A new video obtained by GM Authority shows the forthcoming mid-engine Corvette under acceleration testing at the track. The clip shows three launches of the future Corvette, which is still wearing plenty of camouflage, in different weather conditions, giving us our best look yet at how the upcoming sports car sounds at wide-open throttle while potentially revealing and/or confirming some juicy details.
During the first launch, the mid-engine Corvette comes to a complete stop, shows off more of its LED taillight design in the process, turns off the right lane change indicator (blinker), and launches. There is no audible or noticeable wheel slip as the prototype rockets forward.
From the sound of it, we’d say there is a healthy V8 engine under the hood, though it’s unclear whether the engine is of the Overhead Valve “push-rod” variety or a Dual OverHead Cam (DOHC) design (our bet is on the latter). Whatever the engine, the speed of the upshifts make it rather clear that a dual-clutch transmission (DCT) is doing the shifting, as the developmental prototype runs through the first four gears during this run.
The second launch, which starts at 0:18 in the video, is more dramatic than the first. Due to the wet road conditions, the mid-engine Corvette sees some audible wheel slip in first gear before shifting into second gear. A detailed analysis of the video seems to indicate that the rear wheels were the ones that slipped, potentially indicating that the model seen in the clip is rear-wheel-drive. By contrast, various rumors about the mid-engine Corvette have indicated that the upcoming sports car will be all-wheel-drive.
As such, we can see one or a combination of the following scenarios playing out:
- The prototype seen here is a base rear-drive model and the mid-engine Corvette will have rear-wheel-drive standard, while offering all-wheel-drive as an option, potentially on higher-performing model variants
- The mid-engine Corvette will feature an advanced drivetrain that enables the driver to select between RWD and AWD, much like the new BMW M5 or Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
- The mid-engine Corvette will not offer all-wheel-drive whatsoever, and stick to a rear-drive setup
Like in the first acceleration, this second run also shows the prototype model rowing through the first four forward gears before slowing.
Taking place at 0:32 into the video, the third launch mimics the turn signal indicator actions of the first run: the driver comes to a complete stop, disables the right hand turn signal indicator, and launches the Vette tester.
In contrast to the first launch, the pilot enables the left hand turn signal indicator shortly after beginning the acceleration, and changes one lane to the left, continuing the remainder of the acceleration in the middle of the three lanes. Sadly, the testing model then goes out of range of our spy shooter, cutting the video.
The GM Authority Take
It would seem that the focus of these runs was not only to test out the huge acceleration of the mid-engine Corvette, but also to trial the car’s stability, traction and launch control systems – as indicated by the various degrees of wheel slip as a result of 1) different road (wet/dry) conditions and 2) potentially different stability and traction control settings.
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