AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
General Motors is not planning to change the Chevy Corvette to a mid-engine layout in future generations, despite numerous reports indicating it would. GM’s VP of global engineering, Karl-Friedrich Stracke, recently commented that the much-rumored switch had no basis in truth. In addition, GM spokesman Dan Flores reiterated Stracke’s comments stating that, “The rumors and speculation about the Corvette are just that. There is no mid-engine in the plans.”
Sadly, Flores also commented that a dual-clutch transmission isn’t planned either – something GM will eventually need if it wants the Corvette to stay competitive with high-powered European sports cars. News of a mid-engined layout and dual-clutch tranny for the Vette popped up recently when a Saab engineer commented to a trade publication that the Swedish division had developed just such a unit for a future mid-engine Corvette.
When asked about a hybrid Corvette, Stracke didn’t deny the possibility, instead commenting about CAFE standards and how offering a hybrid version could be come a mainstream offering, while Chevy would still look to build a conventional powertrain for a small number of dedicated high-performance enthusiasts. Interestingly, he did seem to consider the hybrid layout as an alternative to a high-powered one, rather than using hybrid technology to add power and performance – something other automakers are already are doing.
[Source: Automotive News]
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.
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.