Chevrolet went through a couple of different iterations of mid-engined Corvettes before reaching the design for the well-known 1976 ‘Aerovette’, known as the XP 882 and XP 895.
The XP 882 was the work of Corvette engineer and revered “father of the Corvette,” Zora Arkus Duntov. It was cobbled together using an Oldsmobile Toronado’s transaxle, a Big Block engine and a few other bits from the General Motors parts bin before having its sleek and modern-contemproary sheet metal shown to the crowds at the 1970 New York Auto Show.
Two XP 882 concepts were actually built, one of which was heavily modified after then-Chevy boss John de Lorean green-lighted further work on the project. The car was heavily restyled from the 882 but most importantly, was built out of lightweight aluminium supplied by Reynolds Aluminium. Nearly every piece of the body was aluminium, save for the bumpers, tires, and interior parts, which helped it save 400 pounds over the XP-882 2-rotor mid-engine car which would later become known as the Aerovette.
The XP 895, with its original 400 ci engine and three-speed automatic transmission, now sits in GM’s heritage collection alongside its other stillborn Corvette concept brethren. Maybe Chevrolet will dust it and the other mid-engine concepts off to show them alongside their rumored mid-engine C8 Corvette when it makes its debut at an auto show in the not-so-distant future.