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Why Chevrolet Might Debut the Mid-Engine Corvette in Detroit

Hardcore enthusiasts, and basically anyone who even casually follows the automotive press, knows that the mid-engine Corvette has been a dream since the 1960s.

Zora Arkus-Duntov—known as the “Father of the Corvette”—began pushing for one not long after the model’s inception back in the ’50s, and over the years, there have been plenty of concepts which have seemed to hint that a mid-engine version of America’s Sports Car was just around the corner. Unfortunately, those sleek concepts and rumors never transitioned into an actual model, leaving many fans to think the General was content to leave the idea on the drawing board.

But recently, spies have caught mid-engine prototypes testing, so we’re confident that this time, a mid-engine GM supercar is on the way. That said? There’s a tiny part of us which thinks GM still might brand this a Cadillac, and have it priced in the 200k range, to keep the Corvette a single-model line. Because the prototypes recently surfaced at a McDonald’s in—get this—Cadillac, Michigan, and we’d love to think that was a not-so-subtle hint about what badge it’ll wear.

Now, the big question, of course, is when the great unwashed will actually get to see a production-ready version of this beast. Our friends over at Hagerty just posted a killer rendering of what the car could look like, and while they guessed it wouldn’t debut until the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, they also wrote it would start around 70k—which just doesn’t fly with us, because it seems optimistically inexpensive. In contrast, if it does wear the Corvette badge, we think it’ll likely cost somewhere just north of the 120k mark.

And the reason we think the General might pull the wraps off it next week is pretty simple—there’s just not a lot going on in the Motor City year. Sure, the new Ram pickup will be there, along with the redesigned Mercedes-Benz G-Class, the GT500 Mustang, the Toyota Avalon, the Volkswagen Jetta, and the new Hyundai Veloster. All of those are important vehicles, certainly, but none of them are high-octane, poster-inspiring supercars. So this would be a perfect opportunity to have that segment all to itself, and ensure that the automotive press will be saturated with coverage of its new baby. We keep remembering how Ford completely blew everyone when it debuted the latest GT at the show a couple of years back, and wonder if the folks at the General are planning something similar.

Obviously, we’ll have to wait and see. But one thing is for sure—when the new mid-engine car does drop? Your local AutoNation dealer is sure to be slammed with orders. Keep your fingers crossed that’s sooner rather than later.

 

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