Forty years after the first plans laid out by Zora Arkus-Duntov, the Corvette will launch with a mid-engine layout, fulfilling the legendary engineer’s dream.
But why did it take GM so long to bring the mid-ship Corvette to the market? There are many causes, but upper management and conservative Corvette buyers are the most important.
Hagerty talked to three former Corvette engineers, Dave McLellan, Dave Hill and Tom Wallace, and they all agreed those were the main reasons. So if GM corporate management wasn’t on board with the idea and the customers were deemed too traditionalist for such a radical transformation, what changed now?
Well, it all comes to the financial part, as always. Market conditions now offer GM something new: the chance to build a mid-engined Corvette and price it accordingly. The consensus between the three engineers is that the C8 Corvette will carry a relatively high price tag — certainly higher than what Vette customers are accustomed to.
They are skeptical that GM will manage to offer the C8 Corvette with a starting MSRP of $70,000 and believe a base mid-engine Vette will cost anywhere between $70,000 and $100,000. For reference, the C7 Corvette Stingray now starts at $56,445, and the high-performance Z06 kicks off at $80,445. And let’s not even bring up the ZR1 and its $121,000 MSRP.
So while the C8 generation won’t be cheap, the engineers agree it will still be a value proposition as well as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for the brand. They also believe continuing C7 production after C8’s introduction makes the most sense.
We’re sure you’re as excited as Dave McLellan, Dave Hill and Tom Wallace about the 2020 Corvette C8. We know you’re anxious to see it in the metal, so here are some fresh renderings to sweeten the wait. The ones showing the exterior design are from Corvette Forum, while the interior CGIs come from Corvette Blogger.
The exterior renderings are obviously inspired by spied C8 Corvette prototypes while the interior images are purely speculative. They are based on a sketch from a user called ZERV02 who claims to have seen the C8’s interior. The mid-engine Corvette, which could also carry the Zora name, is likely to debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.