Interviews — 3 Min Read

The 2020 Mid-Engine Corvette Will Debut on July 18

Interviews — 5 Min Read

The 2020 Mid-Engine Corvette Will Debut on July 18

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After decades of speculations, concepts, and renderings, a mid-engine version of everyone’s favorite American sports car, the Chevrolet Corvette, is finally on its way. Chevrolet officially acknowledged that the car is real, and told us when we’ll see it in person.

Prices from $75,000 to a full featured model at $149,000.

While prototypes are out on public roads doing testing now, the racing version of the C8 spotted at Road America getting ready for the 2020 season. As with all Corvette race cars dating back to the C5-R, the C8.R will be built by Pratt and Miller and entered into the IMSA WeatherTech Series. A run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021 is possible, too.

Audio from the C8.R’s test sessions reveal a car that sounds quite different than the thundering C7.R, leading us to wonder if this car has a V-6, or perhaps a flat-plane V-8.

The Performance Will Be Even Better

The only reason the Corvette would switch to a mid-engined layout is for performance. Engineers at GM understand that there is a limit to how much power a front-engine supercar can put down, and how much cornering grip it can achieve. Although the current Corvette is a fantastic sports car, it’s inherently held back by its front-mid-engine layout. With the engine in the middle, the car’s weight distribution can be optimized, with turn-in and corner holding capabilities benefitting as a result.

The mid-engine Corvette has long seemed like a fantasy, a daydream promoted by automotive journalists, Corvette loyalists, and those who want to see an American automaker finally build a direct competitor to the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini. Recent evidence suggests that this wish could finally come true. While we’re hesitant to call it a sure thing, we think there’s a strong likelihood it could happen. And we can’t wait to get our hands on it.

It Could Be Called Zora

A member of the mid-engine Corvette forum recently discovered that Chevrolet has begun to trademark the name “Zora” in several different countries, including the US, the UK, China, Japan, and Australia. If you’re not familiar with the name, Zora Arkus-Duntov was the GM engineer responsible for much of the early Corvette’s development, engineering, and racing success. He worked on the Corvette program from 1953 up until his retirement in 1975 at the age of 81 years old. Though he didn’t create the car, he’s known throughout the car world as the “father of the Corvette.” It’s worth noting he was also a successful racing driver, taking class victories in the 1954 and 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Hagerty speculates that the “Zora” name will be reserved for a high-performance version of the C8, while spy photos from Carscoops indicate that a version could retain the Stingray name of the base C7.

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