• Dec 21, 2007
click above image for high-res gallery of the 2009 Corvette ZR1

The 2009 Corvette ZR1 has arrived, but speculation surrounding the next-generation C7 model and a possible mid-engine variant continue to persist. Bill Visnic from AutoObserver claims that the idea of a mid-engine Vette, either as a variant of the C7 or a replacement of the current front-engine model, is still being discussed by top engineers involved with developing the next iteration of Chevy's iconic sports car. The main argument against the idea of a mid-engine Vette remains the price tag, as costs would drive up the price to above $100,000. While the ZR1 is priming the public for the concept of a $100,000 Corvette, the current base model remains an affordable performance bargain for John Q. Public. If the Corvette switched to a mid-engine platform, the base price for the car itself would be well above $100,000. The other concern is how much a mid-engine Corvette would alienate the car's fan base, which helps drive sales that far exceed more prestigious sport cars in its class (more than 30,000 units so far this year).

While some have argued that a mid-engine layout for the next-gen model would demonstrate the technological prowess of GM's engineers, we'd argue that the ZR1 proves the current layout affords plenty of opportunity to show off the team's skills. Just read Sam's report on the new ZR1 and its LS9 motor and you'll know what we mean. Does anyone out there want a mid-engine Corvette, or is the Corvette team just bogged down by the thought of what it can do rather than what it should?

[Source: AutoObserver]



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  • 59 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yeah, I really want the Corvette to cost twice as much and be half as easy to drive.

      That drops the value to a quarter of what it is now. No thanks.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM has already built a mid-engine car for less than 20K- the Fiero. Obviously, a rear mid-engine car can be done rather cheaply. I have a feeling that the costs involved to compete with other traditional mid-engine supercars comes down to chassis construction. If you're dumping 125k into a supercar, it best be made of something other than recycled Novas (e.g. carbon, aluminum, or any thing other than chrome moly). Additionally, the C6 is already mid engined, it just happens to have the mid behind the front axle rather than in front of the rear axle. I do like the notion of a Cadillac super car though!
      • 7 Years Ago
      "'While the ZR1 is priming the public for the concept of a $100,000 Corvette, the current base model remains an affordable performance bargain for John Q. Public.'"

      You have a pretty skewed view of what the average person views as affordable. Here's a hint: Corvette's aren't on the list, period.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Very true. When I think of an affordable sports car from GM, I think of the Solstice at $22,000-$30,000. Not a corvette at $46,000-$54,000, never mind the Z06 and ZR-1. I'm better off than most and it's still tough to stomach ~$50,000 on a car, especially one as impractical as a vette.

        I guess when they say affordable, they mean one that an average person might be able to buy after 20 years of saving. Basically, a mid-life crisis car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love the idea of a mid-engined caddy based off the corvette. It would make the XLR different enough from the Corvette that it might actually sell. Plus under the caddy name it's easier for a lot of people to justify the price tag.

      With that said, there was already a mid-engined $150,000 sports car by an american manufacturer. It was called the Ford GT. Nice car, awesome looking, but it didn't sell exceptionately well. I doubt chevy's sales will be much better.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If GM changes corvette to mid engine layout, it will be expensive and "John Q Public" would gladly switch to much cheaper, technologically-advanced Nissan GT-R.

      For C7, I want GM to keep the proven pushrod engine. However, for C7 I want...

      - dual clutch transmission like the GT-R
      - advanced suspension like the GT-R
      - 4 wheel drive that is advanced as Nissan GT-R's ATTESSA ES
      - Improve OVERALL fit and finish of the interior like the Nissan GT-R
        • 7 Years Ago
        actually Ferrari didn't copy the magnetic shocks from gm, the shocks are a GM product.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Corvette suspension is very advanced. It was apparently good enough for Ferrari to copy the magnetically adjustable suspension from the Corvette for use on Ferrari's 599 GTB Fiorano.

        AWD is nice, but many many cars have shown that it's not strictly necessarily. Are you saying an F1 car isn't advanced because it doesn't have it? Or an Enzo?

        DSG would be nice, but it'd have to be optional.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If GM changes corvette to mid engine layout, it will be expensive and "John Q Public" would gladly switch to much cheaper, technologically-advanced Nissan GT-R.

      For C7, I want GM to keep the proven pushrod engine. However, for C7 I want...

      - dual clutch transmission like the GT-R
      - advanced suspension like the GT-R
      - 4 wheel drive that is advanced as Nissan GT-R's ATTESSA ES for infinite grip
      - Improve OVERALL fit and finish of the interior like the Nissan GT-R
      • 7 Years Ago
      'While the ZR1 is priming the public for the concept of a $100,000 Corvette, the current base model remains an affordable performance bargain for John Q. Public.'

      Having the two versions is what kills it all for me. I can't put $100000 on a car knowing theres a $50000 version being driven by mullet heads or mid life crisis family men who only drive it to bowling night.

      Take my 330Ci as an example, its not Vette but it has a level of cache associated with it which would not exist if BMW also sold the 320d with rollup windows and cloth interiors in the US.

      1 Vette only and make it a ZR1 or better.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "I'm talking about the image you create when you only sell the premium version in a market."

        Look I drive a 6 series. And, I'm thinking about giving it to my dad in favor of an Aston Martin. At least with an AM, you know you are well off, but you have nothing to prove. That's the problem with BMW owners, they get a little taste of money, and now they feel like they need to prove something to the world. As if there was something to prove?!

        Listen up. You don't create any image, and if your car had that effect on others, than those are the people to avoid. I feel sorry for you, and alot of BMW owners for buying into they hype.


        • 7 Years Ago
        It's 'cachet', smarty-pants. I bet even a lot of 320d drivers know that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I thought it already was mid engined. Isn't the bulk of the engine behind the front axle?
        • 7 Years Ago
        You are correct. It is classified as a front midship. Where as cars like th3 F430 and such are technically called rear midship
        • 7 Years Ago
        Not the same as a mid engine whatsoever.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I personally love the idea of a lightweight mid engined corvette.

      Build it GM :)
      • 7 Years Ago
      forget mid ship

      Follow the example of the Nissan GT-R sans turbos
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mid-engined would be great, but not at the price of a base model being $100K. I agree that Caddy is the way to go. In fact, just make the mid-engined Caddy, and as the costs of production go down, you can bring it to the Vette platform in the next, next version, once it has proven itself.

      Just stick the Cien styling right on it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If GM is serious about Pontiac being a performance brand, their mid-engined supercar should be the Pontiac Banshee.

      Give it a twin-turbo 7.2L V12 (based off the HF engine) and Torsen AWD, and it'll go head-to-head with any exotic.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The old Pontiac Banshee was beautiful.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think this might be the best idea.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Pontiac supercar, LOL never.
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