Stingray Corvette Forum banner

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
18,670 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ZR1/Z0RA/C8:

If you believe Motor Trend's new "scoop," they say that there will be a mid-engined $150,000-$200,000 ZR1 with between 750-800 HP, that it will spawn a whole C8 family, probably a whole separate GM "Corvette brand," all with mid-engines, and here it a concept of what it would look like.

We have all traveled the Corvette "yellow brick road, mid-engine fantasy" many times before, only for that road to become a mirage, or is this scoop based on fact. What do you think?


MotorTrend said:
Scoop! Mid-Engine Chevrolet Corvette is a Go!!!

By Jonny Lieberman, Angus MacKenzie, Scott Evans: August 14, 2014

You like rumors? Hot, hard-to-resist rumors? Here’s one to jack your blood pressure through the roof! The next Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 will be mid-engined. That’s right, kids! Multiple sources have told us that the next version of the Corvette ZR1 will be mid-engined. One of these sources even stated that the next-generation Corvette -- the C8 -- will ship with its engine mounted in the middle. The rendering above, by Tom Matsumoto, shows what the mid-engined Corvette could look like.

Yes, yes -- we know -- another story about a mid-engine Corvette. Will this madness never end? This particular fantasy tale, as some of you know, seems to have been continuously reported on since 1963 when the CERV II was built. The father of the Corvette -- Zora Arkus-Duntov -- seriously wanted to build a mid-engine ’Vette. Only GM’s cement-shoed board stopped him. Chevrolet tried again in 1964 with the (admittedly rear-engined) XP-819 and then again with the XP-882 in 1969. Next came the XP-895 in 1972, the two-rotor (and Porsche 914-based!) XP-897GT in 1973 (odd side note: the XP-897GT eventually got a Mazda 13B mated to a front-drive Cadillac transmission installed by its private owner in 1997), the Aerovette in 1976 and finally the CERV III in 1986.

Point is that a mid-engine Corvette has been in the collective Chevrolet consciousness for decades. The story of the (almost) mid-engine car has become part of the Corvette’s lore, of its mystique. Grok this: Pre-bankruptcy, Chevrolet was working on a mid-engine C7, but it got shelved when Bob Lutz left GM and former Corvette chief engineer Tom Wallace retired. In other words, mid-engine work has already been done on this generation of Corvette.

Further supporting the mid-engine Corvette hypothesis is the fact that on June 2, Chevrolet trademarked the name Zora for the intended use of “motor land vehicles, namely, automobiles.” That suggests a future Corvette may be named Zora. What better way to honor the man who made the Corvette the performance icon it is today than by finally building the car he always dreamed of? Remember that way back in 1959, Arkus-Duntov built the CERV I (CERV stands for Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle). It was of course mid-engined, as Zora firmly believed that a low polar-moment of inertia was the key to a world-class sports car. Emphasis on “world.”

Here’s another reason to suspect that the mid-engine Corvette rumors are true: The next Camaro will be based on GM's Alpha platform, which underpins the Cadillac ATS. A 2013 ATS with the 2.0-liter turbo-four and a six-speed manual we tested weighed in at 3433 pounds. Presumably, a 2.0-liter Camaro (to fight the 2015 EcoBoosted Mustang) with a shortened wheelbase would weigh even less than the lightweight Caddy. The new C7 Corvette Stingray coupe with a seven-speed manual? Around 3450 pounds. The last Camaro SS we weighed came in at 3893 pounds (the track-focused 1LE). Furthermore, we suspect the C7 Z06 with its supercharger and aero aids will weigh more than the base ’Vette, probably around 3500 pounds, about 100 pounds lighter than a Porsche 911 Turbo. In terms of power to weight, the 2016 Camaro is going to be stepping on the Corvette’s toes, hard. Especially if you can imagine that the next-generation Z/28 is suddenly up to 600 pounds lighter than the current monster. If Chevrolet makes not just the C7 ZR1, but the entire C8 Corvette lineup mid-engine, the move would make sense from a sales and marketing as well as model-differentiation point of view.

There’s also some talk of a Corvette “family” for the C8. Corvette is obviously strong enough to stand as its own brand. Rather than doing that (like the short-lived SRT experiment at Chrysler), Chevrolet may very well do what Land Rover is doing with its families -- Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, and Range Rover Evoque; Discovery and Discovery Sport -- and create a Corvette family that could consist of both a front- and a mid-engine car.
Can one platform support both engine locations? It’s doable, though certainly unprecedented, and it would no doubt be freakishly expensive. If GM were to turn Corvette into a family of vehicles, we suspect the front- and mid-engine cars would be built on two distinct platforms. The front-engine model range (Stingray?) would use the existing C7 platform. That would keep prices down and allow GM to position Stingray as the entry-level Corvette. The C8 Stingray would probably not get the biggest horsepower engines.

