Leaked CAD Images Show Off Parts of the Mid-Engined Corvette
At first glance, they look like colorful spaceship renderings done by someone with far too much time on his hands. They’re not spaceships, though, because they’re actually CAD renderings of the next-generation engine that will be used on the new Chevrolet Corvette. I know, right? It’s not exactly the cleanest of presentations, but thanks to some expert sleuthing from members of Corvetteforum.com, they’ve uncovered what they believe to be the bones of the new powertrain.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1
Since Zora Arkus Duntov joined the Corvette team and crammed a V-8 into America’s sports car in 1955, the Belgian-born engineer chased ever more interesting and dynamic ways of making the little two-door go faster than anything else on the road. Zora was obsessed with speed and performance. Aside from setting a production car record up Pikes Peak in a Corvette, taking a standing-mile record at Daytona and starting the Grand Sport racing program, Zora consistently worked on mid-engined prototypes of Corvettes during his career. Despite having a mid-engined prototype of some form for almost every generation of the Corvette, there has never been a production car wearing the legendary Crossed Flags and carrying the engine behind the driver. That all looks to change soon with the rumored Corvette Zora ZR1.
This new car is rumored to use the Zora name to make it a separate model from the current Corvette family, and when it debuts, it will be unveiled as an eighth-generation (C8) car. To create this new and exciting performance machine, Corvette engineers are expected to modify the current C7’s aluminum chassis for mid-ship duty, and then they should fit the car with an uprated version of the supercharged V-8 found in the new Corvette Z06. The new Zora is expected to carry a price of more than $150k, horsepower ratings in excess of 700 ponies and a top speed well above 200 mph. General Motors is no longer building a bargain performance monster. The new Zora will be a purebred supercar; full stop. Ferrari and Lamborghini, you have been put on notice.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Corvette Zora.
The 2018 Chevy Corvette Could Come With a Surprise Under the Hood
The upcoming Corvette ZR-1 has been a major topic among performance and Chevy enthusiasts alike, and has been rumored and desired since the C7 hit dealerships a few years ago. Up until now, however, we’ve gotten very little official information but have seen the beast testing in the wild in mixed colors with lots or padding and camo. We have learned from leaked documents that it will, indeed, have a midship layout and a brand-new engine, but information about said engine has been rather elusive. All that has changed thanks to a leaked document on GM’s service website. The document has since been removed, but not before we’ve all taken in the knowledge that the new ZR-1, as well as the C8 Corvette, will get a naturally aspirated, DOHC, 6.2-liter V-8 that is being called the LT5.
As you’ll see in the document below, the listing in the leaked document reads “ENGINE GAS CYL, 6.2:, SIDI,DOHC,VVT,ALUM,GM. So, out of all that, we know that it will be a dual-overhead-cam unit – the first in a corvette since 1995 – and will make use of variable valve timing, and will have an aluminum block and heads. Of course, it’s not all gravy, as the listing also raises some concerns. After all, this engine is naturally aspirated, and that leads some into a serious state of doubt. See, the current 6.2-liter in the Corvette Z06 pumps out 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, but it’s only able to do so with a supercharger in tow.
So, with the ZR1 expected to have more power than the Z06 – some are saying as much as 750 horsepower – the concept of the LT5 being a naturally aspirated engine is stirring up come skepticism. It’s not impossible, but it is improbable and illogical to get that kind of power out of a naturally aspirated V-8. But, it could all work out in the end. After all, there’s just something about a large and powerful, naturally aspirated V-8 that tickles the fancy of every self-respecting American.
Keep reading for the rest of the story
New Leak Provides More Info About The Mid-Engined Corvette Zora
A new leak from Katech, General Motors’ racing partner, suggests that the long-rumored, mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette Zora is indeed underway. According to numerous sources on the Interwebz, Katech’s website had a section dedicated to the "C8 Corvette ZR1/Zora LT5". We say "had" because the company has since removed the page. Fortunately enough, the folks over at Corvette Forum were quick enough to take a screen shot of what could be the best confirmation to date about the first even mid-engined Corvette.
The web page didn’t provide much information, but it did say that a "C8 Corvette ZR1/Zora" is "in development." Also, it provided information as to when it might arrive, saying it’s a "2018+" model year. The section also included a photo showing a sharp, aggressive nose with a wide grille, angular headlamps, and a massive bulge and V-shaped vent built into the front hood. On the other hand, this image isn’t exactly new, having been unveiled in early 2015, when a film crew for the Velocity show “Americarna” visited a General Motors design studio to document how concept cars become reality.
The removed page also provides additional hints about Chevy’s strategy for the upcoming car. Based on the name listed by Katech, the super Corvette will be offered in two versions. A "base" ZR1 and a higher-performance Zora trim. Also, the "LT5" refers to the engine that will motivate the sports car. GM previously used the "LT5" denomination for the engine in the C4-generation Corvette ZR-1, but it’s not unlikely for the name to return in the future.
Can we take this as official confirmation of the C8’s development? Not exactly, but the fact that GM’s racing partner had a page about the long-rumored Corvette adds credence to rumors that Chevrolet is already working on a mid-engined Corvette.
Chevrolet Corvette Plant Gets $290 Million Upgrade From General Motors
General Motors is putting its money to good use by infusing another $290 million into its production facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky, otherwise known Corvette plant. The move is seen as GM’s way of improving the technologies in the facility and improving existing processes, all to create a more efficient production framework for the Corvette.
