Will the Chevy Corvette go mid-engine? It's a strong possibility, according to a report from Motor Trend.

The magazine says Chevrolet could use the mid-engine layout as soon as the next ZR1, which would mean the supercar could be only several years away. A bit farther out, the next-generation Vette, the C8, could also go mid-engine, according to Motor Trend. The seventh-generation car went on sale in 2013, so the C8 isn't due until the early 2020s.

The story, which cites anonymous sources and has multiple authors, says General Motors considered using the mid-engine configuration for the C7, but that those plans died when product guru/vice chairman Bob Lutz and former Corvette chief engineer Tom Wallace left GM.

A Corvette spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment Friday morning.

Moving the Vette to the mid-engine configuration would offer many possible benefits, including a more favorable weight setup and greater performance. It would elevate the Corvette, which is already considered one of the best and most affordable high-performance cars in the world, to elite status. The C7 is a viable Porsche 911-fighter, but the mid-engine chassis would allow the Vette to face off against Ferraris, Lamborghinis and McLarens.

In its online report, Motor Trend argues the Corvette might need to go to a mid-engine setup to separate itself from the next-gen Chevy Camaro, which is expected to cut weight and improve its agility to better compete against the Ford Mustang.

Rumors of a mid-engine Corvette are nearly as old as the car itself. Zora Arkus-Duntov, considered to be the father of the modern, performance-oriented Corvettes, was a vocal advocate. As we've reported, GM has moved to trademark the "Zora" name for use on cars. Arkus-Duntov spearheaded development of two mid-engine Chevrolet Experimental Racing Vehicle prototypes in the early 1960s, which fueled rumors the Corvette could move to that setup. The CERV II concept (shown above), specifically was conceived as the answer to Ford's GT40 program, and the CERV II also had what's believed to be the first torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. Could a Corvette get all-wheel drive? Some people inside Chevy have been thinking about it for more than 50 years.

Still, a move to mid-engine would make the Corvette a completely different animal, and fans of the car are among the most loyal in the industry. A layout change could make the Vette more extreme, and possibly more expensive. Would you welcome this? Let us know in the comments below.


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  • 120 Comments
      SethG
      • 4 Months Ago

      Why not leave the Vette alone and make a new mid-engine model?

        Carpinions
        • 4 Months Ago
        @SethG

        I honestly think they'd do that first before slapping the 'Corvette' name on a mid-engine car. If this 'Zora' ever gets produced, it'll be limited run for a few years like the Ford GT. I think GM has growing marketplace interest in such a car, so I think it's more likely to happen now or soon, than ever before. But it's still vaporware until we see wheels rolling and some very finished-looking bodywork.

        81waldron
        • 4 Months Ago
        @SethG

        Simple.  Look at what happened over at Porsche for your answer.  

        Instead of making the 911 mid-engined, they created the Boxster/Cayman twins.  It's the worst kept secret in the world at this point that Porsche purposely handicaps those cars so they wont step on the toes of the big brother 911.  

        The very idea of intentionally hobbling a car from being the best it can be is perhaps the most counterintuitive economic decision I've ever heard.  Porsche could easily dump the same technology into the Boxster/Cayman and have a pair of absolutely dominant cars, but they won't because who'd buy the 911 if you could get a better performing car at a cheaper price?

        A mid-engined Chevy performance car would either:

        A.) Dominate the crap out of a Corvette variant making the Corvette completely irrelevant, or;

        B.) Be purposely handicapped like the Boxster/Cayman twins so as not to disturb the Corvette, giving hard-core performance enthusiasts (you know, the exact types of people that would buy such a car in the first place) perpetual blue balls.



          Ryan
          • 4 Months Ago
          @81waldron

          Or C.)  Chevy builds it anyway and it smokes the Vette, but since they charge more for it no one sees it as a threat to the Vette.  Porsche intended the Boxster and Cayman to be cheaper than the 911 so they handicapped them.  However, that hasn't stopped them from building mid-engined halo cars that will smoke the 911, a la Carrera GT and 918. 

