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It appears as though rumors that the Corvette will go mid-engined may in fact be true. In a recent interview with a trade magazine one of Saab’s top engineers broke the news, revealing that his team had developed a dual-clutch transmission for a, “mid-engined version of the Corvette.”
There’s no word on how many gears the dual-clutch system has, but the engineer in question did comment that it was designed to hold up to 590 ft-lbs of torque – which may suggest a possible turbocharged or supercharged engine.
Rumors that Chevy would move the Corvette to more a mid-engine setup have been around for decades, but have heated up recently as it seems GM wants to take the car up-market to compete with European rivals. It is believed a mid-engine model was on the drawing board for the next C7 generation but was scrapped due to GM’s recent financial woes. More recently we’re heard reports that the C7 will instead by a stop-gap model with a short production schedule as GM prepares for a revolutionary C8 model.
The next-generation (C7) Chevrolet Corvette will get a new 5.5-liter small block V8, making roughly 440-hp. According to sources tapped by Motor Trend, the new engine is already undergoing testing. In fact, GM has already given a related version of this new 5.5-liter motor plenty of test time in its new GT2 Corvette Racing C6.R cars, competing in the American Le Mans Series.
The new small block V8 is reported to have both direct-injection, as well as a new combustion system design – possibly a hint that GM is planning variable valve timing for the venerable pushrod V8.
While the power increase is just 10 ponies above the current V8, fuel economy should be improved significantly and we expect that through the use of lighter weight materials and possibly some exciting new transmission changes, acceleration will no doubt be improved upon as well.
And while we’re excited to see what the General has in store for the C7 Corvette, rumors suggest this model is somewhat of a post-bankruptcy stop-gap as GM plans a major overhaul of the Corvette for it’s 8th generation model.
[Source: Motor Trend]
With the seventh-generation Corvette due out soon, Chevy is reportedly already looking ahead to the C8 model with major changes planned. General Motors had planned a major revamp of the Corvette for the C7 model but when the economy took a turn for the worse, it was decided that less ambitious changes had to be made. As a result the C7 is to follow after previous Vettes, but with improvements. In other words, it’s more of a stop-gap, to keep the iconic sports car alive until the C8 arrives to usher in a new era of the Corvette.
“That [the C7] will be the last of the traditional, old-style Corvettes,” said a senior GM representative to AutoWeek. Reportedly under consideration for the C8 is a light-weight aluminum platform with a mid-engine layout. It is may also be smaller in size and could even use a V6 engine. That might sound crazy, but if a V6 is planned, you can expect a few turbochargers to also be a part of the package.
We’ve already seen reports mentioning GM’s plans to make the Corvette a more global car with improved youth-appeal, and as much as cosmetic changes to the C7 platform are expected to head in that direction, the C8 is now looking to update every aspect of the car.