• Aug 22, 2007
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.


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  • 39 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I hope everyone realizes that the car pictured is a 1990 concept car, the CERV III.

      http://www.supercars.net/cars/316.html
      • 7 Years Ago
      Peter De Lorenzo. The LAST person you should go to for future product information.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "i think it would be horrible if they switched the Corvette to a mid-engine layout. It would ruin everything the Corevette is tradionally about."

      To hell with tradition - it's just another word for "rut" in my opinion. Same way with Porsche stubbornly clinging to the ass-engined 911 layout - scrap it! It was good on the original, now it's time to evolve!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Great. And time to go to efficient DOHC engines. What a combination- torque and revs. And no driveshaft. Or buggy whip.
        • 7 Years Ago
        In addition to being the only car with 500+ hp to avoid the "gas guzzler" due to its fuel efficiency, the LS7 revs to 7000.

        At least know something about the things you choose to make fun of or you make yourself look like an mindless idiot.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Scott, please refrain from personal attacks. It's immature and doesn't elevate the discussion. And, your grandma's Avalon can do 7 grand all day. I really want to see GM move ahead from 1955. They've done it with the new 3.6 V6, which is pretty competitive with others its size, not bad for its first year.
        • 7 Years Ago
        spencer - reason why M5 fuel economy sucks is its a 4 dr sedan (i.e. 800 lbs heavier), and btw it revs to 8250 stock, 8400 modded and 14K in engine testing. Z06 still is as impressive an engine as anything made (smaller package and lighter than the "technologically superior" BMW V10)
        • 7 Years Ago
        According to fueleconomy.gov:

        2007 Corvette 7.0L Six Speed: 14 City, 24 Highway, 18 Combined

        2007 Honda S2000 18 City 24, 24 Highway, 20 Combined

        Sure it's not AS good but the Corvette's engine is almost 3x the size of the Honda's and the car weighs more. Complex and heavier dohc engines aren't always better.

        A BMW M5 manual only gets 13 combined. Real efficient.
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ferrari is using the same engine layout, the front mid, (and general body shape, oh and don't forget suspension) in their very own flagship the 599GTB. While the F430 is it's little bro in every way. Now you can't tell me Ferrari is holding the F430 back so it doesn't overtake the flagship front mounted V12 car.
      But as for the Vette keep it mid-front and maybe give Cadillac the Cien a rear-mid layout with much in common except for engine placement and design. We know the current Vette can be cobbled into a mid engine design just look at Jay Leno's EcoJet.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Give it to Pontiac and call it Fiero.
        • 7 Years Ago
        OR! "Firebird."

        BOOYAH!
      • 7 Years Ago
      While I love the idea of a mid-engined Corvette, It would be a true supercar if they do it the way I know they can given their recent history of building very capable cars, I think it would be best to build it and sell somewhere above the front engined model.

      Maybe 2 versions of the Corvette? One Mid-engined, one Front Engined? hmmmmmmmm it would be interesting.

        • 7 Years Ago
        yeah, I was thinking that as well. They might release it that way to ease the buyers into it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow the supercar market is getting flooded.
      In twenty years time the not so elite are going to be faced with some awesome choices.
      This possible mid-engined Vette... My only question is why call it a Vette?
      It's like the Lumina Car and the Lumina APV.
      One name two very different vechicles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      There have been predictions of a mid-engined 'Vette since at least the early 1970s. None have been correct yet, but a few interesting concepts like the CERV III pictured certainly show that it could be done. It could ALWAYS be done, but SHOULD it be done? I dare say the answer to that question is a resounding "NO!"

      Too many people prefer the Corvette the way it was, the way it is, and the way it just plain oughta be. I just don't think the true Corvette faithful would have it any other way.

      The weight distribution of the current model is superb, and I wouldn't change a thing as far as the layout goes. The driving dynamics are damn near perfect as it is. About the only thing I'd change would be the styling, and not by much. I guess I just prefer the hidden-headlight look.

      But I digress.

      De Lorenzo, like so many times before, is just wrong. His "impeccable sources" are feeding him information that is impeccably misleading. Do you honestly think anyone's going to come out (even covertly) and tell the world what the C7 is going to be like until the time comes? Get real!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sounds great. Did Moesler help them out?

      Don't drop the regular one, please.
      • 7 Years Ago
      No need to introduce a mid engine Vette.
      The current LS3 Z51 is faster than the 911 S, R8.
      The z06 is a 7.42 on the ring and faster than the F430 and 997 911 Turbo.
      I doubt a mid engine layout will change things.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Not necessarily true. Even with a front biased mid engine layout the Corvette acheives 50-50 wt distribution.
        That said a rear ward bias would be superior.
        I'm not questioning that a mid engine layout is superior. My question is based on the need. The existing Z06 and LS3 C6 are world champions. The shortcoming are in steering feel and interiors, which are being rectified.
        Also, the 997 Porsche's (GT3/Turbo) have sticky ties.
        If they address 1)steering feel (already done in LS3), 2) interior 3)tires the Corvettes will outclass most mid engine supercars (as they do now), except for more convincingly.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ignorant statement. A mid-engine layout balances weight distribution or biases it towards the rear for more traction whilst acceleration. The balanced or rear-biased weight distribution also improves handling.

        There is a reason that almost all supercars (McLaren F1 excluded) are mid-engined, and it's not just for looks. There is a reason that Le Mans Prototypes are mid engined, same with F1 cars.

        If Chevy can build a mid-engined Corvette with 500hp for around $80k they will rock Porsche's world.
          • 7 Years Ago
          Spoken like a true millionaire. Look, if gm wants a supercar, make it a cadillac. A Corvette has to be a car the average guy can buy, and every year we get further and further from that. $75k for a z06 is a lot of dough. I should be able to get a basic coupe in the mid 40's a convertible in the low 50s, and the top of the line just under 60k. the whole idea behind the corvette is that it is pure American Muscle that not only outperforms foreign sports cars, but costs a fraction of the price.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The 997 turbo does it in 7:40.
        • 7 Years Ago
        True. But that boils down to the tires. The Z06 sports the worst Eagle F1 crap.
        Put 997 911 GT3 tires on it and 2 seconds is nothing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I agree don't drop the regular one, but this has me thinking, anyone remember the Cadillac Cien from a few years ago? do you think it could have been more than just a concept for a caddy? I dunno, i'm thinking way out in left field. A mid engined Vette would bring in a whole new owner group I think..

        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree this approacjh 100%. They're 2/3s of the way there with the Cien. That V12 DI lump that they talking about not so long ago. Would also help. GM/Cadillac here is your flagship.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Anyone remember the Corvair? That was mid-engine and it was nice "

        No it wasn't. It was rear engine mounted and GM killed it when they introduced the Acadian & Chevy II Nova. Nader just made GM spend the extra $10 to make them safer.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Anyone remember the Corvair? That was mid-engine and it was nice until Nader killed it. If GM does make a this I'd rather have them call it a Corvair, damn the negative history.
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