Posted Jan 27th 2015 9:00AM
Rumours of a mid-engine Corvette are like automotive industry folklore at this point. Every once in a while, news pops up that it might be happening or is under development, but nothing actually ever comes to fruition as something people can actually buy.
The latest spy shots strongly suggest a mid-engine 'Vette is in the cards, yet again, possibly for 2018. Now, an op ed by former General Motors executive (and definite performance car fan) Bob Lutz in Road & Track gives the inside scoop on the history of one of these proposals and lays out how to make it happen today.
According to Lutz, the company's engineers believed the C6 ZR1 was at the limit for front-engine, rear-wheel drive performance in that package, and the only solution was to move the powerplant behind the driver. Lutz even got then CEO Rick Wagoner on board. The scheme made it at least as far as clay models for mid-engine versions of the 'Vette and Cadillac XLR. Eventually, a lack of money got in the way, though, bringing the project to an end.
Lutz puts a lot of faith in GM's current leaders, especially Mary Barra and Mark Reuss. He thinks the chances of a mid-engine 'Vette happening this time are better than 50 percent. The model, rumoured to be named Zora, could offer over 700 horsepower in an ultra lightweight body and be priced at about US$120,000 to "suck the doors off everybody." Head over to Road & Track to get some insights from this highly respected and entertaining auto industry veteran.