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Next Generation Corvette to be Mid-Engined?

Rob

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From AutoExtremist.com:

The Corvette C7. Publisher's Note: There's a furious debate going on in the halls of GM as you read this. The subject? The fate of the next-generation Corvette C7. On one side are the mid-engine Corvette boosters, who are absolutely convinced that the time has finally come for Corvette to become a mid-engined sports car. On the other side are the people who believe that taking the Corvette to a mid-engine configuration would immediately destroy the performance- for-the-dollar quotient, the one hallmark the Corvette has been famous for almost since Day One. After driving Audi's R8 this week, I tend to agree with the "keep Corvette front-engined" faction. The R8 is a very nice car, but just how many six-figure sports cars can exist in the U.S. market, and do so profitably?

Look for the debate to go this way: The next-generation Corvette will still be front-engined, but it will be even lighter than the current car and have more than one engine option - including a new, small-displacement, aluminum V-8 to go along with yet another development of the current V-8. This car will be the mainstream Corvette that will still deliver on its performance-for-the-dollar imperative. But wait, that's not all.

Then look for an extremely limited production run (less than 500) of an advanced, mid-engined Corvette that will play in the plus six-figure category - and deliver blistering performance that will surpass exotic sports cars from around the world costing hundreds of thousands more. This will be the technological "statement" car from GM that the "True Believers" within the corporation have long been waiting for. You read it here first, folks. - PMD
 

ajla

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Between V6 "Stingray" rumors, 600hp supercharged Blue Devil rumors, AWD Corvette rumors, and mid-engined Corvette rumors (again)- it looks like GM is thinking about a lot of different stuff for the C7/8.

The main question in all these rumors isn't whether or not these "Corvette" iterations would be a success, but rather, would the change in the engineering status quo upset purists?

I say that if GM truly wants to go through with all these variants then prehaps the Corvette should become its own brand- separate from Chevrolet. Corvette then becomes not only "America's sports car" but also "America's sports marquee"

By doing this, there can still be a front-engine, RWD, NA-V8 (Maybe only put the flags logo on this model to keep it special-the "Corvette Corvette" if you will). This will keep the long-time Corvette fans happy (I think). But, GM can add models to the Corvette brand. Things like a V6 roadster or a mid-engine premium car can now be done without expanding the Chevrolet Corvette beyond its means.
 
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I can't imagine why GM would want to dilute the Corvette name by making the Corvette its own marquee. IMHO, that would make the Corvette no more special than the Mustang, especially by adding a V6. Make the SS or whatever they plan on calling it an option or a limited run production model.

Jim
 
T

trs

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Supreme Vette

The effort is supreme capability at 'reasonable' ( relative term here ) cost, right? The current transaxle configuration coupled with the great small block Chevy has already shown what it's capable of, check the ALMS record for that. Also check the videos of track confrontations between the current Z-06 and megabuck supercars like the F430 Ferrari, Porsche turbo, ford gt and lamborghini. The current Z-06 runs right with all of them and rips off a 7min 43sec time at the Nordschleife.
The difference between the transaxle and a mid-engine configuration comes down to moment of inertia and the force necessary to get the car to rotate as it is made to turn, right? Weight distribution can be varied in either layout, so that's not the main consideration. Less force necessary to turn the car would be an advantage in tight corner / sharp turn road runs, but would be less of an advantage across high-speed straights, where stability is paramount. It would come down to what type of race capability the Vette would be required to have, supreme agility or high-speed stability. Of course, many mid-engine cars are stable at high speed, but they usually run a lot of aerodynamic force to assist.
My opinion? Keep the transaxle and use the development money to perfect the suspension, chassis and aerodynamics.
Thanks!

p.s. NO V-6! That's final.
 
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Rob

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I can't imagine why GM would want to dilute the Corvette name by making the Corvette its own marquee. IMHO, that would make the Corvette no more special than the Mustang, especially by adding a V6. Make the SS or whatever they plan on calling it an option or a limited run production model.

Jim
I don't think I agree. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Porsche are their own marques and I can't say their names are diluted.
 

smook

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Leave our corvette ALONE.

Why do we always have to change things. Today's corvette is just right. Front engine. Rear wheel drive. Four lights in the back. Two (non-popup) lights in the front.

NO MORE CHANGES please.
-zBill.:upthumbs
 

Pseudomind

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:pukeWell if GM's Corvette division is doing as well as I have heard, Staying in the black for GM. I can image some brass wanting to make this change. (if it ain't broke, fix it until it is). I however in my own opinion see this as a downward spiral for the Corvette. I just cannot envision them being able to sale enough 6 figure cars to maintain profitability.

