What has been the subject of much speculation for quite some time now has finally garnered attention from the man in charge of the Corvette project. Chief Corvette engineer Tadge Juechter recently gave a statement regarding the matter, saying that GM had no plans at this time for a mid-engine Corvette.
In a statement to World Car Fans, Juechter opined,
“I’ll have to check that out because I know no such car exists. Frankly, if such a car exists, it belongs to another division is my best speculation,”
Obviously, if someone knew about such a project at this point, it would be Juechter. The engineer did admit, however, that such a concept had been kicked around before, telling Corvette Forums in a previous interview,
“We looked at mid-engine as an alternative for the seventh-generation car, and we’ve always said that when the whole car gets better as a mid-engine architecture, we would do it.
Mid-engine requires a lot of compromises. You look at the elite race programs around the world; they’re all mid-engine. So … if all you care [about]is purely performance, then it makes sense to put the engine in the back. If you’re still talking about a car that can be used as a daily driver, long-distance tourer as well, handle benignly on the track, and have accessible performance, there’s a whole lot of other things that come into what is the optimum.”
Of course, there is always the probability that GM is indeed still developing a mid-engine Corvette but wants to keep it a secret until unveiling, much as Ford did with the new GT. Such a proposition would not be entirely unsubstantiated either. Last year, Car and Driver leaked spy shots which showed a mid-engine Corvette test-mule being driven around a GM test track. However, only time will tell whether this was just an exploratory venture, or a foretelling of what’s to come.
For now though, we’ll just have to take GM at their word.