It has the highest power, most tech, and greatest track prowess in the history of the brand. The recently revealed 2019 Corvette ZR1 is a true American dream car. So why do we keep hearing rumors of a mid-engined Corvette?
It’s a tale dating back to 1970 when Chevy created a mid-engined prototype. With the exception of the nineties, each decade thereafter saw a new concept appear to stir the rumor mill. Apparently, a GM project was gaining traction in the mid-2000s, until “The Big Short” and a bailout put an end to that. Fox News recently reported on a heavily cloaked Corvette with a long rear end making a Michigan Mickey D’s run. The world was a-twitter.
Maybe a mid-engined Corvette is finally on its way, but here’s our take. Why?
Has America been clamoring for a mid-engined beast? Or is it just overly fanatic journalists enthralled with willing it into existence? Auto writers who want fake news to be true so badly that they report on anything “mid-engined” and “Corvette” until a special prosecutor is appointed and GM caves to decades of pressure.
We’re sure some enthusiasts would love to see GM play in the Ferrari leagues. But, here’s the truth: Corvette is already playing in the Ferrari leagues. The 2019 Corvette ZR1 is powered by an LT5 supercharged monstrosity making 755 hp and 715 lb-ft of torque. New aero packages increase downforce without adding drag, 60% more downforce than a Z06 with a Z07 Performance Package. If you’re keeping score, that’s an estimated 950 lbs. of downforce. It all adds up to keep the vehicle more planted on the track than ever, all the way up to 210 mph.
It’s been rumored that the ZR1 is over two seconds quicker around Virginia International Raceway than the Z06. That puts it in supercar (if not hypercar) range. So why do we need a mid-engined Corvette? Because some journalists want one. This journalist, on the other hand, believes Corvette is doing just fine building front-engined performance monsters that people can actually afford to buy.
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