Golden Jubilee of Mid-Engined Corvettes

Don Sherman

2007 C7 ENGINEERING PROGRAM The current Corvette engineering team spent most of 2007 designing a mid-engined replacement for their aging C6 sports car. Prompted by an expected change in endurance racing rules aimed at reduced speeds at LeMans, someone was bold enough to suggest merging C7 and C7R efforts to use V-8 engines located where god and Enzo Ferrari intended them to live.

It's safe to assume that this C7 would have been smaller, lighter, and far more fuel efficient than today's Corvette to help meet more stringent CAFÉ requirements. Exactly how that would be achieved without a steep rise in list price is unknown. GM's stillborn diesel V-8 was even mentioned as one of the engine candidates.

Unfortunately, the most recent attempt to build a mid-engined Corvette ceased before the clock struck 2008. The exact reasons why were never revealed. The insurmountable hurdle could have been the cost associated with one or more transaxles unique to this relatively-low-volume car line.

So, like every Corvette from the dawn of time, the C7 edition will undeniably honor the classic front-engined tradition. But hope springs eternal. At least one rumor monger suggests that GM is seriously considering an expansion of the Corvette family to include a few $100,000+ versions with the engine snuggled in close proximity to the rear wheels. If the planets finally do align, the mid-engined C8 Corvette would arrive late in the current decade.

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