Follow by Email

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Could GM’s $439M Investment Allude to a Mid-Engine Corvette?


2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

In the last few decades— or rather, since the Corvette first debuted, there have always been rumors swirling around about GM engineers putting together a mid-engine Corvette. It’s seemed like it was going to happen countless times, and if you go back and look at all the old issues of Road & Track and MotorTrend, you’re bound to see no less than 30 covers with the words, “Mid-Engine Corvette Finally Happening?” But alas, it never has.
With the introduction of the new C7 Corvette Z06, GM has essentially tied its own hands in terms of power, and the delivery of that power. The new Z06 is an amazing piece of engineering, and it has so much power, that it doesn’t really leave much on the table for GM’s engineers in terms of a more-powerful ZR1. If we’re thinking logically, the only way the Corvette can be a better vehicle is if engineers decided to put the engine in the middle… and load it with power.

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

As of now, there is still no official word from GM regarding a mid-engine Corvette. But there are some telling tales that lead us to believe such a project is in the works.

A few months ago, Car and Driver broke the Internet when their spy photographers captured an odd looking mule running around GM’s headquarters. It looked like a Holden with a Corvette cabin, and a covered up truck bed. So far that’s been our best proof surrounding the mid-engine Corvette… until the other day.

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

GM sent out a press release saying that plans are already in motion to expand the assembly plant where the C7 Corvette is built, even though the plant is humming along perfectly. GM has set aside over $439 million to expand the Bowling Green Facility, which already had received an additional $135 million over the last four years. The total then comes to a whopping $574 million in renovations.

While this might not sound like proof that GM is building a mid-engine Corvette, the press release itself is a bit deceptive if you’re not paying attention for key words. It highlights a new paint shop, which will become a third of the overall size of the plant. But it also talks about new tooling, and new robots that will come online as well.

This half-billion dollar investment is the largest investment GM has ever put into the Corvette. And with the recent rumors and spy shots circling, this expansion seems to point that GM is already thinking towards the future.

Hopefully a future that involves a Corvette with an engine in the middle. If we’re lucky, we’ll get a fully fledged concept in the next few months. Hopefully Chevy finally gives us the Corvette we’ve all been dreaming of.