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Mid-Engine Corvette Chassis Reportedly Can't Handle the Power

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/13/2019 Motor Trend Staff
a car parked in a parking lot: Mid engine Chevrolet Corvette prototype front side

Thanks to a recent leak of what appears to be the mid-engine Corvette's key fob, we've seen paperwork that suggests the C8 will be sold as a 2020 model. But while we would have thought Chevrolet would reveal the mid-engine Corvette at the 2019 Detroit auto show, it was a no-show. Initial reports suggested the car had been delayed, but they were short on details. As it turns out, that may have been because there's more than one reason for the upcoming supercar's delay.

Related Video: New Corvette delayed because it's too powerful (provided by FOX News)

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According to a new report from Hagerty, the mid-engine Corvette has been held up for three reasons. The first matches an earlier rumor we'd heard, which is that development engineers are having a hard time working out all the bugs in the car's electrical system. The second is that the design team is still fighting with the development engineers over some unspecified issue. Hagerty theorizes it may be related to visibility, ergonomics, or possibly cabin layout, but it can't say for sure.

a car parked on the side of a road: Chevrolet-Corvette-C8-mid-engine-prototype-at-Nurburgring-41.jpg© Motor Trend Staff Chevrolet-Corvette-C8-mid-engine-prototype-at-Nurburgring-41.jpg

The third issue, however, might be the most interesting. Supposedly, the mid-engine Corvette's chassis can't handle the power of its near-1,000-hp twin-turbo V-8. Hagerty says its source claims the twist from the engine in at least one prototype bent the spaceframe enough to break the glass in the rear hatch. Assuming that's true, the car's launch should absolutely be delayed, but we can't help wondering if GM strategically leaked the rumor that the top-trim C8 is just too powerful in order to distract from the other issues.

a car parked on the side of a road: Chevrolet Corvette C8 mid engine prototype at Nurburgring 33© Motor Trend Staff Chevrolet Corvette C8 mid engine prototype at Nurburgring 33

As for when we'll actually see the mid-engine Corvette, Hagerty theorizes that the big reveal will take place at the National Corvette Museum's 25th-anniversary celebration in August. And while the 1,000-hp version will likely be much more expensive, it sounds like a base version making around 500 hp will start somewhere in the $60,000-$70,000 range. That's certainly not cheap, but compared to other mid-engine supercars, it would be much more affordable.

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