The mid-engine C8 Corvette is starting to become one of the worst kept secrets in Corvette history thanks to yet another report to hit the news media today. Detroit News has it on good authority from “multiple sources familiar with the company’s planning” that GM will debut the mid-engine Corvette at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January of 2018 as a 2019 model.
What interesting is that these sources claim the current C7 Corvette Grand Sport and Z06 models will continue into the 2021 model year along side the mid-engine C8 Corvette where they will eventually be phased out leaving the mid-engine Corvette to be the only Corvette offered.
“It’s happening. Mark Reuss wants it,” an unnamed former employee told The Detroit News. “It’s the worst-kept secret in town.” Former GM executive, Even Bob Lutz told The Detroit News that it’s happening, and that the mid-engine Corvette program has been approved from as far back as 2007, but was shelved in 2009 due to GM’s bankruptcy.
“The program I got approved in ’07 was $900 million,” Lutz says, “and included a Cadillac XLR with a supercharged Northstar engine. If the current program is $800 million, I’d bet it includes a different-bodied Cadillac again as well.”
According to these anonymous sources on the inside, the C8 Corvette has been given the developmental codename “Emperor” and will feature active aerodynamic pieces, as well as a pushrod V-8 engine. It is possible that Chevrolet may develop further variants down the line, including a possible plug-in hybrid.
With GM making major investments in the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant, including $290 million for technology upgrades and $439 million for a new paint shop, it’s pretty obvious that something big is coming down the pipeline for Corvette. Big enough to be codenamed “Emperor.”