There has been plenty of speculation around the 2017 Corvette Zora ZR1 – you know, the mid-engine Corvette that certain publications claim actually exists – but nothing has been confirmed nor denied since the rumors began. Well, the denials now outweigh the confirmations, as Autoline Afterhours had Corvette chief engineer, Tadge Juechter, on and he outright denied the model exists.
The talk about the mid-engine Corvette began with a question from a viewer regarding the possibility of a mid-engine Corvette, given Juechter had carte blanche to do as he pleases. Juechter said that GM had actually looked into a mid-engine setup for the C7 Corvette and decided that it would compromise the car’s on-road manners too much to make it a reality. In terms of pure performance, Juechter said, it would be great, but it simply would be too rough to be a daily driver.
The host of the show, John McElroy, prodded further by talking about how there could be multiple models. However, Juechter remained firm and said if someone threw billions at him, then sure, he’d make it.
Another guest on the show, Todd Lassa from Automobile Magazine, then brought up the super-secret car that is supposedly under production, called the “Zora.” Juechter quickly dismissed the notion saying “have to check that out because I know no such car exists.” Lassa did speculate that the car everyone is talking about may actually be for another division of GM, but Juechter did not confirm nor deny this possibility.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Corvette.
Why it matters
This is really the first time that GM has had the opportunity to outright discuss the possibility of a mid-engine Corvette, and it is quite telling. Typically, if an automaker is working on a car it will simply give the boilerplate “cannot talk about future products” line. However, in this interview the engineer denied its existence. That said, the fact that he seemed more open to the possibility of such a car being developed in a different division, like Cadillac for example, is telling. All Juechter had to say about this is that they would need to interview someone else for a comment on that possibility.
So, chances are that the car everyone is talking about could be a Cadillac, and the Corvette thing could simply stem from it using a Corvette as a test mule in the early development phase.