Report: Next Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 to Go Mid-Engine?

You've heard it all before, but here it is again: there is talk of a mid-engine Corvette in the pipeline. Our colleagues at Motor Trend report that the next Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, possibly named after Corvette “father” and engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, will arrive with its own distinct platform that could birth a high-end line of mid-engine C8 Corvettes.

Ok, so it's true that wild theories of mid-engine Corvettes have swirled for decades. The word is that before General Motors went bankrupt, Bob Lutz and Tom Wallace, then chief engineer for the Corvette, were plotting a mid-engine layout for the C7 generation of the brand's iconic sports car before the plan was scrapped. Assuming General Motors dusted off those plans, things start to come into focus when you consider that Chevrolet just trademarked the name “Zora” for a potential future automobile. For some context, it was widely known that Zora was supportive of a mid-engine Corvette, and he helped create numerous concept vehicles which nearly came to fruition with the mid-engine V-8 Aerovette.

Motor Trend anticipates that the C7-generation, mid-engine Corvette ZR1 would arrive on its own platform, although it would be “doable...[but] freakishly expensive] to tool the current platform for mid-engine duty.” With two distinct platforms, the next step would be to create two separate lines of Corvette vehicles for the C8 generation—a base range with the current front-engine C7 Stingray platform at its core, and a high-end range populated by the mid-engine, Zora-badged Corvette ZR1.

The thinking is that the lower range of front-engine Corvettes would remain as a popular lower-priced American alternative to the Porsche 911, freeing up the mid-engine Zora Corvette ZR1 to tackle the Ferrari 458, Audi R8, Lamborghini Huracan, and McLaren 650S. Sound crazy? That's only the tip of the iceberg. Motor Trend also speculates that General Motors could spin-off a Zora Corvette ZR1 supercar into a more luxurious Cadillac supercar, reminiscent of the poor-selling Cadillac XLR which was based on the C5 Corvette (albeit in a much, much higher price bracket).

If you'd like to feast on some figures, rumors suggest that the Zora Corvette ZR1 would be endowed with an 800-hp+ version of the Z06's 650-hp supercharged LT4 V-8 engine. Expectedly, the range-topping Corvette wouldn't be for the faint-of-wallet—about $150,000-$200,000 for the mid-engine ZR1 and $50,000 more for the Cadillac variant.

Check back for more rumors on the upcoming Corvette ZR1, or for more real-time Corvette fodder, keep up with our Four Seasons 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Z51.

