It only seems fair to say the Corvette is destined to feature a mid-engine layout sooner, or later. We think sooner, to be honest. Mid-engine Corvettes are trickled throughout the past century, but the 1971 Corvette XP-882 prototype had everyone thinking the ’70s would finally see the layout come to fruition.
That included Road & Track, who extensively covered the 1971 Corvette XP-882. At the time, the publication was convinced this car was to be road-ready by 1973, because Chevrolet was parsing out information normally not included on prototype vehicles, such as curb weight.
Recently, R&T dug into their archives to re-tell the story of the 1971 XP-882. So, let’s take a brief walk down memory lane.
The car was said to be “locked-in” for production and a transverse big-block 455 cubic-inch V8 was to power the Miura killer. A version of GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission was said to be readied, as it was deduced it fit the platform perfectly on the front side of the transverse engine coupling close to the bottom of the engine block.
Fiberglass was to don each panel, with the curb weight to sit at a fairly tidy 2,900 pounds. In comparison, a stripped 1971 Corvette coupe tipped the scales at 3,300 pounds. Current suspension bits were said to be included, with many current Corvette parts bin items to finish off the dreamy mid-engine build. Oh, if only.
And how great does this car look? Certainly a Detroit-takes-on-Lamborghini look, but it’s down right gorgeous.
The 1971 Corvette XP-882 fooled everyone at the time, as the concept never moved forward, but it looks decidedly production ready. Multiple other prototypes were introduced in the ’70s and ’80s, but, again, nothing came of them. We can only hope history doesn’t repeat itself in this matter, because we think it’s time the Corvette step into the next level and become a true American world beater.