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One of motoring’s biggest names is about to undergo a huge change, as the next Chevrolet Corvette goes mid-engined for the first time in its 66-year history. Iconic for its combination of a front-engined pushrod V8 and composite body, the Corvette, in its more potent forms anyway, has been knocking on the door of true supercar performance for years, and now it looks like the Corvette is about to get the layout to match.
We know this thanks to some tell-tale cues on prototype vehicles doing the rounds before the model is revealed in full later this year. Most prominent of these is the new car’s proportional changes, as the cab has been moved forwards to make space behind for the engine and transmission. Generous side intakes, a long tail and open rear valance also point towards this undeniable change of layout for this new Corvette.
Though a reveal date of July 18 this year was recently confirmed, technical details remain scarce. However, the move to a new and more powerful twin-turbocharged V8 engine looks to be on the horizon, at the same time losing yet one more element of the last car, namely its pushrod valve actuation, which although considered old in engine technology terms, remained a key part of the car’s technical package. Although we don’t know specifically which engine the new Corvette will feature, General Motors, Chevrolet’s parent company, recently revealed an all-new 4-litre twin-turbo ‘hot-V’ V8 for use in Cadillacs – we suspect either this engine or a derivative of it might be used here.
Expect a generous bump in quality, both perceived and actual, as the next Corvette aims to more directly rival the Porsche 911 and Aston Martin Vantage in all senses, rather than just in pure performance terms. The Corvette will remain a strict two-seater.
Alongside a rise in performance and capability is sure to be a rise in price from its current USD 61000 (Rs 42 lakh, excluding Indian taxes and duties) starting point in the US, a figure that is around half of what Porsche charges for the 911 in the States. With Chevrolet exiting India a couple of years ago, it’s safe to say that there’s no possibility of the Corvette being seen on our Indian roads.