The Chevy Corvette reached iconic status by being a front-engined, rear-wheel drive sports car that’s powerful, throaty, great-handling, and an overall blast to drive. But speculation about a rear mid-engined, rear-wheel drive (RMR) ‘Vette has been more than rampant over the last several years, with GM Authority having done our fare share to stir the cauldron of speculation.
Regardless of whether the Bow Tie brand will ever introduce a Corvette with an RMR layout, those looking to get their hands on such a vehicle should look no further than the Alessi Fiberglass AR-1. Powered by the legendary LS3 mounted behind the cabin, the AR-1 features a five-speed transmission (only five?), a fiberglass body, and one of the most generic rear ends we’ve ever seen.
This isn’t the first time Alessi has offered a vehicle powered by a GM engine: back in the 1970s, the company introduced the first AR-1 that was powered by a Buick V6. The new AR-1 is a limited in production to only 50 units and offers offers a supercharger kit good for 600 horsepower and 580 lb.-ft. of torque; a twin-turbo kit is also an option, bringing total power output of the 6.2 liter LS3 to 750 horses and 690 lb.-ft. of torque.
The AR-1’s fiberglass body is reinforced by steel, with eleven-gauge steel used in the chassis to maintain a low poundage. This allows it to weigh in at just under 3,200 pounds while providing it the capability of sprinting from 0-60 MPH in just 3.4 seconds and completing the quarter mile in 10.7 seconds. Top speed is listed at 200 MPH.
Standard equipment includes dual power side mirrors, an alarm system, a rear-view mirror with a backup camera, air conditioning and heating, power seats with AC and heat, run-flat tires with sensors, and a tilt steering wheel. To top all of that off, the tail-end is power-operated.
The GM Authority Take
We’d love to have a day (or five) at the track with one of these beasts. Unfortunately, the price is not listed; but the “price available upon request” line most likely means that if you have to ask… well, you get the idea.
But even if we could afford the AR-1, the first thing we’d do is replace those generic-looking rear lights with those from a late-model Corvette. And since we’re on the subject, what if Chevy split off Corvette to be its own brand that — besides making the traditional ‘Vette — was free to make something along the lines of the AR-1… but in a much more tasteful fashion?