The Zora/ZR1 range (the mid-engine cars) would be more highly priced and would be given the most powerful engines to ensure a real performance differential between the two Corvette siblings. Interior finish would be more lavish. Horsepower of 750-800 is OK in a rear-drive-only format when you have a mid-engine platform (Pagani Huayra, anyone?), though all-wheel drive would make sense, too. If Chevrolet chose to follow Ferrari’s lead of driving the front axle off the front of the engine like the FF, that would be a nice nod to the all-wheel-drive mid-engine CERV II. Chevrolet would certainly be acting logically to allow for all-wheel drive in an all-new mid-engine architecture. Long term, a mid-engine layout also makes an advanced high-performance all-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain (like the Porsche 918, for example) easier to package. Will Chevrolet go down the electrified hypercar path? One of our sources indicated that such a car is in the cards.

A new mid-engine platform would be expensive, but it would be the only way to take the Corvette brand upmarket, and to a higher price point. Remember, the name of the game these days is global sales. Keeping the entry-level range on the existing platform ensures the Corvette brand remains accessible. The front-engined Stingray is Corvette's 911. It's the heritage play. The mid-motored Zora would then be free to compete in the $200,000 playground against the usual suspects (Ferrari 458, Audi R8 V10, Lamborghini Huracan, McLaren 650S), as well as Porsche’s upcoming 960 (or maybe it will be called the 988?), the $250,000 mid-engined supercar due in 2016. The Zora could even go head-to-head with hyper-exotics like the Aventador.

One final curveball on the mid-engine platform: Does Cadillac need a supercar? Well, did Audi need the R8? If so, sharing the Zora's mid-engine architecture makes all the sense in the world. (We know the XLR was a flop, but that was more in the execution than the idea.) A Cadillac supercar would give the Zora hardware more volume, and GM has been quite adept at sharing performance parts between models and brands as of late to keep prices low. Examples: The LSA motor was common to the last-gen CTS-V and the current Camaro ZL1, and that engine shared a great deal with the old ZR1’s LS9. Magnetorheological dampers can be found on the ZL1, several Corvettes as well as many Cadillacs. The Z/28 shares its carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes with the upcoming Z06 and (we think) the upcoming CTS-V. There would be different Cadillac styling inside and out; toss in different engine specs, different suspension tune, and you would wind up with two contrasting cars with unique characters but underlying similarities. Exactly how Volkswagen differentiates the Audi R8 from the mechanically similar Lamborghini Gallardo/Huracan. The highest performance, hardest core version of the mid-engine car would remain a Corvette; the Caddy version would be more a GT. Also, the guy who's just taken over Cadillac (hi, Johan!) used to drive an R8 when he was running Audi U.S.…

What would power the ZR1/Zora and its Cadillac cousin, and how much will the cars cost? The Z06 motor would be plenty adequate, what with 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. However, a GM source recently told us that the Z06’s supercharged LT4 is capable of producing 1000 hp, though traction is an issue in the C7. Mid-engine weight distribution would help to put more weight over the rear tires. Years ago, a different GM source told us that we could gauge the next ZR1’s output based on the C7 Z06. If the Z06 made only 575 hp or so, expect 700ish ponies in the ZR1, a logical step up from 638 hp in the C6 ZR1. But if the Z06 makes 625 hp (this was a couple of years back) or more, the ZR1 engine could be, should be good for 750-800 hp. Americans love huge numbers (Hellcat!) so we’re going with 800-plus hp for the range topper. It makes sense that there would be both a 650-hp version, as well as an 800-plus-hp stud. Just like how Audi creates space between the R8 V-8 and V-10.

Price for a Corvette with the engine behind the driver? Figure a minimum of $150,000, though $200,000 isn’t out of the question for the biggest boy. Add an additional $50,000 for the Cadillac. You might scoff at such prices for a Chevrolet, but the Zora/ZR1 would theoretically be capable of spanking a McLaren 650S, making it quite the hypercar bargain. Also remember that wealthy Chinese buyers don’t care about price -- or brands -- the way we do and there are more of them than us. And you can’t forget the kings, sheiks, and gangsters of Europe, the Middle East, and Russia. When would we first see the Zora, should these rumors prove true? In time for next year’s Indy 500 is our best guess.

Is all this domestic mid-engine supercar talk too good to be true? There are certainly several reasons to think so. First and foremost, no mid-engine Corvette rumor has come true, ever. And they’ve been around almost as long as the ’Vette itself. Building such a vehicle would cost a stupid amount of money, and it would sell in low volumes. Meanwhile, the C7 is experiencing a nice sales bump over the C6. GM has been happy with the Corvette as its halo car at the current price and market position for decades, and this is not an organization that’s given to making snap changes in strategy. Sure, GM is selling more and more cars and trucks these days, but all those recalls have dinged the corporate piggy bank and likely the General’s sense of adventure. There’s almost every business reason to leave well enough alone.

