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GREAT SCOTT! Is it real?

A mid-engine Corvette???

It’s been a while since we last heard about alleged plans for a mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette, but now spies have seen what appears to be a first prototype for just such a car.

A test mule for what appeared to be a mid-engine model of some sort was spotted at a General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] proving ground in early 2015.

Our spies suggest the initial prototypes for the mid-engined Corvette were developed from a modified Holden ute body. More advanced mules with C7 ‘Vette body panels are seen on the vehicle in these new pictures, which has the pronounced silhouette of a mid-engine car compared with that of the C7 running along with it.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette C8 mid-engine car spy shots2019 Chevrolet Corvette C8 mid-engine car spy shots

Our spies also say the mid-engine Corvette prototype has been running almost exclusively at night, to avoid long-distance lenses with 50 megapixels to throw around–until now. It’s also been protected from almost all employees at GM’s Tech Center, closed to all but a small circle of designers and engineers–as was the case with the Ford GT supercar.

Since those first rumors of the mid-engine ‘Vette appeared last year in Car and Driver, the magazine has reported that not only will the upcoming car be offered in ZR1 trim, but also in base form.

The base model is said to once again adopt one of GM’s pushrod V-8s, with output hovering between 450 and 500 horsepower. More extreme versions, like a ZR1 or something similar, will eventually follow. Engines with dual overhead camshafts andeven hybrid technology are possibilities.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette C8 mid-engine car spy shots2019 Chevrolet Corvette C8 mid-engine car spy shots

One crucial difference between the new mid-engine Corvette and the current C7 will be price. While the base C7 Corvette Stingray starts below $60k, the new price of entry is said to be rising to approximately $80k. The higher price can be justified by the more exotic layout, plus it provides a nice buffer with the Camaro, which since the arrival of the sixth-generation model has been closing in on its big brother in both performance and pricing.

The change will also help the new Corvette become a semi-exotic halo model for Chevrolet worldwide, similar to what the GT-R is for Nissan and the NSX is to Acura and Honda.

If accurate, it means the current C7 Corvette will likely be the last generation with a front-mounted engine. To send it off with a bang, it’s reported GM will introduce a model above the current Z06 at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.

Via: MotorAuthority

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