Is A Mid-Engine Corvette On The Horizon? Reactions Vary Widely

Ah, apple pie and ice cream. Friday night football games. Rolling Stones on the radio. A Corvette flying by you, making you feel a bit of envy, awe, and plain down-home American.
It can be very convincingly argued that the Chevrolet Corvette is the all-American automobile, with the only possible rival being the Ford Mustang.

One of the aspects that has always defined the American sports car is a front engine, rear-wheel drive configuration. There have been plenty of rumors and reports of sightings about the C8 Corvette being a mid-engine supercar, but some don’t believe that General Motors is going to suddenly convert their most prized sports car from front engine to mid-engine — effectively changing the entire design and performance of this “all American” car. Patrick Rall of TorqueNews says it just doesn’t add up.

“It is one thing for the company to do away with the hideaway headlights or the round tail lights, but changing the drivetrain layout of the Chevrolet Corvette seems like a break of tradition that GM just wouldn’t attempt. Although a mid-engine Corvette could provide exceptional performance compared to the current C7, an engine mounted anywhere than under the hood just wouldn’t seem right for the Corvette.”

Of course, not everyone agrees that a mid-engine Corvette won’t happen. After decades of talk, it appears the mythical mid-engine Corvette is a real possibility, as Car & Driver’s spies have managed to glimpse what they believe is a prototype for the long-conjectured model.

According to WorldCarFans, GM has been relatively secretive about the next-generation Corvette, but the mid-engine model is expected to be launched in 2017 and will be named the Zora ZR1. It will reportedly be sold alongside the Corvette C7 for a few years before the old car is phased out.

The popular MotorTrend agrees that the mid-engine Corvette will be a go. Father of the Corvette — Zora Arkus-Duntov — seriously wanted to build a mid-engine ‘Vette. Only GM’s board stopped him, who seemed to prefer the faster, powered models. Perhaps that’s why it is rumored the ’17 ‘Vette will be named Zora — to finally give the inventor his wish.

Reactions from die-hard Corvette fans across the globe are many and varied. One commenter said he saw no reason at all to change the American icon.

“Chevy would be absolutely FOOLISH to completely abandon the traditional Front Engine/Rear Drive formula for the Corvette. Nothing wrong with ADDING a rear-mid engine platform to the mix in the form of the Zora or next-gen ZR-1, but dropping the current Front Engine/Rear Drive formula altogether would drive me to Vipers, which I prefer not to do. I’m only 33 and on my 4th Vette and hope to stay with Chevy for my 2-seat sports cars in the future. I have a lot of sport car business to give a manufacturer before I kick the bucket.”

Strong words about a car — how do you feel, Corvette fans? Would you purchase a mid-engine Corvette?