Shhh. It’s been whispered about for years. Is there really a secret super Corvette in development or is this another case of “Cry Wolf”? It’s true-ish. The mid-engine Chevy Corvette could finally make its official debut as soon as 2018 at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit and could potentially go on the market in 2019. The C8, codenamed “Emperor,” may have been one of the most difficult secrets to keep, with today’s technology and spycams in particular.
In fact, in the Detroit News, an anonymous former GM employee is reported to have exclaimed, “It’s happening, Mark Reuss wants it. It’s the worst-kept secret in town (Reuss is GM’s product chief).”
Is it the Chevy Corvette C8?
It’s actually kind of refreshing that this could finally possibly be happening. The next generation Chevy Corvette C8 breaks from tradition in many ways that will not only make it super, but also, quite special. Well, that is, depending on who you talk to.
Hallmarks of America’s beloved sports car are the V-8 front engine and rear-wheel drive. It’s also accessible to a wider demographic than exotic high-end performance cars like Ferrarri or Lamborghini. Today’s C7 Stingray defies performance boundaries possible from a front-engine, rear-wheel drive vehicle. To reinvent and outdo itself, a mid-engine car would be the logical next step for the Corvette. Mid-engine cars gain the benefit of a weight distribution conducive to more precise handling and acceleration. The engine is wedged in front of the rear axle, behind the passenger area.
Secret Super Corvettes That Might Have Been
But a look back at the history of this iconic American car will supply the background to decades of rumors of its classic success formula it has stuck to for more than 60 years. In 1959 the Scaglietti Corvette was conceived to compete with European road racers. Carroll Shelby and friends sent three Corvette rolling chassis to Italy to Carrozzeria Scaglietti for bodywork in the vein of the Ferrari Tour de France racer. It could have been the Cobra but was killed when GM put an end to factory racing.
The recent noise and rumblings we’ve heard on the mid-engine C8 Corvette are the closest we’ve come to making the dream real. Taking it a step further, in 2019, rumor has it there will be a four-cam, 32-valve V-8 model shown at NAIAS, and beyond this, a hybrid E-Ray Corvette.
Meanwhile, you can do your part and test drive a Corvette at your local AutoNation Chevrolet dealership. There are hundreds of AutoNation dealerships from coast to coast, with over 100,000 cars, so chances are, there will be a shiny Corvette with your name on it, waiting for you to get behind the wheel.