• Aug 11, 2010
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Concept – Click above for a new high-res image gallery

Karl Stracke, General Motors VP of global engineering, has unequivocally denied the recent rumors about a mid-engine version of the next-generation Corvette with a wet-dual-clutch transmission. Stracke spoke with editors at Automotive News and Autoweek and addressed the latest batch of rumors. For decades, speculation about what will be done with a next-generation Corvette invariably pops up almost immediately after a new model is introduced.

For example, a mid-engined Corvette has reportedly been on the cards since at least the mid-60s, thanks in part to a string of concept and experimental models of that configuration. The last Corvette-badged mid-engine concept was the 1990 CERV-III, but that hasn't stopped the speculation – especially in recent years as the Corvette has gained increased respect among the ranks of high-end sports cars. According to Stracke, "There is no mid-engine in the plans."

The same goes for a the story revealed by a Saab engineer about development of a wet DCT. Automakers are increasingly moving away from wet-clutch gearboxes to dry-clutch units because they are less expensive and more efficient. While Stracke shoots down the wet DCT, no mention is made of a dry-clutch unit... if Chevrolet follows Ferrari and Porsche down the dual-clutch path, that is almost certainly the type we will see.

Stracke also put the kibosh on a V6 Corvette. GM has already announced a direct injected small-block V8 is coming soon for its full-size pickup trucks and the Corvette will no doubt follow. Stracke did acknowledge that a hybrid is a possibility for the sports car and since competitors are going that way it wouldn't be out of place.

That said, we want to know what you think – What should power the next Corvette? Click past the break to vote in our informal poll.

[Source: AutoWeek]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Front-engine, RWD, big powerful V8. Corvette is about the complete experience, and that includes the growl of a V8 - not a 6.
        • 4 Years Ago
        sure v8's got great sound. But if you spend some time tuning a v6, it can sound nice. Heck, I think the v6 in the Honda Ridgeline sounds nicer than the Challenger.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am relatively young compared to the Corvette, but has the Vette ever came in anything different from a V8 in the front powering the rear wheels?

      If Chevy wants to start playing with hybrid or electric sports cars, PLEASE for the love of the name and the collectors of the classics, don't call it a Chevy Corvette. There is so much history behind this car, it would be a shame to see anything less then what it stood for.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have been so sick and tired of V6, mid-engined, blah blah blah speculation about the C7 I was ready to puke. I'm glad we can put some of this ridiculous speculation to rest. The "future" as the government would like it fed to us may be inevitable, but if there is even one brain cell to share amongst their management, GM had better spare the Corvette from any nonsense for as long as possible.

      Porsche fans weren't exactly jazzed about water-cooling, and they're a pretty rational lot. But Corvette guys? Put a turbo six behind the seats of their burly front-engined V8 beast and I won't be surprised if people get shot. There are more than enough grocery-getters in the General's lineup to even out those CAFE numbers. Why go fiddling with your flagship?
      • 4 Years Ago
      From a technical stand point, isn't the current corvette a mid engined car? The engine sits behind the centerline of the front wheels. The engine isn't behind the driver, but that doesn't mean it isn't already mid engined. As mid engined simply means the engine is in between the wheel centerlines.

      With that said, I think the engine needs to stay in front of the driver. Changing it would really mess with the last 50 years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Technically, many high performance cars are mid-engined, but when mid-engined is said, it usually refers to the engine sitting behind the passenger compartment.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The engine IS behind the front axle, has been since the c4.

        This is GM just saying "Hey, someone who is an engineer, and smarter than you said something that is correct. Most people are stupid, and don't know what the terms they are saying actually mean, and throw a hissy fit out, so don't say that it will be mid engined, even though it will be just like its last 3 predecessors. When you say mid-engined, people who don't know any better assume its rear engined, even though it clearly means what it says, "Middle" or "between the wheels" Just say its "Front engine", Obama is telling us what to do, and he told us that even if its true, if it sounds bad, don't say it or tell people about it. Also don't say leaf spring anymore. Just say rear spring. Sounds bad to people and the internet. They hear leaf spring, they think truck, even though they have absolutely no location, load distributing, locating characteristics, or pros/cons in common.

        I really can't believe the current Automotive Journalism writers really even let this be a story, its pathetic. Makes me question anything I'm reading when bored surfing this website.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No one bothers to try to make that argument except for S2000 owners.

        Anyway, I don't think the Corvette engine actually is behind the centerline of the front wheels is it?

        Not that it is particularly hurt by its current configuration. It's a front-engined, RWD car. And a good one. Nothing wrong with that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      carbon fibre/composite structure, 4 inwheel motors , small batterypac, microturbine generator
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe just direct injection, variable valvetrain, a decent transmission, and dual overhead cams.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, but a modern DOHC would be effing amazing. It wouldn't sound the same, but it would perform better.

        You could put a bump in the hood. Hood bumps look aggressive anyway.

        Hell, the car could run with a smaller displacement to make up for the height. A 5.0L motor would produce the same power or even more.

        BMW manages to get Corvette power out of a 4.0L v8. GM can do that ( and more ) with a 5.0 v8.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Bumps in the hood don't help with the high center of gravity of an overhead cam engine.

