Mid-Engine C8 Zora Corvette Test Mule Spotted For The First Time38
Few automotive rumors have remained as persistent as those suggesting a mid-engine Corvette is on its way. Zora Arkus Duntov, who is widely recognized as the father of the Corvette, pushed Chevy to produce concepts like the mid-engine CERV I and CERV II, as he didn’t want to see the Corvette fall into the shadows of mid-engine performance cars from Europe.
Duntov is finally getting his wish. We first heard the next Corvette ZR1 and the C8-generation Corvette would be mid-engined in August of last year, but we remained partly skeptical, as word about a mid-engine Corvette has been swirling for decades. But now Car and Driver finally has concrete proof the next Corvette will place the engine behind the driver after spy photographers caught an early test mule out and about somewhere in Michigan.
This is one of the more interesting test mules we’ve seen, but unfortunately for General Motors, it’s pretty obvious what we’re looking at. The whole thing appears to borrow heavily from the Holden Ute, wearing the Australian pickup’s front and rear clip and sporting a similar bed section. Meanwhile, the cabin, roof and exterior mirrors appear to be taken from the C7 Corvette Stingray. There’s also a B-pillar mounted gas filler cap, cooling intakes along the rocker panels and a large rear wing.
According to C&D, this test mule has an approximate wheelbase of 98.9 inches, about eight inches shorter than the C7 Corvette’s. The shorter wheelbase, enabled by sticking the transmission behind the rear axle, will sharpen turn-in response and allow for a tighter turning radius. They also estimate nearly 60 percent of its mass will be carried over the rear wheels, providing additional traction under heavy acceleration and braking.
We know the engine will be stuffed behind the driver’s head, but we don’t know what kind of engine it will be. A V8 is a must in any Corvette, but there are apparently whispers of a smaller 3.5- or 4.0-liter DOHC V8 being employed in America’s next sports car. It seems like a possibility, and it wouldn’t be the first time a high-performance ‘Vette traded in its pushrod setup for a twin-cam one.
The mid-engine Corvette, which may be referred to as the C8 Zora, is rumored to hit Chevy showrooms as a 2017 model. The front-engine Corvette is expected to stick around upon its arrival, offering fans of America’s sportscar a choice of two completely different models for the first time ever.
Check out the spy shots here, and let us know what you think in the comments below.
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Great spy shots! It amazes me how they can frankencar these test mules together. However, I hate the inclusion of the artists rendering. It may be mid-engined, but shouldn’t the styling remain true to the C7? Last I read Chevrolet was going to be incorporating C7 styling elements in all their newer models.
By and large, every successive generation of Corvette has had most of its physical appearance changed. There is nothing to uphold one generations styling as a hallmark with which all successive generation must emulate.
The C8, whatever becomes of its engine layout, will present its own styling unique to that generation as all previous Corvettes have done. Each generation should be a clean sheet.
Boy, it’s going to be a long wait!
interesting. interesting to think about who they are competitors in the future. in today’s automotive world is a very powerful and complex, and what is yet future. many sports cars are already a number of engine power and weight distribution works differently and has a level regardless of the location of the engine. the central engine is nothing more today or in the future. It will be a lot different from the current top-model Corvette. I am just interested in the fact that what is their vision. what they think about the machines themselves will be compared in the future.
nowhere is there a class with the Porsche 918 and the McLaren P1, however, much cheaper and lower quality.
I would like to understand it.
I see now corvette in the future so that it is still better quality. better quality and minor details. is used to yet more expensive and gorgeous materials. and the tiny details of the design and the quality is still higher level. and prices go higher. it could be a real competitor to Porsche and Ferrari.
Ideally I think that there should be two Corvettes. One as the “traditional/high performance” Corvette, mostly keeping the basic Corvette tradition/lineage [but also being the technology leader]. And the second should be the “baby” Corvette – for those wanting an American sports car, but not able to afford the “traditional” Corvette.
The “baby Corvette” already exists. It’s called the Camaro.
Adding anything else to the range would be redundant.
I think Corvette will be separated from Chevy and be independent like in Europe. The Corvette brand will have two cars, one called Stingray and the other Zora.
ahhhaa. in fact, I was thinking the same, and be sure to include gm. But what difference can it be, and with whom you want to compare it is difficult to understand. The current peak corvette can already be compared with some of the videos on my machines. more than the current Corvette upgrade you may already have, or directly compared. However, this class is very flexible. This is all great but I was just curious as to where you want to place the machine in the future, and which ones. It seems to me very difficult to understand.
characteristics and quality of the videos are already on my machines such as the Porsche 918 and the close but some of them can be classified as more and more high-lower class, however. Range of course, also changes. But my videos olvad machines are also quite different in price especially in the Porsche. and at the same price as the current Corvette different. it seems to be one major difference between the last finishing details and quality. At the moment when the corvette yet to be reviewed and you will be able to hone in direct competition in all matters. And now you can also be sure of top corvette still improving something more special limited edition versions ahhaa. I do not think this mid-engine Corvette. And then it should be the mid-engine Corvette. It should then be much more expensive and compete, for example, the Porsche 918 class.