They may opt to maintain the current Corvette status quo, but I can see this coming now, they will end up using the Corvette sales to subsidize this six figure endeavor, ending the standard Corvette profitability. Next to fix this some more people or other new brass will decide to scrap the six figure Corvette and decide to go with a family size six cylinder with a fold down baby seat option.:puke
 

Hotwing

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I can't imagine why GM would want to dilute the Corvette name by making the Corvette its own marquee. IMHO, that would make the Corvette no more special than the Mustang, especially by adding a V6. Make the SS or whatever they plan on calling it an option or a limited run production model.

Jim

Mustang by Toyota :D Corvette by Nissan

Ya all just don't get it
 

Rob

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I say give them a chance.

One of the advantages of putting the engine in the back is a change in design.

Personally, I have always loved the look of mid-engined sports cars. ;shrug

I agree that GM has a damn good recipe on their hands with the current Corvette powertrain layout, but give them the opportunity to play around and explore new avenues.

However, do it judiciously. Keep the main Corvette staple - front-engined while producing a limited production mid-engined model. Learn from designing and developing it and take what you learn and apply it to the main Corvette platform.

In some ways, this is what GM has done with cars like the CERV III. They are engineering and design test beds. AND, the Corvette as well as Cadillac have, historically, always been testbeds of new technology at GM which has later, trickled down into the other platforms.

Last but not least, take a look at what GM has done with the OHV pushrod, front-engine powertrain over the years. Who's to say, that GM Powertrain couldn't make similar advancements to the Mid-Engined powertrain layout?

The Corvette continues to be constantly criticized for it's OHV pushrod architecture and leaf-spring rear-end, and yet, day in and day out, the Corvette continues to eat the lunch of its competition.

At one time, the OHV pushrod design (the current generation) and the leaf spring were nothing more than "what if we did this" between GM employees in hallways.

Where would be today if they simply remained "what ifs" in hallways?
 

Hotwing

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I hate to be gloom and doom but GM and Ford can hardly pay the Health care costs for its retired employees much less tinker with a one line car like the Corvette and Mustang in hopes that they pull them out of the debt they are in. Ford is also in real deep do-do as reported yesterday. I myself don't hold out much hope that they can recover. GM's and Ford's business models are just not working and Toyota and Nissan are licking their chops on the sidelines just waiting to buy them out. I hope you all don't think that the Corvette alone will save GM.

In closing I hope that I am the one who is wrong in all this ;shrug
 
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I don't think I agree. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Porsche are their own marques and I can't say their names are diluted.

Those manufacturers aren't in the business of mass sales. That is what worries me. There aren't any "entry level" Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Astons, or Porsches. I think by adding a V6 it cheapens the Corvette. How would you feel if Corvette introduces the new V6 Corvette and the new V6 Mustang outperforms it or the new foreign 4 cylinder. I know how I would feel, not good. Personally, I like having something different out there. Yes, there are lots of Corvettes out there, but there aren't nearly as many of them as there are Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds. GM might want to see Corvette everywhere, I don't.

Jim
 

Rob

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Those manufacturers aren't in the business of mass sales. That is what worries me. There aren't any "entry level" Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Astons, or Porsches. I think by adding a V6 it cheapens the Corvette. How would you feel if Corvette introduces the new V6 Corvette and the new V6 Mustang outperforms it or the new foreign 4 cylinder. I know how I would feel, not good. Personally, I like having something different out there. Yes, there are lots of Corvettes out there, but there aren't nearly as many of them as there are Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds. GM might want to see Corvette everywhere, I don't.

Jim
Jim,

We're not talking about adding a V6 here. We're talking about a mid-engine design.
 

ajla

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I already wrote about making a Corvette brand with different sports cars, but that idea looks to be unpopular .

And just calling the car "Chevrolet Corvette MR" or sometinhg like that is even more unpopular, but why not just use a different name?

GM can make a six-figure mid-engine car and call it an old concept name like Cadillac Cien, Chevrolet Indy, or Pontiac Banshee. Or, they could just come up with an all new name.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of a car with the same name and two engine layouts so not changing something would be odd/confusing.
 
A

AUSSIEVETTEMAN

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Between V6 "Stingray" rumors, 600hp supercharged Blue Devil rumors, AWD Corvette rumors, and mid-engined Corvette rumors (again)- it looks like GM is thinking about a lot of different stuff for the C7/8.....