        If you can get it done with a smaller, lighter, cheaper, shorter pushrod engine, I don't see a reason to add overhead cams just to try to please a bunch of people who won't be pleased anyway. They'll just switch to complaining about the springs, the bumper caps, the dashboard and if all that fails they'll just say the engine is in the wrong spot or the doors don't open upwards or something.

        Haters gotta hate. There's no point in going far afield and messing with the car to try to please them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You had me until decent transmission and dual overhead cams. The transmissions are the right up near the top of good manual transmissions that can take the kind of power even a base corvette puts out, and OHC would inflate the height of the engine and necessitate a taller engine bay which would cause the whole car to swell in size.
      • 4 Years Ago
      And no V6 twin-turbo.I wish.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wha wha wha whaaaaat? No mid-engined twin turbo diesel rotary hybrid Vette? Considering me flabbergasted.

      GM is putting it to the rest of the World with "archaic" pushrod motors, and pushrod motors with 100yr old supercharger designs. A LS3 Corvette that had all the R&D put into making it 300lb lighter would do wonders for it. Oh yeah, and a new interior.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I plan to beg borrow or steal, but get a corvette when I graduate....... But not a V6 or a Hybrid.... That is just sacrilegious.... before you start screaming about the imbecile that i am let me explain.

      Somethings are more than just 0-60 time or a fast Nürburgring lap time. Its about a lazy engine that lets you waft on a winding road when you are not pushing it. or mellifluous exhaust note of a V8 that greets you when you put the foot down . If the corvette was designed by a machine without emotions, it would have a small turbo'ed 6cyl or a small high revving v8. Fabulous machines in their own right...but not the same is it?.

      The way id like it. Big front-mid mounted engine. A large V8. rear trans axle. Low weight. But yes.. could do with new interior......
      • 4 Years Ago
      @ Sea Urchin
      "People are giving too much weight to MBA, as i wrote before many times, George W. Bush and Rick Wagoner both have MBAs, both form Harvard. Who is a bigger moron is a matter of a debate..."

      Fact Check! Neither George W. Bush nor Rick Wagoner are Harvard graduates. Bush went to Yale where he was a member of the Skull and Bones secret society and Wagoner is from Duke, which is why the Corvette ZR-1 prototype was blue. The ZR1 project was developed as Project Blue Devil in honor of Wagoner's alma mater.

      Are they both elitist yuppie types? Probably. But Harvard grads? Not quite. What's the difference? Um.....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well I'll be a Yellow Journalist! I stand corrected.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, George W Bush graduated from Yale in 1968 and then went on to Harvard Business School in 1973 and graduated in 1975 with an MBA.

        Rick Wagoner attended Duke and graduated in 1975 and then went on to Harvard Business School and graduated with an MBA in 1977.

        So, if you are going to make yourself look intelligent, get your facts straight!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Double Fast Check!
        Sea Urchin was focusing on that they both received MBAs from Harvard business school, not where they received their undergraduate degrees at.
      • 4 Years Ago

      You ask, "So how would a mid-engine (behind the driver) and AWD solve that problem?" Well, it's simple physics. Let's look at the case of off the line acceleration.
      F=M*A Force = Mass * Acceleration
      A=F / M

      Therefore you can increase acceleration by increasing force or decreasing mass. The force in this case is the friction between the rubber tires and the asphault. This force is limited by the weight on the driven wheels and the static friction coefficient (Cf) of the tires as follows:
      F = Cf * Fv

      Here is the tricky part. Fv is the vertical force that the road imposes only on the tires being driven. Let the total weight of the car be "W". On a car with AWD, this Fv is the entire weight of the car or Fv=W. This absolutely maximizes F (and yes, decreases fuel ecomomy).
      F = Cf * 1.0 * W

      On the front engine RWD Corvette with about 50/50 static weight distribution, Fv is much less. Under hard acceleration more force is shifted to the rear wheels so the effective weight distribtion is probably more like 35/65. Therefore FV = 0.65 * W. Therefore, acceleration for the current Corvette is:
      A = Cf * 0.65 * W

      If the engine is moved to the rear, the static weight distribution would be more like 35/65 whereas the effective distribution under hard acceleration might be more like 20/80. Accelartion in the case of a mid engine Corvette would be:
      A = Cf * 0.8 * W
      This is a 23% improvement.

      There are other benefits to mid engine. Many claim it handles better. Also, bodies shaped around a mid-engine architecture tend to create mopre aerodynamic downforce. A mid engine car eliminates the weight of the driveshaft. One significant disadvantage, though, to a mid-engine is in chasis weight. The chasis on a mid engine car must be more robust because in a frontal crash, the engine is behind the driver.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Forgot to divide by M (mass) on the last 2 acceleration equations.
        Should be:
        A = Cf * 0.65 * W / M for current Corvette
        A = Cf * 0.8 * W / M for mid-engine Corvette
      • 4 Years Ago
      Somehow i am sure "Performance and efficiency -- Hybrid for the win!" will get a total of 3 votes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm surprised how many it got.

        Being a hybrid is the farthest thing from what Corvette owners actually will want and buy!!
    • Load More Comments