It’s still unclear how General Motors plans to divvy up the large investment within the facility, but it is reported the assembly line is going to get a sizeable share of the funds as GM seeks to improve production beginning this summer. A significant portion of the funds, $153 million in total, is also being made available to the Kentucky Business Incentive, a program that encourages businesses from different industries to move to Kentucky or, in cases of those that are already planted in the state, to remain there.
It’s not uncommon for General Motors to loosen the purse strings to help add improvements into its Bowling Green facility. Back in May 2015, the automotive giant invested $439 million in facility upgrades, including the plant’s paint shop. As part of that investment, improvements were made to allow robots to use paint more efficiently, LED lighting to improve inspections, less energy-intensive baking ovens, and technology to eliminate sludge water, among other things.
The combined sum of $729 million in investments is part of the automaker’s three-year, $5.4-billion plant upgrades that it announced in 2015. All this maneuvering is tied into GM’s desire to invest as much as it can to ensure that the Chevrolet Corvette remains competitive against a growing number of rivals in the U.S. and foreign markets. It’s hard to argue against GM’s methods here, especially when you consider the increasingly competitive sports car segment in a lot of the world’s biggest markets.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Mid-Engine Chevrolet Corvette Set To Happen, Hybrid Model Could Be Part Of Next-Gen Variants
For 63 years, the Chevrolet Corvette has followed a tried-and-tested front-engined, rear-wheel drive layout. But if the long-held rumors about the Corvette C8 end up being true, the American sports car’s next iteration could be in line for a massive tradition-shifting shakeup. According to Car and Driver, the switch to a mid-engine layout for the eight-generation Corvette is already certain as Chevrolet begins transitioning the sports car into more exotic and potentially more lucrative markets.
Official details about the car are still scarce at this point, but C&D quotes what it says to be an “impeccable source,” is reporting that the Corvette C8 will receive a number of mid-engine powertrains over the first few years of its life. The first of these engines is the current pushrod V-8 that will be tuned to deliver as much as 500 horsepower. That engine will be used in the 2019 Corvette, which is expected to make its debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. As soon as it hits the market, that version will carry a base price of around $80,000.
From there, Chevrolet will shift to a more powerful mid-engine V-8 that will make its debut with the 2020 Corvette in the same auto show a year later. No mention was made on how much power that version of the Vette will get, but it has been tipped to cost at least $100,000. A hybrid Corvette, dubbed the E-Ray Corvette, is also in the works. All indications point to it receiving the same “new” V-8, but with an extra electric motors powering the two front wheels.
As for the current-generation Corvette C7, that model will still be produced until volume production starts for the Corvette C8. But before the C7 rides off into the sunset, Chevrolet is planning to send it out on a high note with a series of special edition models that may include the ZR1 variant.
Once the shift to a mid-engine layout is complete, don’t be surprised if the Corvette C8, and all the iterations that follow, starts to set its sights on competing against some of the finest sports cars and supercars in the market today.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Typically, when an automaker invests capital into a production facility, it goes by unnoticed. However, amid rumors of a mid-engine Corvette, GM investing $439 million into the paint shop at the Bowling Green Corvette plant leaps off the paper to us as a sign of good things to come.
The press release doesn’t have any incriminating evidence of this rumored super-Corvette, but it does mention that the investment will include new tooling and robots, and building a 450,000 square-foot painting facility.
Other changes to the paint shop include a dry scrubber booth with a limestone-handling system that eliminates sludge water and waste, LED lights for the process decks for visual inspection, FANUC robots with versa-bell 3 electrostatic applicators to give each paintjob a smoother finish and to reduce lost paint materials by 25 percent, and high-efficiency baking ovens.
Could these heavy modifications to the paint shop be in anticipation of the hotly anticipated Corvette Zora ZR-1?
Unfortunately, it is hard to tell, as these modifications could simply be to improve flaws in the current paint shop or just to increase efficiency. Then again, an investment this big into the Corvette plant at this point in time just seems strangely coincidental.
Continue reading to learn more.
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.
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.
It looks as if the new mid-engine Corvette is more than a collection of rumors on the Internets and thoughts in my head. Car and Driver has just released a large piece stating that their sources have all but confirmed that the next Corvette will be mid-engined. More than that, they are saying that the new architecture won’t be for just a single, range-topping model. Rather, every Corvette form here forward will adopt a mid-engine configuration. That places the base level car as a better competitor to something like the Porsche Cayman S, and opens the top-level cars to compete against things like the Lamborghini Aventador.
There is a lot in this article that seems very feasible and I agree with huge portions of it, but there are also a few things that seem a little out of the question; at least for now. Some of the more far-fetched ideas include a Corvette with an AWD hybrid system in as little as five years; with a V-6 engine no less.
Worse yet, Car and Driver seems to think that the only way Chevrolet can package a mid-engined car is to kill of the manual transmission and go to exclusively using a seven-speed dual clutch. As with all things that pertain to car models that are years and years away from production, take everything you read here with a big dose of salt.
If you are interested in a second view, we are currently working up our own renders and I am tracking down some other sources to see if I can find out any new information. We will be using all that to update our main Corvette Zora piece.
As always, keep those eyes right here on TopSpeed.com to get all the news and details about this crazy, new Corvette and any other new and exciting car that may be coming out soon.
Note: 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about Corvette’s future.