But if this forum has already had a video on how the current node Corvette won the Porsche 918
Well I told you it was coming and some who will not have the guts to post here would not believe this was the real deal this time.
Time to stop they should or they should not as it is coming like it or not.
The bottom line is for a short time there will be two Corvettes and in time the Front Engine version will go away. We will see a cheaper rear mid engine version arrive later on.
The Camaro is a Camaro and not a Corvette. Just the same the SS sedan is not a Camaro either. The fact is you have a world class car with a front mid engine now that is competitive with some of the worlds best car in terms of performance and now you will see them take that to the next level with a second car. So it is time to sit back strap in and shut and enjoy a rare moment in history where you will get the best of both worlds.
The new C8 is not some quick underfunded project it is a full ticket deal and will still be priced below many cars that it will out lap. We will also see variations of this model that will continue to improve on what has already been done.
There is no baby Corvette as there is a C7 and a C8 and they both will be two of the best performance cars not just for the money but period.
The C8 will be needed for the Corvette to survive with the new technology we will see in It. The packaging is much easer in this one and it will not hurt the performance. The Hybrid items may just save the V8 for the car going into the future so like em or not if you want a V8 you are going to have to adapt to them.
If you want things to get better you are going to just have to learn to adapt. I think once this is done you will like in all the C models find that the change will be for the better in the long run. Tradition is nice to a point but when it limits your future you need to bring change.
Wait a minute….
Given that its an early test mule and all, what if this isn’t the C8, but a CT# model?
Just stop before you get way off track on this.
I know you are smart enough to know by now what is in play. This is the C8 that originally was the C7 that was delayed by the bail out. It will be sold with the C7 and in time replace it.
The only wild hair that could come of this is Cadillac gets their own version and does much like what VW did buy using the same platform for the Lambo and Audi R8.
Note this is not as early of a Mule as you think, 2017-18 is not that far off and When they get to this point they are normally up in about 18 months.
With the Corvette they have a history of better cammo such as the C6 under a Camaro body and the C7 under a C6 body. BOth appeared in full body just a few month later.
This photo is not a surprise shot as two reasons. Chris Doane is a well know spy photographer who has been given chances to take shots GM wants out. Ford will announce the Ford GT at Detroit and these photos are GMs preemptive move to show they are well at work already.
I know Chris and he and GM have worked together before. they get the photos out that GM wants seen and collects the money for photos that pay the best in the industry.
In short this is the C8 and it is coming just as I posted over 2 months ago.
As a corvette fanboy I wasn’t a fan of the corvette going mid-engine, at least at first. I thought the price would go up into GTR territory for the base model, that the corvette’s amazing RWD proportions would be thrown out in favor of a stubby FWD cab forward design with a long rear end. However, after giving it some thought, I realists that this project was absolutely necessary. The corvette will benefit from this new setup in terms of better acceleration and handling, better efficiency, and better brand image from the new tech. The camaro will absolutely benefit from this, as its performer will no longer be limited to less than that of the corvette, but will now be limited by the limitations of the front engine RWD layout. Not only will the corvette be better in every way, but so will the camaro
I think GM is kind of embarrassed with the C7 – its tasteless appearance, timid evolution and customer complaints. I would bet on the C7 getting retired as soon as the C8 is ready. None of this side-by-side nonsense.
You are so stupidly wrong. The C7 is turning out to be GM’s most awarded car in history. Proof, sales are up 350% on the C7.
“I would bet on the C7 getting retired as soon as the C8 is ready. ”
WOW R U A WiZARD!?!
With only one dedicated assembly line, I think you’ll find that every generation of Corvette gets retired when it’s replacement goes into production.
Embarrassed with an award winning car…….get real!
Hopefully, if/when this car becomes a reality, it will not look too much like the artist rendering. This impression screams WAY too much of the Nissan rubbish from the back. Looks like a GT-R rear end was grafted on. The C7 rear end is much more attractive and modern.
p.s. Gus. I wasn’t aware of GM being at all embarrassed with the awesome looking C7.
Les the drawing is only an approximation of what is coming the details will be much different. So I would not worry about that one now. Just look at the green house area and the cockpit as these on the mule are production. They do vary much from the drawing.
