The Corvette ZR1.
DETROIT: The eighth-generation (C8) Corvette will switch to a mid-engined layout for the first time in its illustrious history. Reports say there will also be a hardcore hybrid variant that could develop as much as 1,000bhp.
What's perhaps even more surprising is that the C8 Corvette will further break with tradition by being offered for sale alongside a new version of the current C7 model.
Autocar in the UK reports sources inside General Motors have indicated a mildly revised version of the current C7 will continue to be produced as an entry-level alternative to the new, more expensive C8.
Even though the all-new mid-engined C8 will cost considerably more than the C7 that will be sold alongside it, it will still be priced significantly lower than the junior supercars offered by many rivals.
When the C8 comes to market in 2019 it will use an updated version of GM's LT-specification 6.2-liter V8. Although the all-alloy unit is light, responsive, relatively cheap to build and able to generate around 500bhp without breaking a sweat, it still uses pushrods and therefore won't be able to match the kind of low-end torque turbocharged rivals manage with ease. Staying with that engine also provides a clear connection between the new mid-engined 'Vette and the more affordable front-engined C7s.
This is just the start of a more significant revamp. GM has a long history of introducing faster versions of its performance cars not long after the base models are launched.
Reports in the US suggest an overhead camshaft V8 may be in the works, in both naturally aspirated and twin-turbo forms, with the turbo version developing as much as the 745bhp of the current supercharged Corvette ZR1. A hybrid version would bring an electrically-powered front axle to the party, potentially giving the Corvette an astonishing total system output approaching 1,000bhp.