Wind the clock back two years, and every single car expert in the known universe said Tesla would fail and pointed to Tucker as proof of that fact. History is a guide, however, not an absolute. As much as a mid-engine, hyperpotent Corvette sounds like a 12-year-old’s biggest fantasy, many pieces of the puzzle suddenly fit together, as our divergent sources are all saying the same thing. All the renewed mid-engine Corvette gossip feels different this time. Like an airplane disaster, the holes in the Swiss cheese are starting to line up. In conclusion, several signs point to Detroit going mid-engine, and in a big way. Hey, who knows -- maybe Ford will bring back the GT? Dare to dream. And stay tuned.
Scoop! Mid-Engine Chevrolet Corvette is a Go - Motor Trend
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
341 Posts
Maybe 2053 makes more sense.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
I would love to see the "mid" (behind the driver) engine concept finally come to fruition. And to name it or tie it to Zora would be icing on the cake. Long time Corvette owners have been promised this from way back in the 70's. One need only to delve into Corvette history to be completely aware of this intended direction by past engineers, beginning with Zora Arkus Duntov. A NCM tour will attest to this issue. So, IMHO, this move would be in the very best interest of the Corvettes evolution and do NOTHING to damage or destroy it's image or persona. I just hope this is not just one of those "mirages" John spoke of.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,333 Posts
Assuming, if it goes this way or not with the C8, based on any kind of consistency throughout the years with previous generations, I'm thinking 2020-2024.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
718 Posts
The 2020 C8 will be a multi-model Corvette and the ZORA will be the top of the line model with the mid-engine, 800+ HP! It will be the hyper car of the Corvette and be priced accordingly. It WILL be a hybrid model and you will still be able to buy a lower echelon model gas guzzler with a SC on it for ~100k. The Zora.... 175k ++

This will put the C7 at 7 years old and time for an update to the C8...normal evolutionary process for cars.
The new C8 is going the way of other cars and some newer sports cars, ie Porsche 918, BMW i8, and the upcoming 2016 Nismo GT-R 800+ HP hybrid...it is the future of power for cars and luckily GM appears to have their minds directed towards following in that direction instead of being left behind.

The Zora should be a heck of a car!!

Just start with this!!
http://www.chevrolet.com/culture/article/rolex-24.html

But until then enjoy the C7 :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
This kind of speculation is ridiculous. We'll be enjoying our C7s for a LONG time before the C8 is available. I'm more worried about how to properly install curb alert on my car then some mythical mid engine might-be produced vehicle.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
18,670 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Speculation, especially car mag speculation, has a poor record of being accurate, though it does sell magazines. Here are three major reasons why, IMO, there will never be a mid-engined Corvette.

1) High R&D cost;
2) High unit sale price means greatly reduced market share (how many right now lust after a StingRay, but will never be able to afford one -- about 90% of all Americans, and an even a higher percentage of the world's population. Now let's add the higher price of the Z06, resulting in even more limited "buyer pool." Now let's approximately double the Z06 price to $150-200K, how many more potential buyers are shut out!
3) As Tadge, Harlan and Kirk have repeatedly said, the Corvette appeals to many different buyers, including a key segment that demands cargo room equal to two golf bags or enough luggage to take long road trips. Kiss that key requirement goodbye in a mid-engine.

A mid-engine ZR1/ZORA/C8 is a nice fantasy, sells magazine, intriguing to consider, but makes little economic/real world sense! We first heard the C4 was going to be mid-engined. Not! We next heard the C5 was going to be mid-engined. Not! We then heard that the C6 was going to be mid-engined. Not! And, most recently, we heard, starting about 2007, that the C7 was going to be mid-engined. Not! Now speculation that we are about to get a new Corvette that will be mid-engined. Not!

I did enjoy reading the article's fantasy, liked the concept rendering, and LOVE its Velocity Yellow color.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
718 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
231 Posts
While I have no problems with a mid-engine Corvette I'm not sure it happens with the C8. There's also been speculation in the past when Corvettes haven't sold well of lowering the price point with v-6s. I suppose in some respects they have done that by offering the base car, Z06 and ZR-1.

Just don't try to make corvette it's own company and start making a corvette SUV and sedan!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
718 Posts
MT is certainly getting plenty of ink on their article on the C8 and here is another write-up.

