The current Corvette C7 is still quite fresh but Chevrolet is already well into working on a successor (C8) that, unlike any other iteration, might be offered either as a traditional front-engine car or one with a mid-mounted motor.
Reportedly due in 2019, this new Corvette will mark the entry of the first volume mid engine sports car from the United States and the single most dramatic change in the model’s history since its 1953 introduction.
Sources familiar with Chevrolet’s plans told The Detroit News that a 2018 unveil will likely be followed with full scale production in 2019 alongside the next front-engine C9 Corvette. One former GM employee told the newspaper: “It’s happening. Mark Reuss (GM’s President) wants it. It’s the worst-kept secret in town.”
More surprising, however, is the reveal that the mid-engine Corvette - codename ‘Emperor’ - will be the first in the succession of Corvettes that will eventually replace the front-engine versions altogether. For this apparent transition, the current C7 model will continue production until 2021 as more resources are attention is focused on ‘Emperor’ and its ilk.
Chevrolet will continue using the Small Block V8’s to power the car and will want to keep costs down to give it a price advantage against some European mid-engine sports cars that it intends to match in performance, using advanced engineering to incorporate lightweight construction and active aerodynamics.
From there, Chevrolet will have a proper platform to experiment with more and more versions that could even utilise four-wheel drive and hybrid powertrains.