A former engineer responsible for the ride and handling of the Chevrolet Corvette lineup has expressed his concerns about the upcoming C8 mid-engine model in an Overcrest podcast.
Jim Mero worked for General Motors for no less than 34 years and joined the Corvette team in 2004. He was tasked with tuning the driving characteristics of the C6-generation Corvette Z06 and went on to play a pivotal role in the development of all future ‘Vettes from that moment onward.
During the interview, Mero said he was on the team tasked with defining the goals of the new C8 Corvette. He asserts that the team rented out a series of vehicles including an Audi R8, Ferrari 458 Italia, Acura NSX, and a pair of Porsches to evaluate mid-engine supercars. The car manufacturer also brought along a C7 Z06 and a Z51 Stingray to see how they would shape up against the European and Japanese competition.
Mero states that the two ‘Vettes “smoked” the other cars brought to the test by the brand’s engineers and told others that the mid-engine supercars were nothing to “aspire” to and that the C7 was actually better. However, executives from GM were reportedly won over by how well the mid-engine alternatives drove at speeds below their performance limits while also preferring the driving position and the excellent visibility provided by such cars.
Despite all the positive points made, Mero said “I worry about the mid-engine.”
It’s no secret that the C7 Corvette represented a significant dynamic leap forward over the C6-generation model and Mero seems to have fears that the C8 likely won’t be much better than the C7. He cites the perfect 50/50 weight distribution of the C7 as one reason why it handles so well and says that the rear-biased weight distribution of the C8 will upset the vehicle’s balance and likely make it prone to understeer.