Chevrolet has finally confirmed that a successor to its Corvette will arrive later this year.
The big news is that the two-seater will have a mid-engine layout, confirming reports that the eighth-generation ‘Vette was losing its front-engine, rear-wheel-drive design. It will likely continue to drive the rear wheels, but a rumoured hybrid version that powers all four might be in the works.
Keeping details to a minimum, the big US maker only confirmed that the new-generation Corvette will be mid-engined and revealed in the US on July 18. Accompanying the online release are images of a camouflaged coupe on the street in New York. It is the first time Chevrolet has confirmed the C8 Corvette’s existence and the first official images outside of spy shots.
US publication Car and Driver reports that it has further information not yet released, suggesting there will be an initial model launch later this year with the Corvette Stingray, powered by the same 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine found in the C7-generation car, producing around 370kW but renamed ‘LT2’ on account of its new mid-engine location. The Stingray will then be joined by higher-performance variants, including a 5.5-litre flat-plane crankshaft V8 Z06, 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged ZR1 and flagship Zora model that will augment the potent bi-turbo mill with hybrid electrification and produce over 740kW of power. Unfortunately for stick-shift lovers, the range is said to be mated exclusively to a Tremec seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, bringing an end to the manual-equipped Corvette.
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The next-gen model has been a topic of speculation for Australia too, with Wheels getting the scoop on the possibility that General Motors has been planning to introduce the halo car here for years.
“Don’t forget we still have the sports car, the much-talked-about sports car - or cars - coming to the market which will really fill that performance halo for us,” said Holden spokesperson Sean Poppitt during an interview with Wheels in 2017.
Half of that promise has been met, GM partnering with Australian vehicle specialist Walkinshaw to convert left-hand-drive Chevrolet Camaros to right-hand drive at its Clayton facility. But what we really want to know is if that second sports car will be the Corvette.
Retro: 1953 Chevrolet Corvette C1