We, and just about everyone else in the automotive journalism realm, have been speculating exactly what a mid-engine Corvette will look like exactly for years, if not decades — and no, the fact that the current Corvette’s engine sits behind the centerline of the front axle doesn’t count as “mid-engine.” To add to that list, the guys over at Car and Driver have released their official rendering of what they think the General’s latest and greatest will look like.
Now, before we get down to the business of giving you our take on the rendering, we wanted to preface this with the fact that Car and Driver has a habit of reporting their own guesses as 100 percent factual. And while they’ve been known to have the inside scoop on a lot of things, they’ve been wrong just as many times as they’ve been right. With that said, let’s get to it.
We must admit, the rendering is pretty close to what we are expecting as well. Whether or not this strikes you in the love or hate portion of your heart is up to you, but we think it’s a pretty handsome version of what a mid-engine Corvette could look like (red, green *shrugs*).
The proportions seem to be spot on and they’ve even incorporated the snowflake wheels we’ve been seeing on test mules — though that’s one of the things we dislike the most about it. Other than that, we really dig it. It may not be the absolute home run that we were hoping for, but overall the car is good looking and carries over enough cues to keep it distinctively Corvette.
The real question here is how much of it is carbon fiber and what does the drivetrain look like. The guys over at Car and Driver speculate (though they make it seem as if it’s written in stone) that the C8 will come with three different powerplants. The first being a beefed up LT1 V8, perhaps relabeled LT2 or LT3, which will pump out roughly 500 horsepower. Next, they theorize that a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter, DOHC V8 will be offered making roughly 600 horsepower with the top of the pile coming in the form of the LT7 V8, which will be the same 5.5-liter, DOHC mill but with two snails attached to it.
Allegedly, the LT7 will be capable of 800 horsepower. For the most part, we agree with that speculation aside from the LT1. In our opinion, the car will only be offered with the 5.5-liter V8 and nothing else. And while we have a good idea of what the engine options will be, the real question mark in the drivetrain is what transmission, or rather transaxle, will back the new V8.
It could very well be the 10-speed automatic al la the ZL1, but we’ve now heard the car in action and the shifting seems very much different from the 10L90. It would appear that Chevrolet may release the C8 with its very first dual-clutch transmission (DCT). This would push the C8 well into supercar territory, especially if it is capable of producing anywhere in the region of 800 horsepower (which seems more than likely considering the LT5 already makes 755).
Car and Driver goes on to state — and by state, we actually mean speculate — that the C8 will eventually get a hybrid system with electric motors powering the front wheels and pumping the car’s total output to over 1,000 horsepower. If that were to happen, not only would it be the first time we’ve actually seen a mid-engine Corvette, it would be the first mid-engined, all-wheel drive Corvette ever, an exciting thought.
We’ve seen nothing suggesting that the car will go hybrid but the idea isn’t outside the realm of possibility. With the rapid electrification advancements over at Chevrolet, it’s not a far-fetched theory and would actually be pretty awesome. Either way, one thing is for sure: Corvette fans are in for a lot of changes, for better or for worse. For more picture and info, head over to Car and Driver.