It’s a brand new year and already one of the biggest stories of those short four days is, you guessed it, Corvette news. And if you thought that we’d seen the last of the crossed flags for a minute after the C7 ZR1 was revealed, you were wrong. In fact, it seems at this point as if the ZR1 was a mere distraction, a smoke and mirror show if you will, to keep us from speculating on the upcoming mid-engined Corvette.
The mid-engine Corvette has all but been confirmed after CAD renderings of the new flagship model leaked last month. Chevrolet was quick to jump on the leak, which first made its appearance over at Corvette Forum, and the pictures were quickly taken down. But not before many people got a pretty good look at the new designs.
Chevrolet’s reaction to the situation all but confirmed that they were, in fact, legitimate. And while we thought that was all we would see of the new design for a while, we were wrong there, too. Close up CAD renderings of one of the mid-engined Corvette’s new mills have leaked, again on Corvette Forum, and they’re pretty revealing.
The picture that leaked was labeled “Gen6 LT7” which gives us the gist of what we’re looking at right off the bat. The new powerplant will carry the LT7 monicker and will likely be a smaller displacement V8, coming in at around the 4.2-liter mark—since those details were leaked in a financial document several months ago as well. The smart money says that the mid-engine car will come with two powerplant options: a naturally-aspirated 5.5-liter V8 and a smaller twin-turbo 4.2-liter V8, which is what we’re seeing here. The earlier CAD renderings that leaked showed a naturally-aspirated engine that is likely the 5.5-liter option.
From the redesign, it’s obvious that the new engine will sit well behind the cockpit and toward the back of the vehicle. Another big surprise is the twin set of snails attached to the engine. Obviously, for Chevrolet’s sixth-generation of small-block, there are some serious changes coming. This includes dual-overhead cams as well which, while not a first for the General, represents a substantial paradigm shift for GM.
Another interesting feature worth noting is the lack of an air-to-air intercooler. The system appears to use an air-to-water intercooler system, just like its supercharged predecessors. This allows the air from the turbochargers to feed directly into the intake plenum and appears to help with packaging concerns. We assume the air boxes house brick-style intercoolers which will pull excessive heat from the incoming air charge.
Many of the features designed into the new mill seem to be borrowed from the Cadillac line of twin turbo V6s, including turbo placement and what appears to be exhaust manifolds that are directly integrated into the head castings—just like the LGW V6 found in the ATS-V. With so much technology from Cadillac rolled into the design, there still is the possibility that this may still be a new Caddy flagship, though the designs look distinctively Corvette.
As we’ve heard previously, there may be several engine options available for this mid-engined beast, though it seems like they will likely share similar architecture—think the LSA and LS9. Either way, we can’t wait to see the real thing and we hope GM takes the wraps off their new stuff at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. Keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned for more news.