Joe Armstrong
Well they have been racing the mid engine configuration for a few years now, what did you expect? That they where doing that for fun? Lots of money has been invested in creating a winning mid-engine race Corvette and that money will not be spent in vain.I could get behind a stand alone Corvette franchise consisting of an assortment of front engine models, (v6 & v8, coupe,convertible, shooting brake, rear & all wheel drive), and a mid-engine top dog flagship (v6 & v8, rear & all wheel drive), of course everything would be supercharged. Maybe even a very basic, stripped scaled down in size entry version with a I-4 to take on the likes of the Miata types.Hey look at that, I just created a whole new GM, you think I can get some government funding?
Pedro Peñafiel
A great improvement, of course.
Bill Northcut
Please NO, stay with corvette heritage! No all wheel drive, either!
Lukáš Gruny
Wade McGaghey
God no!!! If GM is going to build a mid engine car, call it something ELSE!!!!
Sean Secord
Hell no!
Michael Hindy
Time for change
Michael Anderson
Mid engine is a great idea, superior weight balance. But they better make it awd as well or its pointless. Personally I hope they do it just to make the purists squirm.
Michael Anderson
Peter Stelman, ya cause thats what a corvette is for lol, my god.
Doug S
The C8 corvette requires transition into a hybrid powertrain with AWD  similar to the next gen GTR, NSX and 911. Rumors suggest each of these super cars will have at least 700 combined hp or more.   A mid engine platform would just increase costs to a halo product which would sell several hundred units in re of thousands.  Keep the same platforms as the base corvette to keep costs low so the ZR1 could market a lower msrp and have a wider audience.  The appeal of a super vette is exciting and adding AWD and Hybrid power would take the C8 to the next level in technology, power and affordability. 
Michael B. Rawski
I've seen pictures of a bicycle in a Cayman!
Michael B. Rawski
Being a mid-engine car owner, I love the idea!!
William Higgins
This could be the most untraditional move GM has ever made. Surely it will cause a bit of a ruckus with the older generation who sticks strictly to what always has been but will attract the next generation of enthusiasts. That may be their best bet, especially when we consider that the majority of returning customer base is nearing their life expectancy day by day. As many have said though, this is a bold move and not the first the public has been told to expect. Remember the FWD Mustang? No? Neither does anyone else because it never made it to production.
Colin McNeely
Yup, we'll keep hoping though.
Ryan Struse
Couldn't care less.....
Orlando Fernández
Alec Santamaria
Jason Garrett
Why do people keep calling the Corvette a muscle car? It hasn't been a muscle car for a long time, it's a true sports car and it deserves the best sports car layout, MR.
I hope it gets a dual clutch trans. It would be on an even level with the Ferraris and Porsches
Jim Macafee
It will be mid-engined, and also turbine powered!
Jerome Anthony Swierczek
How about they make a mid engined super car and not call it a corvette. Just call it a Zora and roll with that
Paul Olsen
And kiss their sales goodbye..
Frank Walker
Darien Hawkins
You can't handle the truth David Kuhlman.
Kevin Moser
Does any stock muscle car handle well? I'd buy it on sound alone, let alone the sub 11 sec quarter mile or menacing looks. To each their own though.
Andrew Egginton
There were probably the same cries of heresy when they moved away from crossply tyres and drum brakes. Can't see this appealing to exotic buyers as it's a Chevrolet. Even dropping the Chev badge in other markets only sees the Corvette make token sales. The Ford GT was different, being a touchstone to the legendary, Le Mans-winning GT40.
Turbo Chan
No. Create a separation of corvette which remains with the same formula and let the stingray name go mid engine
Marc Hamady
If it's gonna be mid-engine, probably it would be $190K and up. Would be nice to see AWD being offered as an option, at least in a base C7 Vette
Dil Franklin
6. Because who wouldn't want a 5,000 pound pig that handles like my grandmother LaCrosse... Some nice choices otherwise.
Dil Franklin
Can we stop please. Jesus Christ were talking a decade....
Marvin Garcia
A mid engine corvette? Isn't than the opposite of american muscle? If its a limited edition then I'm allright with that.
Richard Hawkins
Just do it already.....
Jack Geerer
Matthew Thomas Why don't you choose to move away from the Motor City because you hate cars and prefer high Prius-density environments? Oh wait, you already did.
Cameron Wingate
No mid engine
Orin O'Neill
The Corvette has been about to go mid-engine since at least 1968...
Collin Oskahpee
If it's limited to just ZR1 the price will be $$$ since you lack the support dollars from mass production. I say this is all hogwash.
John Alexander
we'll get flying cars first
Rodolfo Cavazos
Go for it!!
Byron Brimage
They might. We'll see. Right now when you say mid engined Corvette I think the Daytona Prototype so. . . We'll see if they can make a prettier version of that perhaps. Or if they chose to go another way with it. So long as the two are somewhat distinct from each other.
Jimmy Dinh
Byron, this would be interesting.
Tantine la Roue
Je kiffe
Just the usual groundless talk.  Ignore it.
Ken Mason
Ryan Boyd
Do it!
Tukaram Pote
not much new! 4WD has also engine mid mounted :p
Stefan Takacs
Nothing wrong with those taillights imo.
And by the way, since 1999 Corvette Racing has won 10 championships in the ALMS and 25 consecutive races from 2007 to 2009 against Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, and more, Many were 1-2 finishes as well. Thus making Corvette far more successful than the GT40's short racing career or any other car model for that matter.
Not to mention all the new Chinese millionaires sprouting up every day who gobble up high performance sports cars, including Corvettes. More people would buy a Supervette if given the chance than many realize. Evidence? All the aftermarket Corvette-only specialists who make mad money from all of the enthusiasts spending money to make their cars faster and more unique. If a car pops up that's in the category you're purchasing in, you're going to check it out atleast. If not, that's ignorant and a stupid decision. People will cross shop brands they don't usually buy if it looks interesting.
The Corvette Stingray has been selling phenomenally overseas.... Lol. And there are more Vette fans than for any other car. There will always be guys out there who are rich Corvette collectors and they will buy every Corvette that is produced regardless of it's controversies...
No, AWD wouldn't be nearly as fun. The just lack the feel and enjoyment of RWD. But if it were switch controlled, that would be cool. Best of both worlds. You could flip a switch to activate the front axle and go from RWD to AWD.
@JagBro9 let's hope not.

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