        BipDBo
        • 4 Months Ago
        @SethG

        And call it a Fiero!

        illegal
        • 4 Months Ago
        @SethG

        Yes. and use carbon fibre and you might have a real super car. 

        Jamie Houk
        • 4 Months Ago
        @SethG

        That is exactly what I was thinking. A Chevrolet with the engine in back simply would not be accepted byanyone as a Corvette but a Chevrolet with the engine in back by any other name would wow and amaze everyone.

        Bombdefuzer
        • 4 Months Ago
        @SethG

        Maybe a Corvwater?  Liquid cooled corvair!  

        thecommentator2013
        • 4 Months Ago
        @SethG

        My guess as well..

        Vance
        • 4 Months Ago
        @SethG

        Yes! A low-cost mid-engine model...a Fiero for this century...

      Ducman69
      • 4 Months Ago

      Dammit people, the Corvette IS A MID ENGINE CAR and it has been since the fifth generation!!!


      A mid-engine car is not defined as having the passenger sit in front of the engine, but of having the engine in between the front and rear axles, and not overhanging either of them.   Already back in 1997 Corvette engineers were able to push the engine far back towards the center of the vehicle behind the front axle line by separating the transmission and mounting it behind the driver in front of the rear axle line.  


      The driver, usually around 200lbs on average, also represents significant weight, and by having the engine, driver, and transmission all towards the center of the vehicle as they are, they were able to achieve a 50/50 weight distribution, and sure enough the C7 retains that balance.


      Furthermore, not only is it a perfect 50/50 weight balance, but the driver's body is VERY close to the centerline of the weight distribution, and as thus the Corvette becomes much easier to balance in a drift than virtually any other RWD vehicle.


      There is no logical reason to compromise the performance and practicality of the Corvette (hatchback has a huge trunk for a sportscar), just for the sake of putting the engine behind the driver, routing all the cooling plumbing to the front of the vehicle, and having a front mounted trunk with a tail-heavy weight distribution.

        jasonbooboo
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Ducman69

        I don't think they put the driver at the center of mass because of driving "feel", but rather for the same reason they do that with small aircraft.   It keeps the weight balance whether you have a 100 pound woman, or two 250 pound men.   Passenger weight fluctuates, so put it at the mass center and you're gold. =)

        Tec80
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Ducman69

        By your definition, C4 was also mid-engined.  The C4's front face of block sits behind the front wheel centerline.

        Joe
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Ducman69
        The C7 is front engined. Previous generation have been front-mid engined but "mid engined" typically refers to rear-mid engined 

        The reason for a rear mid-engine is to move the CG closer to the vehicles yaw center, the point in the top view about which the car rotates, for front wheel steer vehicles this is just in front of the rear axle.With the cg closer to the rotaiton center, the yaw inertia is significantly reduced, meaning the car can turn much quicker.  To see this effect, put a hammer on a table and try turning it by the head then by the base of the handle.  

        On anything but a straight line, this translate into increase overall speed. Even in cases of mild cornering, the reduced yaw demand on the tires leave more tractive capability available for lateral and longitudinal directions, mean increased corner entry and exit speeds. 

        This is why virtually all high-end sports car and open-wheeled racecars have have this setup. This is also why people jokingly refer to the MR2 as a supercar..
        Redraiderguy08
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Ducman69

        My 1976 corvette has 100% of the engine behind the front axle centerline. A couple companies even make "strut bars" for the C3 vettes that run directly between the upper control arm mounting locations directly in-front of the engine.

        But really you are just tryingto be picky.  Many car magazines have a distinction between Front-Mid Engine cars and Front Engine cars. But the corvette is certainly not a Mid Engine car. Another notable example would be the Mercedes-Benz SLS.

      KaBoomBOX
      • 4 Months Ago

      Isn't it already front/mid?

