Whatever GM is hiding under its recently spied Holden Ute-based prototype, it isn’t a mid-engined Corvette.
That’s the word from Tadge Juechter, chief engineer for the Corvette, speaking with American online talkshow Autoline After Hours.
Acknowledging speculation of a new mid-engined ‘Corvette Zora’, Juechter said that if such a model exists, his team isn’t involved.
“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,” he told the panel.
The prototype in question, spied by US magazine Car & Driver in January, appears to be a Frankensteined mix of the Corvette’s cabin sandwiched between the nose and tub of a Holden ute.
Fuelling the ongoing talk of a new superhero Corvette flagship is what lies behind the prototypes cabin: a bolted-down cover that could point to a mid-engined configuration.
Juechter said that, while the idea of a mid-engined layout had been tossed around in development of the recently launched new seventh-generation Corvette, the approach “requires too many compromises”.
“You look at the elite race programmes around the world, they’re all mid-engine. So if all you care is purely performance then it makes sense to put the engine in the back,” he said.
“If you’re still talking about a car that can be used as a daily driver, long distance tourer, as well as handle benignly on the track, and have accessible performance… there’s a whole lot of other things that come into what is the optimum.”
Juechter joked that if “somebody wants to throw millions of dollars at me”, he’d be more than happy to deliver multiple models. “We’ll cover the whole range”.
If the spied prototype isn't a new hero Corvette, just what is it? A rival to Ford's new GT hero could be on the cards, but if such a project exists, Juechter is either unaware or keeping very quiet.
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