come to an end just because GM is building a vastly superior Mid-engine GT.

          • Craig

            Prepare yourself for a shock. I do not agree.

  • Ken Lyns

    So they are moving upmarket… Ford GT pricing without the limited production.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Belief available upon sight.

  • Kash

    I doubt it’ll JUST be a mid engine car. Some time ago there was a report that said they’d do a front engine and mid engine version of the next vette. the mid engine version would be a limited production car like the Ford GT, Ferrari 458, etc. While the front engine car would remain true to the vette heritage and fashion. I find that more believable than the vette being simply a mid engine car because GM is all about heritage. I have no doubts they’ll do a mid engine vette, but not as the only style.

  • AT

    lol- “American “Performance””

  • Blanka Li

    Oh look, I just woke up and it’s the 1970’s all over again.

  • Donald Ducko

    RIP Corvette. A mid engine car is not a corvette. It will be something, but it won’t be a Corvette.

    I stopped being a fan of course after the GM bailout so pfft. I don’t care either way.

    • Bob White

      You most likely can’t afford one anyways. Get over it. All countries around the world bailed out their auto industries during the financial crisis and that includes Japan, Germany, France, England… Enjoy your Kia.

    • gary4205

      Zora Arkus-Duntov, the father of the performance Corvette wanted a rear motor car back in the 1960’s! In fact, GM has trademarked “Duntov” leading many to believe this contraption will be separate from actual Corvettes.

  • Hoozyadatty

    If GM was smart (which most of the time they’re not) they would grow the Corvette brand by building both the current format, and a mid-engine premium variant.

  • Shobin Drogan

    This is going to be very exciting

  • john1168

    I still hope they will build the C7 (maybe call the improved version a C7.5) along side the C8. The C8 should be pretty awesome when they get the quad cam engine completed for it.

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