Seeing how the new car has no round tail lamps I expect none on the new cat Too. Look for a play on the new C7 lights.
As for Gus he is just another troll. No one is embarrassed.
Les look at the Nov Motor Trend and you will see a better idea what to expect but still not exact.
The drawing at Car and Driver was based on a design by the Stylist of the Ford GT. Go figure.
It looks like a dual engine Frankenvette 1 Front mid engine and one rear mid engine. Two LT4 engines. Add two eight speed automatic transmissions. 16 cylinders 16 speeds 1300 hp what could go wrong.
It needs turbos! 4 of ’em!
There was also rumors of GM developing a hybrid version of the Corvette. I could really see this mid-engine unit getting a pair of electric motors to go along with a V8.
I know GM is apparently developing new DOHC V8 for Cadillac but I would love to see an LT4 plug in hybrid mid engine Corvette.
Sorry guys and I hate to say it, but I highly doubt this will be the STANDARD C8. More likely it’s the next ZR1. And I only say this for one reason. Mid-engined cars don’t sell well period. Sure us performance fan boys love the looks and extreme-end performance benefits of the design. The fact of the matter is, mid-engined cars are far beyond the abilities of anyone but the most skilled to drive at the limit (or sometimes near it) and have no everyday packaging advantages vs front-engined RWD car. Never mind the enormous investment cost of such a unconventional design for such a narrowly focused segment of the market.
Therefor they have to be marketed and sold on the extreme high end of the spectrum to turn a profit; or sell in dismal numbers while the company just eats the losses but capitalizes on the “Halo Affect”.
I highly doubt GM is about to do the the latter. Which leads me to conclude it will be the former. And that would kill the Corvette’s customer base if the corvette where to survive on this mid-engine chassis alone. This will more likely be a Chevy supercar/halo companion to the conventional Corvette.
Well this is the low down.
This is the C8 and there is only one C8 program. You are correct this is taking the place of the ZR1 at the start but we will at some point see this car expand to other lower cost verison available as time goes on.
The C7 will be sold along side the C8 till 2022 approx and it will be removed and replaced with the lower cost version of this car.
The simple reason here is as Erik pointed out is that GM is working on a version of a Hybrid system that will be placed in this car at some point. I am not sure it will be introduced with it or have it added later. Either way it will be needed to keep a powerful V8 in this car over the long run. Other wise the Corvette would lose either power, V8 or both.
Packaging of this system requires more space and the Mid Engine offords this space much more and is the key reason they could make a buisness case on this.
As mentioned Cadillac may look into using this much as VW has with Lambo and Audi has their platform. But the Cadillac is only in the earliest stages at this point and would be a while before we would see anything there.
As for skill to drive a mid engine car that is not necessarily true. For the most part a well designed mid engine car will have good balance and not show much in evil moves. Also with todays electronics even an evil car can be easily tamed with these systems. They work much like the flight systems on a F117 that keeps it in the air.
I have owned a mid engine car for nearly 30 years and also have thousands of miles of seat time in rear engine 911’s and they are not anything that can not be driven safely or we would not have them today. Many of the people who can afford these cars lack the skills to drive a Chevette let alone a Corvette as it is now.
Bottom line is this is the C8 and it will not be cheap when it first appears along side the C7 but in time it will surplant the C7 with more affordable models if all goes as planned.
People have cried the end of the Corvette so many times for so many reasone. No more Big Blocks, No more bumpers, No power in the 70’s, No pop up head lamps, the loss of the round tail lamps. etc. In the end the car keeps going on and keeps getting better and better as it has for the last 31 years.
GM for so long did what they had to to here as they really did not have the money to do it all right. Today GM has the money to do the right things and not make us wait 30 years between platforms anymore.
The Coming regulations also are forcing the hands of all sports car makers. These electric system like on the LaFerrari and 918 are expensive now but we will see the prices drop and these systems will find their ways to more cars at more affordable prices. It is the only way you will still be able to buy a 700 HP engine in to the future.
I have heard reports of a Corvette prototype with 1,000 HP and that they are having issues getting the power to the ground. That very well could be a Zora with a Supercharged V8 with a hybrid system.
Let this play out some more as we have more news coming soon and you will be shocked at where all this is going. Let the good times roll.
There is sound logic to your point, and I believe you have some “insider info” as well. But you also make alot of predictions that have no basis in current trends. I get the Gov. is tightening emissions and fuel economy regs, but frankly the only reason we are seeing hybrid tech is because of the “optics” behind it. It just LOOKs good for a company to appear to actively pursue alternatives to ICEs.
