Chevrolet Caught Testing Mid-Engined Corvette in a Funky-Looking Mule
Rumors of Chevrolet working on a mid-engine Corvette under the Zora name have been flying around for quite some time, and with GM issuing no denials on the matter, we had every reason to believe the C8-generation Vette will receive a mid-engine configuration. Now we are into 2015 and things are starting to take shape, as the folks over at Car & Driver have proof that General Motors is working on such a beast. The proof itself is a photo of a rather strange mule that looks like a Holden Ute on steroids. Yes, that’s an Australian pickup, but don’t let the utilitarian body fool you, there’s more to this Ute than it meets the eye.
As Car & Driver points out, the mule is rather strange-looking, even for a pickup with race-bred underpinnings such as the Ute SS-V. While some of the panels are of the usual Commodore variety, the roof, the dashboard (and likely the entire cabin), and the side mirrors are of Corvette Stingray origin. What’s more, the Ute also features flared fenders and a rear wing, suggesting there’s a lot going on under the hood. Or under the tonneau cover to be precise, especially with those cooling intakes located along the rocker panels.
The source also indicates that the wheelbase is some eight inches shorter than that of the 2015 Corvette, which is yet another hint that the transmission was moved behind the rear axle, a typical configuration for mid-engined cars. Nice try GM, but we know what you’re up to and quite glad that you took the time to camouflage everything under a Holden shell. Unless GM is working on a crazy-ass Ute, which is very unlikly given the Commodore is getting axed by 2016, this is our first look at the upcoming mid-engine Corvette. Hallelujah!
Click past the jump to read more about Chevrolet’s future mid-engined Corvette.
Why it matters
It’s far from official, but Car & Driver’s spy shots are living proof that a mid-engined Corvette is underway. And if that’s not exciting news, I don’t know what is. The Zora ZR1 — GM trademarked the "Zora" name in 2014 — could be a new benchmark in the world of performance cars and arguably the most important American supercar project in history. The Corvette is finally branching out from its 60-year history as a front-engined sports car to enter the supercar realm and that’s what matters the most right now, even though the production version won’t be here for another two years.
We don’t know exactly what the mid-engine Corvette will look like, but this Ferrari and Lamborghini killer should stay true to the current styling. Of course, various modifications will occur to suit the needs of a mid-mounted engine, along with more aggressive exterior cues.
The drivetrain is also a mystery, with more than one possibility here. GM could either go with a pumped-up version of the Z06’s supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 or, as Car & Driver suggests, drop a 3.5- to 4.0-liter V-8 and a pair of turbochargers behind the seats. Whatever the case may be, expect more than 700 ponies to find their way to the wheels.