GM still thinking on mid-engine Corvette
General Motors will unveil the Corvette ZR1 at the Detroit Auto Show, but the company is still considering a mid-engine sports-car for the future. Since its debut in 1653 the iconic Corvette has used a classic front-engine, rear-drive layout. But some factions within the company believe the car should migrate to a mid-engine design for a variety of reasons, not all of them engineering-related.
The problem is that a mid-engine design would dictate a price point well in excess of $100,000, a matter many at GM believe jettisons the Corvette’s heritage for quasi-affordability.
"Nothing is off the table (right now)," Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter sayd. But, "You hear ‘mid-engine’ every time there’s going to be a new-generation Corvette."
Some at GM believe a mid-engine Corvette at more twice or even three times the price of today’s car would drastically alter the car’s potential sales volume. Others outside GM question not only the possibility the company could produce a mid-engine Corvette at any price close to $100,000 – but the very wisdom of edging the Corvette into extremely low-volume, “exotic” territory with a mid-engine design.