But frankly nearly none of these cars actually solve the problem. They just make it more complicated. The La Ferrari, Porsche 918, and McLaren P1 all get terrible gas mileage with hybrid tech and are comparable in weight if not heavier than conventional supercars.
I get it, they are cool, they are high-tech, but they don’t solve the problem. The irony is the ignorant get caught up in the fanfare, while basic refinements to the ICE – and car engineering in general – steadily chip away at every deficiency there has been with fuel economy, safety, and performance.
To my view, of the current crop of “its 22nd century now” supercars, only the 918 predicts the future of the supercar (although I personally WORSHIP the P1). Porsche actually used the tech to make a compelling argument for having it all. They came up with an elegant non-power robbing AWD system (electric front drive train), the in-line generator/powerbooster/eletric motor design is elegant and direct. Although the car is portly at 3700lbs, it does have a 420mile range. Which is better than its conventional contemporaries – while boasting superior performance.
If Chevy is taking a page from this book, it better make the next leap of the tech. It better be far cheaper, and it better have next to no compromises. The “Exotic” marques can afford to pedal fantasy and pixie dust; there is always a multi millionaire foisting money in their direction – no matter what they build. Chevy/GM doesn’t have that luxury. As we all witnessed with Cadillac, a few missteps from GM and it takes nearly two generations for the market to forgive them.
While you are correct on the cars being complex these systems work and help avoid fuel mileage issues globally.
The are not doing it for publicity.
These systems are expensive but will get cheaper over time.
We will also see similar ones in high end Cadillacs.
The fact is the 700 hp engines will go away unless they get some kind of help. That is why they are all in on these systems.
Note to these are global cars not just America.
Things will be tough everywhere.
They can make these engines work on hydrogen to go along with fuel cell vehicles. That is the future of sports cars, not band aid tech hybrids.
Doug I love hydrogen and even have seat time in one. It will have its time but it will be while.
The lack of infrstuture and cost still need worked out. Just the time to refill is still an issue.
As for in a sports car tank figment is an issue.
In the mean time these hybrids will fill in. Also new technology we are unaware of can always pop in.
C7 will live until 2022 and be sold alongside C8… you’re sure about this?
That is what is being reported from more than one place.
The is why we have the Stingray name back.
This way they can sell both
As for the year that can vary.
I checked some of my notes and some other sources are saying 2020. Take your pick as it could be either or some where in-between.
Sensing this car may actually be in the works and from what I heard a very limited first year production run (1500 or so) I went and put a deposit on one about 2 months ago. Better safe than sorry.
If I were you I would be ready to get hit with a big mark up. You can bet the dealers that get these cars will mark them up much.
Might pay to wait and get one later. It is not like they won’t build more nor as time goes on that supply will catch up with demand. At $150K-200K you only will have so many buyers so 1500 units should be fine.
You guys have all missed the BLATANTLY obvious!
It’s the special edition run-out version of Holden’s 2017 HSV Maloo ute. The front clip, tail lights and the pop-rivet rear-deck tonneau are all dead give-aways!
Shhh! I have been trying to play the Vette end so the secret would not get out. LOL!
Now that you mention it I wonder now about the new white Malibu that was running around with the RWD and he engine in the back seat. So many said that GM would never had done that and that it was just a joke someone did with a brand new Malibu.
Funny that it now seems like it just may not have been a joke after all! When I saw it I pondered that it was like some of the pranks the old Corvette engineering team used to pull when It had the crossed flags on it.
The new Feb Road and Track has a story in the back by Bob Lutz on the background of the new Vette. The story is full of accurate information and though he plays the fact of production off at the end of the story the rest is rock solid info that most has been corroborated by others already.
The story was timed very well to appear the same week as the Ford GT and a week after the photo’s so I suspect he was asked by GM to write this story.
Anyways it lays out the thinking and where whys and how’s of the program. You only need to change two things. the production is much better than 50% and that they have been working more than 6 months on this.
I hope they choose to make this mid-engine sports car as a Cadillac instead of a Corvette. It only makes sense. Cadillac is the GM upscale brand with proven racing mettle (3 consecutive mfr titles, and driver titles, as well). The CTS-V and ATS-V could use a smaller sibling.
The current corvette is a winner. Such a radical change would not be good for the brand, following so soon after their success with the stingray. Instead, keep the Corvette as a front engine rear drive with the 50-50 balance it has (thanks to the combination of differential and transmission at the rear).
The XLR was never really successful even though it was basically a Corvette with the Northstar engine and a retractable hardtop. It doesn’t seem to work to try to create cross-brand products. Cadillac needs a sports car. Let this be the one!