'Family' Of Corvettes Planned For C8 Generation Car | GM Authority

"Yesterday a report from Motor Trend surfaced indicating the eighth-generation of the Chevrolet Corvette would adopt a mid-engine layout with the motor sitting behind the driver and in front of the rear axle. The news of a mid-engine Corvette is certainly exciting, but some might think it is a move done in blatant disregard to Corvette tradition. That’s why instead of offering only one Corvette when the car moves to the C8 generation, an entire family of ‘Vettes will be on offer.

Motor Trend says Corvette is “obviously strong enough to stand as its own brand,” and we’d have to agree. We even think the Corvette could be sold at separate dealers away from other GM dealerships to help further differentiate it from other Chevrolets, but that’s a topic for another day. GM’s strategy for implementing a “family” of Corvettes will be similar to what Land Rover does with the Range Rover. They offer the standard Range Rover, the smaller and sportier Range Rover Sport and the even smaller and more stylish Range Rover Evoque.

For the Corvette family, there will be a front-engined car (maybe called Stingray again?) which would serve as the entry-level model and would be based off of the existing C7 Corvette. This car would appease Corvette traditionalists and ensure the car stays affordable, which is a large part of what has made the Corvette so successful.

The C8 ZR1 or “Zora” would be the second model in the Corvette model range. This will be the mid-engine car, which will ride on an all-new platform separate from that of the C7 Corvette. Motor Trend points out it is possible to do a front and mid-engine car on the same platform, but it would be difficult and “freakishly expensive.” The Zora Corvette will get the most powerful engines on offer, possibly with an output north of 750 horsepower. All-wheel drive is a possibility, but that brings us back to the topic of staying true to Corvette tradition. A hybrid drivetrain may also be on offer, an idea which seems very likely to happen given the recent trend towards hybrid super sports cars.

What Chevrolet is allegedly planning to do with the Corvette family can be compared to what Porsche has done. They still offer the 911 in multiple variants to please those that appreciate the long-standing tradition of the rear-engine sports car, but also offer cars like the 918 which allows them to go head-to-head with Ferrari and McLaren while not completely desecrating the 911 name. Granted the difference in price between the C8 Corvette and the C8 Zora Corvette will not be as steep as that of the 911 and 918.

All this talk about mid-engine, hybrid and all-wheel drive stuff sure sounds expensive, doesn’t it? Well, it probably will be. If GM does go through with the plans, expect the mid-engine Zora Corvette to cost around or more than $150,000. The front-engine car should retain a $60k starting price to stay in line with conventional Corvette practices. We were just graced with the C7 Corvette last year, so the C8 is a long way out, but thanks to these rumors we already can’t wait for its arrival."


Where there's smoke there's fire? :)
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
18,670 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Where there's smoke, there's fire.
We have had smoke for over thirty years no, but never been a fire before. However, Motor Trend has done what they wanted, their name talked about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
755 Posts
Car of the future. Beyond 2020? Hmmm not sure about that....

Hello elegant:

This would be such a super car to own and drive and enjoy. But I have great reservations about it's future. I have heard rumors over the past year that there were no plans to build a Vette as we know it beyond 2020. Could this be it? We know that these kinds of things are planned at least 5 years in advance and it takes a long time for R&R to do their stuff. The other issue that conserns me is that I cannot see such an automobile being built for the middle class Joe. Priced beyond 75,000 base at todays costs would make this car almost unobtainable for most Vette lovers. By the time that 2020 rolls around the costs would be at least $100,000 base. Would this work? I have my doubts. Lets hope not on my sugestions, but one thing I cannot control is I will be too f'n old to buy one by the time it comes out. arghhhhh....

Years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Zora at a Western Canada Corvette Convention. It was an extreem pleasure and he was an amazing man and good speaker on the Car he loved so much. I am so suprised it has taken so long to associate his name with a build. I hope it all comes together.

I can still have the dream and I hope it all works out, but ......

STUNG:cool:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
739 Posts
I've said it before and will again, I think we will see a ZR1 in 2017 that will be twin turbo with forged internals and in the 750hp range, but I think it will be on the C7 platform.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,672 Posts
Oh My Car & Driver too!
Got a link to that? Google is coming up empty handed for me...

If they can keep the price below $150,000 and if they make a convertible, I may be in the market for a clean used one in 2020.:rolleyes:
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
18,670 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Piling on, like lemmings to the sea (though we all know how that turns out "not well). However, bet we see more ZR1 mid-engine forecasts from other media soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,672 Posts
Piling on, like lemmings to the sea (though we all know how that turns out "not well). However, bet we see more ZR1 mid-engine forecasts from other media soon.
It provides a nice media diversion for Chevy and GM - particularly desirable at this time, given the other "less pleasant" circumstances that the company faces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
As much as I like the concept of the "mid engined" Corvette, I'm not willing to wait looking for the pot at the end of the rainbow. I'm hoping that some folks already on "lists" for the Z06 will jump ship to wait for the C8, and make room for me.
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top