      Slizzo
      • 4 Months Ago

      Corvette already IS mid-engined. Has been for a while.


      Most of the motor is already behind the front axles, making it a mid-engined car.

        EvoShift2
        • 4 Months Ago *Edited*
        @Slizzo

        Slizzo is a SS Sedan/G8 owner (same car),and  an obvious GM apologist who is posting what everyone already knows. He doesn't realize all the benefits of a mid engine car because he doesn't understand engineering, let alone own, or has even driven, a world class mid-engine car.  SS Sedan':Only an IDIOT buys a 2008 Pontiac for $50k in 2014. LMFAO  Bring on the 2014 Alpha-based Camaro!

          carguy1701
          • 4 Months Ago
          @EvoShift2

          >doesn't understand engineering
          Sure is pot calling the kettle black in here...

          Aren't you the same moron who says the SS should cost 33k, the R8 should be less than 100k, etc.?

          Oh wait, you are.

          Also, how do you even know that he has an SS?

      mapoftazifosho
      • 4 Months Ago

      Auto Mags have been saying this for 50 years...

      11fiveoh
      • 4 Months Ago

      If chevy wants to do something like this, they should go above the corvette. There's definitely room for a 150-200k mid engine awd animal from an american brand.

      Mills
      • 4 Months Ago

      My favorite thing about the Corvette is that you can actually use it for road trips with your wife or SO. Ever look at the trunk space on any of the mid engined cars? With the exception of the Boxster, they are all tiny. The Vette can fit luggage for two.

      purplewonagain
      • 4 Months Ago

      It's déjà vou all over again...see motor trend from 1982, 1996, 2003....

      GTIgunner
      • 4 Months Ago

      Technically all Corvettes are mid-engine from the second generation to the seventh. Most people think a mid engine can only be behind the occupants and in front of the rear axle, which is called a rear-mid-engine. The Corvette is a front-mid-engine with the engine in front of the occupant and rear of the front axle. So is this article referring to the possibility of a rear-mid-engine layout? 

        Jesus the Carpenter'
        • 4 Months Ago
        @GTIgunner

        It is correct that mid engined describes any car where the engine is located inside the wheel base, but only a mid/rear layout has the weight distribution advantage that makes a car better under braking and easier to lay power down exiting corners.  Rear/Mid is the layout for high horsepower cars that also need to handle.  Front mid engine works better on low to moderately powered sports cars like the S2000 and RX-7 as a 50/50 balanced car is easier to drive.

          SloopJohnB
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Jesus the Carpenter'

          Yes and no.  The Porsche Carrera GT is a real handful to driveā€¦..

        carguy1701
        • 4 Months Ago
        @GTIgunner

        Yep. That rumor has been around since the 60s.

      wcmillionairre
      • 4 Months Ago


      HILARIOUS!

      The C5, C6, and C7 cars are ALL mid-engined!

      As was the Mazda RX-7.

      Unbelievable how many folks simply don't know what they are talking about.

      Seems to be symptomatic of the "internet generation".

      Csp3000
      • 4 Months Ago

      They should leave the corvette alone and make the mid engine Cadillac Cien. GM would be able to charge a big premium for the car and it would be the perfect halo car for Cadillac after the 7 series S class competitor LTS "or whatever it's going to be called" comes out next year.

        carguy1701
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Csp3000
        That's not a bad idea, actually.  The Corvette, particularly the C7, is fine as-is.  Cadillac needs to show that they're willing to lose money on a halo car to get people in the door.
      wooootles
      • 4 Months Ago

      Oh.  it's THIS speculation again.

      "The C7 is a viable Porsche 911-fighter, but the mid-engine chassis would allow the Vette to face off against Ferraris,Lamborghinis and McLarens."

      By the way, the C6 ZR1 kinda spanked every single Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini and even the MP4-12C on the track.  In fact the only car that could beat it on the track was the OTHER American supercar.

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