We’re kicking off 2019 with some fresh news that potentially surrounds the mid-engine Corvette. This past December, General Motors once again filed to trademark the “Zora” name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The Drive first reported on the trademark filing on Tuesday, which follows a previous USPTO application back in 2014 for the same name. It’s long been speculated the Zora name will grace the mid-engine Corvette as a nod to the sports car’s father and long-time lead engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov.
The application was filed on Dec. 12 and pertains to “motor land vehicles, namely, automobiles.” Crucially, GM did not receive a registration status back in 2014 for the name in the U.S. This was due to the lack of a Statement of Use document. Since the automaker doesn’t currently have a product for the name, the USPTO did not grant the registration.
With the new filing, GM will likely once again extend the Statement of Use filing to align closely with the mid-engine Corvette’s debut, perhaps as early as May 2019. The car was rumored to debut at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but sources told GM Authority the car had been delayed six months over electrical issues and to expect a standalone debut.
GM has already been granted permission to use the Zora name in seven of nine offices the automaker filed the trademark with globally. GM filed the Zora trademark in the U.S., Mexico, China, Japan, Australia, European Union, United Kingdom, South Korea, and Canada. Only the U.S. and Mexico hadn’t approved the name as of this past August.
The Zora name is a special one to Corvette fans. Zora Arkus-Duntov was the man behind the decision to install a V8 engine into the first-generation C1 Corvette and propelled the car’s performance aspirations for decades. Famously, he pushed for a mid-engine layout decades ago, only to see his dreams go unfulfilled. He passed away in 1996. Over 20 years later, Mr. Arkus-Duntov will see his dream realized.