In a landmark decision by Chevrolet, the company’s sports car, the Corvette is coming back in its eighth-generation avatar. The big news? A mid-engined layout for the C8!
Yes, the previous sentence is true. The Chevy Corvette has staunchly been an old-school sports car when it comes to its formula of production. Engine up front, power sent to the rear wheels, and a happy idiot seated between the two elements. This formula stayed with the Corvette through its seven generations, and there seemed to be no reason to shift to a different layout. But over time, a new problem emerged which Chevrolet simply had to address.
The Chevrolet Corvette is one of the most responsive, agile, and dynamic cars one can buy in the world today. Built by a company not particularly renowned more for muscle cars and trucks than track-attack sports cars, the Corvette has held its own against a tide of European and Japanese rivals. This popularity was due in part to its powertrain, with the driving dynamics claiming a major share. However, the old-school front-engine layout does have its limitations, which is why mid-engined cars have steadily been gaining the upper hand.
Chevrolet wants its Corvette to be seen as a force to be reckoned with in today’s fast-paced performance car territory, which is why radical changes have been made to the American sports car’s DNA. Gone is the old layout, to be replaced with a mid-engined architecture. Of course, optimal weight distribution is the goal with the shift to the mid-engined layout. The new architecture brings with it new design elements previously unseen on any of the family of Corvettes.
Spy shots of the eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette show the car wearing a low, pointed nose along with a sculpted shoulder line that rises towards the rear. The front end looks like a throwback to the C3 Corvette, which itself looked like a shark. Not bad with the C8, Chevy. The front fascia (or what we can make of it) looks pretty good actually, lending the C8 Corvette a sophisticated yet aggressive aura. More air intakes are present throughout the body than before to cool down the engine now nestled behind the cockpit.
The new architecture has dramatically altered the Corvette’s derriere. Purists and loyalists were already miffed at Chevy when the C7 debuted with a more angular rear end. The C8 must have them all in mortal torment now with its decidedly Euro profile and tail-end. Also, gone are those centre-mounted quad exhausts that looked like missile silos. The C8 pushes its exhaust through split twin tailpipes now. Another departure from tradition, but times are calling for change, and Chevy must heed the call.
Take a look at the spy shots of the Chevrolet C8 Corvette and let us know your views on it. Hate it or love it, you have to agree the Corvette is America’s answer to newfangled Jap and Euro sports cars. It has been a good life for the car, but now it needs to embrace the new ways if it is to stay ahead in the fast-paced game of supercars.
Images: Road & Track Magazine