Why the mid-engine Corvette took four decades


Recently we sat down with three former Chevrolet Corvette engineers—Dave McLellan, Dave Hill, and Tom Wallace—and got their take on the upcoming C8. Among the questions we asked: Why didn’t Arkus-Duntov’s pet project—the mid-engine Corvette—achieve lift-off on his watch? The idea has been kicked around inside GM for decade. What took so long?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/10/02/mid-engine-corvette-took-four-decades-to-make


I see no reason for a "mid-engine’ corvette! This rates right up with flying cars! TOTAL BS! I AM a Corvette fan and owner. currently C7 Z51 LT3 with 7 others in my past


I saw a missing link 1983 mid-engine corvette at a car show. I was 12, this struck my interest in mid-engine cars. I figured out GM wasn’t really coming out with the mid-engine Vette. I found a model of that exact concept car, I was very careful when I built that model. I said at the time if Vette builds a mid-engine, I’m buying one! I’ve been mid-engine minded for 35 years. I could go on about my automotive ability and that I owned a shop at 22… This could be a very long conversation. Vette needs to be mid-engine. There I said it!
My best,


Porsche has several models from the 911 to SUV’s, so I don’t see why Corvette can’t do the same. Keep the RWD just as Porsche has kept the 911 a rear engine car since the beginning. Develop a mid engine car to go along with it. How about a four door Corvette just live Porsche did with the Panamera?


One man’s opinion, but GM always promises flash bang tire wrenching performance and great styling in their promotional materials but when the car actually hits showrooms we’re usually sorely disappointed. Remember the Fiero? There were others that were rushed to market with anemic power plants, too-small brakes & sway bars, and they let the corporate accountant’s secretary loose on the clay model and that killed any kind of aggressive styling… GM has been better lately, but when I was in the car market more in the 80’s and 90’s it was pretty depressing out there!


Hey Kevin. It’s nice to know that you love the past. So to I! I love my 56 Chevy. and my 67 Chevy. But these cars are ancient history. Fun on weekends, yes. Perhaps you live in the past. But the future is today, (not even tomorrow), not SOMEday! For decades, GM has ignored the developments of the rest of the world’s super car producers to become a 'boutique" brand, for a very few that are old and dieing like you I guess. Keep looking back Kevin. Hope you enjoy your old corvettes while the you ignore technical and marketing trends.


I LOVE technology as much as anyone and I value the C7 so much more than my older ones. IN FACT I never would consider owning a C6 or below again! C7 is just the biggest upgrade Corvette EVER made.

Older cars, I spent a ton on a '64 La Mans…money thrown away!

Corvette RWD FE is in my price range, I pay cash and pick up at museum and a mid engine has to at least double or triple the price for what benefit? UNLESS you race it on a track.

As long as they keep the current configuration and make the mid engine too, I’m happy

NOW let’s get into those flying cars…Popular Mechanics has been touting them since I was in 7th grade OR before (1963)

It’s NOT on my calendar to die soon!

I’ll recheck the calendar tomorrow.


Well to sum up the numbness I feel tackling chime-ing in on this all to important subject about mid engine, let me keep it short and simple “DONT FIX WHATS NOT BROKE”, reasons why are,

#1 GM should have been spending millions fixing all the weakness’s in the c7 auto trans starting in 15 blunders and replacing all the broken down 427’s for the last 5 years of the c6 line, not investing millions and millions tryin to come up with a mid engine vette while completely ignoring through their legal muscle men, all the broken blown up engines at any given amount of milleage namely the 427’s in the 13’s and Z06’s this in and of itself is a travesty and yet loyal vette admirers come back for more drooling at the mouth over the mid engine, GO FIGURE IS ALL I HAVE TO SAY, most of those with the uncontrollable drool of course are ones who have inexhaustible bank accounts which in and of itself is a consumer power play if per chance chevy buys into it and goes ALL IN and CAVES INTO their lust for mid engine madness.!

#2 theres plenty of mid engine cars out there for sale go buy one if ya need 1 that bad go buy a Ferrari for god sake!

#3 the only true American SPORTS car is a corvette convertible hands down and kicks almost all other cars ass’s with a front engine design in their c7 gen, so what the heck else is there to prove seriously and now the ZR1 bad boy is sweeping the track and drag strips against 100’s of HP higher cars who cant touch it, so again, does this not prove WHATS NOT BROKE DOESNT NEED FIXIN, thinking? Well of course it does and the filthy rich scream on and on give us a mid engine I say go blow you bunch ah big wigs!

