All the way back in January, veteran automotive journalist Peter De Lorenzo alerted us to the possibility that the next-generation C7 Corvette may arrive with a low-volume, expensive mid-engine counterpart. We haven't heard much about the rumor since then, but this week De Lorenzo reveals in his editorial that not only is it alive, but that GM is seriously considering dropping the front-engine/RWD drive layout of the car and switching it entirely to a mid-engine set up.
Citing only "impeccable" sources, De Lorenzo says that keeping the Corvette relatively inexpensive was the major obstacle for moving to a mid-engine layout. Supposedly Corvette engineers have found a way to produce a mid-engine Vette while keeping the cost reasonable, about around the price for a fully loaded Corvette Convertible today. Who knows how they've done it, but since Corvette faithful within General Motors would not allow the car's price to swell, the achievement was a must for the mid-engine project to move forward.
[Source: Autoextremist via Jalopnik]
De Lorenzo also makes the point that GM has never capitalized on the Corvette being the company's technological halo-car, but that a mid-engine car would do just that. Further, the current Corvette has no peer in racing, not in the ALMS GT1 class or at Le Mans. De Lorenzo suspects GM brass are seriously considering the opportunity to win it all in Le Mans with a Corvette Racing prototype car. Such a win would be the first for a domestic in a very, very long times (think Ford forty years ago).
A mid-engine Corvette could certainly happen, and all of De Lorenzo's arguments appear well reasoned, but we've heard no word of this being considered outside of the intelligible ramblings on Autoextremist. That doesn't mean it's all false, though.