Watch The Mid-Engine Corvette Undergo Acceleration Testing At The Track: Video10
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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Well GM showed you what they wanted you to see. This part of the track can be seen from outside and they know they are watched here. As one GM manger told me they go here when they want something seen.
The car I expect will be RWD with AWD an option later in more powerful cars.
Why do I say this. Well here are the clues.
1 Price GM wants to keep the price viable on the low end.
2 The Vette has one of the best traction and stability systems now so the will retain this.
3 They tried to put AWD on the present ZR1 but could not fit it in.
4 The engineer while stating they were testing over 1000 HP said they will only use what 5hey can put to the ground.
Here’s why I disagree:
1. AWD won’t fit; look at the CADs
2. AWD adds weight
3. AWD costs more
4. AWD would require extensive research and development as GM has never had a high-performance AWD system before. They would have to add a couple grand to the MSRP just to cover the R&D costs.
AWD will fit easily with Hybrid systems.
Hybrid will add some weight but the added performance will more than make up for it.
Cost in the upper end models means little. Hence only available in the top end models that will need it.
AWD systems have been in the works at GM for a long time and they have just not used it. Also systems are available from outside vendors that can be used like Haldex. When you are speaking about a $150K ZR1 replacement the added cost is nominal.
You may not want it and that is fine but it is very doable should they find the need. With the coming power it will be needed. 800 HP plus a 200 HP front drive Hybrid system. 1000 HP for less than $200,000.
To have that kind of power is great but like Dodge is finding it is worthless unless you get it to the ground with out silly tricks like slicks on the street.
As I said below, AWD will work with the hybrid setups. However, GM Authority implies that the Z06 and up could use AWD, which is incorrect. The Z06 and ZR1 will only be available with RWD. Performance Traction Management and the use of boost-by-gear technology will help them efficiently put power to the ground.
“1. AWD won’t fit; look at the CADs”
And in those CAD renderings, I see what looks like a sizable driveshaft tunnel running to the front axle.
“2. AWD adds weight”
OH NOES! Does GM know about this?!
“3. AWD costs more”
And the Corvette in some configurations can already command $100,000. I doubt that price will be a barrier.
“4. AWD would require extensive research and development as GM has never had a high-performance AWD system before.”
Forgot about the Syclone and Typhoon?
But if you want to exclude those 2 for any reason, then we’ll all have to sit back and wait until an AWD version of the C8 shows up.
I don’t know why you don’t want the C8 to have AWD if other sports car in this segment have it as well. There’s no reason to put the Corvette at a disadvantage right out of the gate.
No mid-engine Corvette will have AWD until you reach the hybrid and electric models in the future. The base engine will be an LT1 with a new dual air intake and possibly a new intake manifold. The headers and exhaust will also have a unique design, increasing horsepower. The taillights in this video aren’t the production units. I don’t think anyone will be ready for how good this car looks, including GM execs.
You said it the best on here…I believe it won’t be a traditional AWD setup nor will the V8 even power the front wheels…Electric motor(s) will executively turn the front wheels in the E-Ray is my Vegas bet…
You can really see the fabric swell up over top the engine cover. So it’s definitely open similar to McLaren.
I don’t know about you guys, but I thought it sounded rather weak.
They turn signals may be on to test the lane keeping system when accelerating from a standing stop.