#4 Corvettes have always been affordable but their proven depreciation has always been a turn off for many unless their love for one as mine is which burns deep inside rationalizes the future loss’s in event of a needed sale, so I pose this unavoidable truth and question, whats gonna happen to c7 values when c8’s hit the road, when C7’s already loose 30% plus value the minute you drive them off the lot? And chevy boasts of profits only in full sized trucks and our vettes hmmmm I wonder why? I know why do you? Well you will if you read above what I allready typed!

In closing, my prediction for chevy is if they follow through with this complete brain fart light drizzle brain storm their not only gonna piss off a lot of corvette owners but their also gonna lose gobs of respect, oh and did I mention SALES dropping to hell itself!

Good day!


Salmann Salmann Salmann. You seem very angry and stuck in time. Or maybe drunk. Hopefully the latter. You make no sense sir. First of all I think it is wonderful that GM is venturing out into the Mid Engine Corvette and I will be glad to tell you why that should make sense to even Mr. Salmann.
I have been driving Corvettes going on 50 years and certainly enjoy the cars of the past and have a 54 Corvette and a 2019 C7. First of all GM is no fool and Duntov was not as well. Mid engine cars are the future and we need to go to the future, not the past. The facts in the sales of the C7s have gathered new younger demographics and the C8 will continue so sales will thrive on C* Corvettes. And believe me I am surprised that the previous Engineers from Corvette feel that these cars will be priced so much higher, but then again they are engineers and not accountants. The fact is Corvette has always produced a car for the people in an affordable manner and will do so with C8. We are not talking about limited numbers of production like Ferrari or Lambos we are talking about a company capable of producing 30,000 PLUS units per year and with volume comes less cost per unit to manufacture spreading the costs out for engineering etc. The initial C8 Corvette will be base model utilizing the 6.2 Litre V8 and will have a base price of $62,500
Zora III


Welllll Mercedesman, I’m happy to agree with most of what you said. I also have been driving corvettes for a very long time. As a young man I could never even think of actually owning one, but when I finally got my first one in the late 60’s I kept it along with 6 others I still own. My only contribution to this forum is this. Please GM don’t under-sell your next dream machine, put something really special in the engine compartment, I mean really special and at my ripe ole age I’ll be glad to pay well more than your suggested base price of $62,500. I’ve been sitting here waiting on this mid engine monster, and some time back I read somewhere that a suggestion for the new engine would be something like a 5.0, I was ready to cancel my order. Make this thing something to keep and remember, I’ll be glad to pay $75,000 - $100.00.


As a 54-year old owner of a pristine Silver Anniversary C3, I love the lines of the older Corvette, but fully welcome a C8 that competes with the likes of McLaren, Ferrari and other modern sports cars. As a long-time aviator and professional pilot, I also appreciate older aircraft, but understand the older aircraft (and automobile designs) cannot compete with more modern and more efficient designs. That is why we call the older generations “Classics.” Long live the Corvette as it evolves into a lean, Take-No-Prisoners mid-engine capable of competing with anything the Italians, Germans, or Japanese can dream up.


As the owner of an 1981 I welcome a mid-engine Vette, to show the world what American ingenuity can do to surpass the Italian and Germany supercars.


I owned a pristine 1972 for about 30 years and was always upset that I didn’t drive it enough. Hey, old cars are old cars. After you’ve been spoiled by fuel injection, a carbureted car is a bother. So I finally took the leap and bought the best looking new ‘vette ever. The C7 is an amazing car and I’m still looking forward to the C8! I hope they will make both at the same time and not phase out the front engine car. I am also looking forward to some electrification, but don’t eliminate the V8!!


I think this mid-engine C8 may be GM’s best hope of creating a modern classic that really shakes the industry. Think about it, even though today’s Corvette is the best by any objective measure, it’s the result of decades of gradual evolution. The Corvettes that really stood the test of time are the ones that made the big leaps, especially the first gen cars and 1963. Few cars become “classic” by being an evolution of, or tribute to, something else. With C8 they have the chance to start fresh and do something really new. The problem is we know very little about power, styling, or pricing. They need to get this right, which hopefully explains the long gestation period and secrecy around the C8.