As you know the Hummer H3 is on its way to Australia officially, but Holden has more models on their shopping list:

RUMOUR: The next generation Vette (C7?) due for release after the C6 has run a short four year span, (GM plans that the C6 will be a short release and are heading for the C7 sooner rather than later); MAY be offered as Right Hand Drive for Japanese and European markets and is on Holden's wish list along with the Camaro concept, if it goes RHD.
They (Holden) wish to secure the Caddy CTS in rear wheel drive format and on their wish list and awaiting permission from GM headquarters, is the Camaro concept and the successor to the iconic C6 Vette.
Apparently the guys from HSV (www.hsv.com.au) have been asking the powers that be for many years for the Vette to make it's way down-under.
They also have a black C6 here for 'evaluation purposes'.

I can't wait for the Vette to be available here factory backed, it has only taken them 54 years to wake up and it is about b$%^&y time we had it here!

The Corvette, IMO, is not just an American sportscar, it started out that way, but now has evolved into something THAT SHOULD BE AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE!

It IS a Worldclass sportscar and maybe GM wouldn't have financial woes if it listened to their customer base and made available, cars that people wanted.

Hey, Toyota, BMW, SAAB and all the other Euro-trash is marketed worldwide!

Holden wants the Vette and only plans on limiting around 100 per year.

Anyone heard the same?
Rob, got anyone in the know? ;)

Cheers

Tony
 
A

AUSSIEVETTEMAN

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I don't think I agree. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Porsche are their own marques and I can't say their names are diluted.

I have to agree with this one, the Corvette is a mark on it's own already.

I think that this will be how Holden will get the next generation Vette to Australia, as a HSV enhanced Corvette.
I hope that their isn't a holden badge on the Vette, but I also agree that dropping the Chevy badge is like having the Vette made in Japan. :eek

Cheers

Tony
 
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Jim,

We're not talking about adding a V6 here. We're talking about a mid-engine design.

Sorry, just heading out onto another tangent. Maybe a limited mid-engine run wouldn't be a bad thing, but where will that take Chevy's overall direction with the Corvette. (Is that a fair compromise so I don't look as lost?:D )

Jim
 

Rob

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I have to agree with this one, the Corvette is a mark on it's own already.

I think that this will be how Holden will get the next generation Vette to Australia, as a HSV enhanced Corvette.
I hope that their isn't a holden badge on the Vette, but I also agree that dropping the Chevy badge is like having the Vette made in Japan. :eek

Cheers

Tony

Well, Audi owns Lamborghini. Proton owns Lotus (although who knows for how much longer). Ford owned Aston Martin (although I'm not sure if they still do or not) and they currently own Jaguar. I haven't seen Audi Lamborghini on any Murcielago. I also haven't seen Proton Lotus on an Elise, nor Ford on a Jaguar or Aston Martin.

IMHO, I think we're too hung up on badging.

Personally, I would love to see the Corvette become its own brand. It wouldn't bother me in the least if the word Chevrolet was taken off the car. Everyone knows that the Corvette is a Chevrolet, and everyone knows that GM owns the Chevrolet nameplate, as well as Corvette.

If making the Corvette its own brand, would allow for GM to experiment with bringing some different Corvette models and a wider variety of options for a wider variety of pockets, then I think it's a great idea.

That doesn't mean I want to see a V6 dropped in a Corvette and to find an entire parking lot full of Corvettes waiting to be rented at the local Hertz Car Rental agency.

What I would hope is that they take on a business model similar to Aston Martin or Porsche. Obviously you can't go buy a brand new Aston or Porsche for $40,000. Just because a car becomes its own brand, doesn't mean it has to be diluted to the point that every Joe Blow has one on every street corner.

That's something I don't want to see.

But if the business model will allow the company to experiment more with technology and design, then why not?

I highly doubt that GM would ever consider letting the Corvette become its own brand; especially since they started slapping GM logos on the sides of brand new Corvettes in 2006. However if it was to happen, I don't think it would be a bad thing as long as they didn't dilute the marque by offering cheap models and increasing sales volume to match that of a Ford Mustang.
 

Rob

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Sorry, just heading out onto another tangent. Maybe a limited mid-engine run wouldn't be a bad thing, but where will that take Chevy's overall direction with the Corvette. (Is that a fair compromise so I don't look as lost?:D )

Jim
I'd like to see another limited edition, all aluminum 32V DOHC motor. ;) ;) ;)

:D
 

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